During these last few months of covid lockdowns and social distancing, playthrough videos have proliferated like wildflowers in the spring, as ways for musicians to burn off some pent-up energy and to remind us that their bands still exist, even though they haven’t been able to gig and tour. The videos have not all been of equal quality, nor have they been uniformly interesting. And to be honest, we’ve resisted overtures to premiere playthrough videos, preferring to continue concentrating on new music rather than performances of songs that have been out in the world for a while.
But this video premiere is one we couldn’t resist.
In the first place, the subject is “Black Waves“, a tremendously good song from an album all of us here liked A LOT — Abigail Williams‘ 2019 album Walk Beyond the Dark (and you can and should read Andy Synn‘s review of it if you haven’t yet delved into the record).
And in the second place, the play-through is performed by cellist Kakophonix, whose contributions to the album were a significant factor in building the moments of haunting grandeur and epic atmosphere within the record, and it’s fascinating to watch and hear his performance.
As you may know, Kakophonix is a sought-after guest performer, but also has his own solo project Hvile I Kaos, which has a new split album with solo artist Emerson Sinclair entitled Never Without the Pentagram that’s due for release on July 10th by Metal Assault — and it was mastered by Abigail Williams mastermind Ken Sorceron. We’ll have something more to say about that split down below, but first let’s turn to this new playthrough video.
The recording in the video brings the cello to the forefront and permits greater focus on its emotional power within the song. The melody is profoundly heart-breaking, but deeply enthralling, and as the underlying track evolves it also transforms into sounds of anguish and despair. It genuinely does become a haunting and transfixing presence, and remains one even when Abigail Williams throws open the gates to torrents of striking intensity.
Unlike many playthrough videos, this one yields the spotlight to a contribution that easily warrants the focus, and could actually stand alone, even without the other instrumentation and the vocals within which it makes its place on the album track.
Credit for the filming and direction goes to Lone Wolf Productions.
We mentioned earlier that Hvile I Kaos, the solo creative outlet of Kakophonix, has a new split album with Emerson Sinclair (who has played violin with Hvile I Kaos in live performances) coming out on July 10th on the Metal Assault label. The record flows as a ritual invocation, with Hvile I Kaos opening and closing the circle/record, and the Emerson Sinclair tracks filling in the middle. Stylistically it’s best described as occult neoclassical with elements of black metal and electronic music.
On the 1st of May we had the pleasure of premiering a video for “Rise, Engulf, Envenom“, the Hvile I Kaos piece that begins the split. It’s an amazing piece of music, and one that prompted me to go on at length in attempting to describe the sounds and the emotions that it stirred up.
But the rest of the album is equally remarkable, and I do hope I’ll find time to explain why before it’s released. For now, I’ll leave you with that video, as well as the pre-order link and the social media pages for the two performers.