(Note: this review will be today’s only NCS post, because of Blog Break.)
Autolatry is a black metal band from eastern Connecticut whose music is devoted to stories about the New England wilderness and New England history. In late 2010, they released a debut album entitled The Hill, which I haven’t heard. And then in February of this year they released the subject of this review, an EP called Of the Land. Both releases can be downloaded on Bandcamp (here) with a “name your price” option.
Given the lyrical themes of Autolatry’s music, the title of this most recent EP, the names of the four songs it includes, and even the cover art, you might assume that Autolatry is some kind of New England version of Agalloch — but for the most part you would be wrong. Though you might pick out a bit of Agalloch influence here and there, the four songs on Of the Land turn out to be a surprising mix of styles, with no two songs quite alike.
The opener, “Mountain”, leaps forward immediately with maniacal drumming and a rapidly moving blast-front of ripping guitar chords. Sulfurous vocals howl malignantly and a trilling lead guitar spins a melody through the maelstrom. There’s a hard-driving, instrumental-only scorcher of a finish to the song that will get your head nodding, too.
“Oak” sets the hook from the start, with dense, chiming guitars and a super-catchy bass line. In addition to a cascading tide of tremolo melody, the song includes a relatively subdued melodic interlude that features a duet of acoustic and electric guitar with a Spanish flair (or at least that’s what jumped to my mind). Overall, it’s a rolling, rocking track that’s infectious as hell. Continue reading »