If you search for information about the Minnesota-based project Book of Sand you’ll likely encounter genre references to “experimental black metal”, as well as lyrical themes that have rooted the band in the so-called “Red and Anarchist Black Metal” (RABM) scene. But the label “experimental black metal” is a vague one. It”s intended to represent a deviation from black metal orthodoxy, but beyond that it may encompass a host of variations that you can’t guess at from the label alone.
In the case of Book of Sand, those variations have included an unusual approach to songwriting and an unusual amalgam of sounds and sensations, weaving ingredients like Javanese gamelan, microtonalities, and 20th-century classical compositional techniques into a framework of raw black metal. And the project’s experimental approach has revealed changes from album to album.
Book of Sand‘s newest album (the first one in five years and the ninth once since 2010) is named Seven Candles For An Empty Altar, and it’s yet another adventure, a stunning one. It will be released on November 1st by Fiadh Productions and Vita Detestabilis Records. They tell us this about the album’s inspiration: