Jun 022011

To be brutally honest — which is the only kind of honest we know how to be at NCS — I’m not qualified to review a black-metal album for trve black-metal fans. Even after about a year and a half of trying to educate myself, I’m not steeped in the history, there are still big gaps in my listening, and I can’t provide a comprehensive context in which to explain the place of albums I hear. But my enthusiasm overwhelms my sense of limits, and so I just forge ahead anyway. Fuckitall.

There might be a silver lining to that cloud. I might be able to serve as a surrogate for some of you who are like me — metal fans who generally listen to other genres but who are intrigued, maybe even beguiled, by what black metal has to offer — and curious about discovering more of what lies within those cold depths.

So, here’s a new discovery: A one-man project from the UK who sunk an unimaginably deep part of himself over a very long period of time into creating one album called A Haunt Within the Mist recorded back in 2006 (and at earlier times); a man who made some disillusioning efforts to find a label to promote what he’d done, and then just shelved the music rather than have it become lost in the great wash of underground black-metal releases and demo’s; a man who finally decided, just weeks ago, that because he was sincerely proud of what he’d done, it would be better to put it out here in the world than consign it to oblivion.

And so, a remarkably humble e-mail arrived at our door from the dude behind Undying, who calls himself Hiraedd, with a link to Undying’s Bandcamp page, where that long hidden album could be retrieved and heard. Not necessarily a unique story, and certainly not one we would tell except for the fact that, for us, finding this music was like discovering a diamond in your sock drawer one morning: It was a surprising and completely wonderful occurrence. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »