Living in a dramatic natural setting can be a double-edged sword. Imagine a place bounded by the vast, untamed Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea, and indeed by water all around, with a mountain range running through it, encompassed by dense, towering forests and sheltered by skies both daunting and glorious. In a state of despondency, such a place might seem like a calculated reminder of how small, insignificant, fleeting, and unattractive your own existence really is. On the other hand, a place like that can so powerfully overwhelm all ugliness as to provide inspiration and hope.
The place we happen to be talking about is Vancouver Island, officially a part of British Columbia in Canada, but really a kind of world all its own. The largest community on that enormous island is Victoria, and Victoria is home to the black metal band Liminal Shroud. It’s no wonder that their natural surroundings have an influence on their music, in ways both dark and blazing — a carefully chosen word, because their forthcoming second album, which you’re about to hear, is named All Virtues Ablaze.