Echoing from the darkened wood, the roots begin to stir, writhing as the noise vibrates through the air and earth. Two black-clad figures drift and shift between the bark wrapped land, howling to the sky as the summon the forces of nature to thrum with them. The oaken-faced wraiths return once more to wail with the wind and tremor the earth.
I was excited when I saw my siberian brethren unleashing another sundering album and I am even more ecstatic at how wondrous it turned out. Grima, who is no stranger to my site, has always impressed me and captivated me with their sound so Rotten Garden just furthers that love for this enigmatic pair.
I gotta say, Cedar and Owls was a phenomenal choice to pick as the first track, laying the ground work ahead for what this album exudes. Mourning Comes at Sunset follows and may seem simple at first however it grows into a stunning track as it progresses with synergistic work between the vocals, guitar, and drums. Next is our showcase track, At The Foot of the Red Mountains. I was already fond of the track name from my days of wandering the ashen lands of Morrowind with the Red Mountain looming in distance. Upon listening to it though I was hooked as the accordian began to dance and lure me, pulling me further into the haunted timbers of the taiga. Old Oak sweeps in behind and is the perfect choice after such an astounding track with it's atmospheric tune. Rotten Garden begins somberly afterward, building into a phenomenally long track (which I am always a sucker for) and rightfully so since it is the title piece. I can tell they put a lot of love and work into this album solely by this track alone. Now, I am not sure why this keeps happening yet when I saw the name Grom for the track title I thought it was familiar. Ironic moreso since I started play WoW once again (though Grom Hellscream seems forgotten to most). I really dig this track and it gets better with every listen as it echoes from the caves and awakens calderas. Lastly, and my third time owning the track, we have Devotion to Lord. Now, I am still a huge fan of the original release of this track however I like to hear it on occasion to remind me of the work and effort Grima has endured to build these albums.
Rotten Garden stirs that old earthen soul of mine and beckons me to bellow out across the mountains and ice, to call to the spirits and beasts that listen, to those that hear the songs of the earth. Here's to Grima and one hell of a metal monday! l,,l
In there, within the tower looming in the distance, a light flickers, a being stirs. Awakened from its slumber, the horrid creature shambles once more into view, staring down at the world. It's gaze is as cold and creeping as the frost forming upon the landscape, winter mere weeks away. Gripping a wicked staff in one hand, the black robed figure raises it high and opens its maw wide. Echoing across the land, sundering and sorrowful plays the song of his people... the undying howl of metal.
"Yes, believe it or not children I still haunt these lands. Shuddered awake by the call once more, I tear myself from the depths of the void to usher in more delicious blackness. In my soul-journ I have found much, too much to simply gaze upon once a week. No, this time I take you to the raging storm atop the mountain of madness and leave you to be assailed by all that I have found in the months prior. So, prepare yourself as the mighty frozen storm swirls around you and pelts you with the might of metal!" - The Mad Barron
Cracking open a tome, the black robed figure begins reciting words, and each time the storm grows, whether it be violent, cold, silent yet ominous, this monstrous force swells with fury and sound.
I call upon thee YGG and the Hymn of Nature!
I call upon thee Opeth, the Apostle In Triumph... the April Ethereal!
I call upon thee Eoront, The Sun of the Spirit and Wormwood!
I call upon thee Frozenwoods! Woods Go To Their Eternal Rest where One Hour Ago Where Night Was Longer... Beyond The Ashen Snowstorm.
I call upon thee Dreichmere where As Golden Dust we dwell!
I call upon thee Boréalys... Where The Waters Part.
I call upon Fires In The Distance as we gaze upon Reflections In The Ice.
I call upon four black winds: Abamath, Labyrinthian, Ramihrdus, and Tahazu. Ashes Of Forgiven Sins drift down upon us.
I call upon thee mighty, two headed Draconian! Rising with the Moon Over Sabaoth
I call upon thee old Fuath and the Blood of the ancients.
I call upon thee Yoth_Iria to speak the words: Sid Ed Djinn!
I call upon thee Misery, Doom, and The Deep where They Came From Visions summoning Terra Ultrix.
I call upon thee Beleriand howling In The Black Wind The Stars Shall Die.
I call to thee glorious Fellwarden oh beloved Pathmaker.
I call upon thee powerful Arx Atrata. The Traveler. The Broken Man.
I call upon thee Celtachor who wanders The Battle On The Shore.
And lastly, to enrage and empower this frigid tempest, I call upon thee Winterlore!
Bring the Blackened Northern Might! Bring the Winterlore and Spears Of The Dead!
"I have loosed upon that which I have collected and it shall not weaken for a great deal of time, not a storm such as this. Know that I still watch and loom, I wander and listen, even in times of silence and solitude I keep the fires burning, awaiting for when the call of metal stirs the air once more. May this swirling madness hold you unto the next time I stir..." lml
My muse is relentless regardless if I am at work or on a hike, her call must be listened and absorbed. Here is the latest piece of madness that has more to come...
The Lost House
Victor opened his eyes wide as a searing pain overwhelmed his body, staggering him awake, frantic from the energy. To compound this feeling he realized he could not move, he was somehow restrained though he was laying down however the pain surged regardless. It was inescapable, all invasive upon his body and into his mind. There was no escape, no relief, it was writhing agony that he could not shake though his body did so achingly.
Suddenly appearing before him, a woman loomed over him and mouthed words he could not hear. Victor did not know this woman and it was in this moment of arrival that he began to notice all the more errors. He did not know this room, he did not know his clothes and bed, the scenery outside was unfamiliar. This information fused with the waking pain and he was overwhelmed, panicking from the sensory overload, his fears compounded by the fretful look on the woman's face. Her words did not reach him still and as tears filled his eyes and blocked his vision, Victor lost consciousness.
It was the next moment that he found himself standing across the street from his own home, the sun setting in the distance and radiating the sky with hues of purples and orange fanning across the waning blue. Victor stood there in awe as if this shimmering brilliance was new to him but rather it was a relief from the nightmare he could so vividly remember. Touching his chest and stomach, Victor felt no pain, as a matter of fact he felt rested, almost weightless even. He could not remember the last time he did not have some ache or pain that stemmed from old injuries and damage from overuse.
Looking back to his home, Victor smiled as he walked across the street, filled with an odd euphoria, almost gleeful. He grasped the door and found it locked. An inkling of fear swept his mind for a brief moment before he rummaged through his pocket and found his key. He unlocked the door and stepped inside. Victor did not look back. He did not see the two figures standing behind him so close they could touch him. They watched as he entered,, their gaze fixated moreso on the house and the door than Victor himself. He shut the door and the two figures were gone.
His home was well lit and vibrated with a welcoming energy. The smell of baking wafted over him with an intoxicating aroma while the echoes of jazz filled the area with postitive energy. He stood just inside the doorway and took in the whole of the house, a faint smile pulling at his face all the while. Alice, his wife, exited the kitchen with a plate of fresh cookies, making her way to the coffee table to place them for the family to enjoy. She, and the cookies, dropped to the ground the second her eyes fell upon her husband, eyes filled with tears of overwhelming joy. Victor slumped down against the door, his eyes welling with tears, hand covering part of his face as he too was taken down by this moment. Alice rose a moment later and sprinted across the room, bumping through all obstacles, her arms grasping around Victor as she collapsed into his lap in tears. The noise summoned his children, Julia and Rocky, one from the kitchen as well and another upstairs. They fell together as a family and rejoiced with their reunion, all clinging to Victor as he struggled to hold all three. As Victor opened his mouth to speak, he awoke.
Flames of undulating pain scrapped across his body as he opened his eyes to the unfamiliar room once more. Their were two figures this time, one man who was holding him down while the woman prepared a syringe. Victor's eyes were the only free to move so they looked around frantically, searching for anything. In the doorway, behind the others, stood a man who seemed impartial to the ordeal. Faintly, though there was a sign of curiosity, this man's gaze fixated on Victor and no one else. His attire was that of a doctor but his gaze was wild and sharp. Other's moved past him but still he only looked at Victor. He began to lose consciousness once more and this put a smile on the man in the doorways face. Victor was relieved that the pain was subsiding yet nothing else made sense and he could no longer resist the fog that was caressing his entire being. He felt into sleep once more. The man in the doorway watched a little longer until he was the last. He clicked the light off to the room and shut the door. Victor was left in silence and darkness.
First off, this album cover has striking similarities to Skogen's Vittra album art https://skogensweden.bandcamp.com/album/vittra which may have been one of the reasons I was also drawn to Gloosh and their most recent release. Regardless, I dig both pieces of artworks and am equally floored by how creative and wonderful these artists are.
New to this forgotten place, but not to me, Gloosh peaked my interest some time ago after showcasing Grima and Pathway. Hailing from that cold northern expanse as well, Gloosh howls with a familiar call, something I seem to only find with the likes of the others and it inevitably draws me in. I am either displaced or we hail from the same endless dark woods that I have wandered so often.
Though short, The River is sweet and powerful, as a mighty river should be. At times tranquil and captivating with its intro Rivulets and the outro Stones. It is the rapids and waterfalls within the middle that will grab you, sunder your body, blasting you with the cold essence of our life binding force, both destructive and rejuvenating.
I am torn between The Source and The Estuary yet the showcase falls to the latter since it haunted me first. However, keep points of both would be 6:12 until the end transition from The Source to The Estuary which explodes into life but do not be fooled, the The Source as a whole is wondrous and luring. The Estuary is even better when it follows the previous track making the surge all the better. 2:15 through 7:42 is an absolute wild ride and you would do yourself a disservice by not giving it your ear (really, just listen to the whole track from start to finish but... you know).
Overall, I am left in awe by Gloosh. I appreciate them reaching out early on and their presence here is well overdo however this new release makes it all the better. Do them and yourself a kindness and check out the album. I always offer as much as I can but it still leaves Timewheel to be explored, this being an extension of that creation. Here's to Gloosh and some wicked good forest black metal to cure our week. /,,/
Устье (The Estuary)
Смотри, средь веток пляшет луч
один из солнца сыновей
Горячий яркий белый блик
Проник на поступи ночей
Гляди, вот ночь. И лунный лик
Как старший седовласый брат
Холодной мраморной рукой
Закрыл засов вечерних врат
Из света в темноту,
из темноты на свет
У русла ширина - закат,
а глубина - рассвет
Смотри, как всё рождается, живет
Гляди, как следом дале умирает
Реки той жизни вечный ход
С истока к устью достигает
Look, a ray is dancing in the branches
The one of the Sun sons
Hot bright white flare
Passed the treads of nights
Look, here is the night. The moon face,
Like an older gray-haired brother
With a cold marble hand,
He closed the bolt of the evening gates
From light to dark,
From dark to light.
The width of watercourse is sunset,
And the depth is dawn
Behold how everything is born and lives.
Look how everything then dies
Eternal walk of the River Life
From source it reaches to estuary
A fantastic find, an old tale, and a new scheme... this Metal Monday features the glorious Olli Kivelä with the powerful album Arthur Rex.
King Arthur, Merlin, dragons, war, watery tarts lobbing scimitars... what better fuel for a metal fire. As always, solo artists always grab my attention and Olli Kivelä is a welcome addition to howl through my hallowed halls. Split in twain, Side A and Side B withhold a staggering 37 minutes of prowess and brilliance.
If you are unfamiliar with these characters and tales then I am all the more excited to expose you to a magical time of spirits and steel. As with such a daunting individual track length, I will cherry pick a few tasty parts from Side A to help tantalize and lure you in so that you may be consumed by this epic symphony of blackend brilliance.
One of the most outstanding parts in Side A is from 5:17 - 6:07 where the guitar is absolutely stunning. And to think, I left Side B with an air of mystery and excitement.
A shout out to one of my fellow Bandcamp fiends for bringing this to my attention. Link below for details and support for this impressive solo artist and to offer some new music and wonder to your world. /,,/ (NO YOUTUBE VIDEO :()
Part I: Usurper
The cry of the usurper
In confusion and disorder
He orders to build a castle
for he to fly for refuge
The cry of the usurper
as the castle breaks down
He orders to redo the dreadful work
to escape the vengeance of his master's sons
The cry of a lost soul
of the man without a father
who sings the sad song of destiny
at the end of the old days
The cry of the usurper
all the blood run in vain
He's seeking to fulfill the prophecies
still, the reign will end in blood
The Wizard Once upon a time, there was a king in a faraway land
To escape his prophecy he ordered to build a castle
But when the castle breaks down, the magicians told him that
He needs the blood of a man without a mortal father
Seek out a man with no mortal father
Sprinkle thy castle with his blood
Merlin convicts the magicians and tells the king the truth
As they shake in fear, he prays the king to dig beneath the tower
Deep down under the castle, they discovered a great pool of water
He told the king to command those deep waters to be drained away
False sycophants in fear they stood silent
Merlin reveals the truth and foretells the prophecy
Part III: Prophecy
Underneath the pool
they discovered two dragons
great and huge
now fast asleep
At night they would awake
to fight and tear each other
and their struggle
would shake the ground
Next night they began a fight
The red and the white
Casting fire with their breath
to cause a certain death
Before the red would fall
and the white disappear
the battle raged on
a prophecy to be told
Mountains shall be leveled
Rivers shall run blood
Cities shall be burned
Houses laid in ruins
For red dragon the banishment cometh quickly
Brood of the white dragon will waste the country
They shall drink your blood and burn you in your tower
for you are the traitor, avenged for the murder
Part IV: Father and Son
Honor the fallen with Giant's Dance
Cure the sickness with the stone circle
15 000 men, of power all in vain
moved by the power of wizard's machines
Cloud of fire shaped like a dragon
foretells the ruler of the whole kingdom
Child of the dragon's head made of gold
the most mighty son who all will obey
As the hour draws near the king will be born
Hidden for years a secret kept untold
Armies marching to fight upon the land
and the dragon's head will fall
After the days of the dragon's head
He shall be the king of all the realm
The beardless boy shall rule the lands
and pull the sword from the stone
Archbishop besought Heaven for a sign who should be king of all the realm
though great multitudes of people came, no man could ever
move the sword
He took the sword by its handle and pulled it out of the stone
and the people with one accord cried out long live king Arthur
Part V: Lady Of The Lake
Take the sword you
Gained a sword from the lady of the lake
I give you
Excalibur, the sword of the king
Take the sword
The enemies were slain in great numbers
Merlin scattered them with fire and smoke
Part VI: The War
So the first battle was won but not the war
as eleven kings allied and swore to destroy him
The battle was growing now perilous and hard
Both sides were fighting with rage and fury
King after king, marching their armies
side by side, facing their doom
At the greatest moment of the battle raging on
Merlin rode to the battle with a black horse
By his advice, king Arthur ceased the battle
and send forth heralds to spread the word
Kings have been beaten, left with only honor
Of sixty thousand men so many were slain
Metal Monday CCXCVIII - Emergence
A few days ago, with my playlist on random, Plaguebringer crawled out and assailed me with Three Kings. I was energized and surprised by the power and speed once again having not listened to it for some time. A few more days passed and there came a stirring of strings as Virvum sundered my car and body with Tentacles Of The Sun once again energizing me. As tired as I have found myself lately it was these tunes that were giving me what I was lacking, fueling me with their wondrous design, beckoning me to look once more. And there, waiting for me with a wicked cover was Symbolik. I knew nothing of them but that they fell into a similar category and sound that I was drawn to once more. I clicked play on Dirge of All Creation...
Within a brewing storm, piercing a writhing black ocean, a mountain of magma and stone surged from the sea. The elements clashed at every step, lava screaming upon water, smoke rolling into a turbulent sky where fire and lightning danced with a thunderous dance. This is the image brought forth to me when Symbolik began to tear through the air. It was brilliant madness and I was caught in its instrumentation.
Beginning to end, there is no bad track. This is a monstrous album that will leave you reeling and wanting. From the gate, Augury of Ancients explodes into existence and sets the pace of destructive, unrelenting power (1:16-2:07 is bone shaking goodness). For once, long tracks are not on the menu because if there was a song like this at that length then none of us would survive. To be fair, In Servitude of Silence, Souls of Deception, and Perceptions of Reality are just one long track when listened to in order but each holds their own and are exhausting even though quick. Invoking Oblivion has its own video with lyrics and I highly suggest checking out that bad boy below.
Emergence is just what I needed, something to help fire me up and offer something outside of my usual run through atmospheric black metal. However, I see that there was also an album from nine years earlier (not surprised about the gap when considering the amount of effort this takes) called Pathogenesis that I will have to dive into at some point. Symbolik is top tier as far as an artist in the vein of Progressive Technical Death Metal goes. Give these blood wraiths your attention and I promise you will be rewarded with agony and atrophy induced by machine gun drums and inhuman string mechanics! /,,/
That frigid duo of woodland wraiths called Grima once again echoes from the hidden timbers, calling once more with a familiar yet astounding tune. Check out the remastered version of Devotion To Lord to hear the power and prowess of this pair as they grow and improve on their craft. Awesome and simple video design to enhance this atmospheric rendition. /,,/
In a bit of a lull with my metal pursuit however I can offer one gem from an artist who has graced these halls before called Pathway (the lame translation I got told me "The Path" yet it has been clarified that it was indeed incorrect although close).
Summoning a most sorrowful piece, Cold Spring is about the current struggle of the world, echoed through the only source of song that truly matters... black metal! These Russian wraiths bring forth a haunting tune of the days we find ourselves, all of us caught up in a chaotic swirl of unknowns and misinformation. It is people like Pathway that help keep the normality and show resilience in the looming shadow of madness that is our lives. I appreciate this creation and will showcase it with pleasure. Steel yourselves and train hard as you listen to the wails of Cold Spring. /,,/
After last weeks surprise split album, I found myself wandering back to Forest Mysticism. Called by that wonderful wood wraith D. once more, we give heed and Hearken. It may only be three tracks long but let me tell you it is a strong trinity. Right out the gate, and our showcase piece, Never Seen Again is an enthralling, powerful song that will cascade you with majesty and might. The title track, Hearken, follows second and, though shorter than the first, is a thunderous one that leads into a wicked end run. Lastly, as is the way with these recent albums, an instrumental piece called Rivers of Silver (seem familiar!?) to leave you to wander and wonder.
Forest Mysticism had already hooked yet this reaffirms this projects promise and prowess. Hearken and wander into this week with bewilderment and renewal by a veteran of their craft. /,,/
Well, somehow... sadly... my elaborate explanation of this album was just eaten... I am furious and don't have the energy to reiterate all that I had. Know this, Runespell brings the hammer, Forest Mysticism brings the thunder. Buckle up you buncha savages for a two part, six track monster to fuel your week. New or familiar, these are tracks that will offer a taste of the prowess from these powerful wraiths. Stricken with sadness at my lost words of grandeur, I leave you with the best gift of all... Wandering Forlorn. /,,/
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal