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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Austere-To Lay Like Old Ashes(2009)

To Lay Like Old Ashes was one of my favorite metal albums of 2009. It's hard to think of Black Metal as beautiful sometimes, but this Australian band captures that easily. The music is atmospheric, cold, desolate, and beautiful all at the same time. The most important thing to me in music(and film) is atmosphere, and it here by the bucket load. Almost like a musical translation of Werner Herzog's classic adaptation of Nosferatu, sometimes it can be suffocating. If you are not a Metal fan, I suppose that the vocals here can be off putting, but they really capture that agonized feeling of desolation. The track "This Dreadful Emptiness" is one of the best atmospheric BM songs since Burzum's mighty "Dunkelheit". There are moments of clean vocals here and there and the album closes with "Coma II", a 20 minute ambient/acoustic song that is beautiful. It's almost a respite for all the emotional torment you endure through the first part of the record, and I revel in every moment of the misery.

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