Hope and black metal are two terms that perhaps all too often appear incongruous. But just as quickly as one notices the plethora of run-of-the-mill black metal bands, so should they take note of those that maintain a good balance of keeping the old-school sound while maintaining their own identity.
So here we give you US-based, Nan Elmoth with their ltd. edition 4 track album, Void Serpent.
From label Pacific Threnodies…“Void Serpent’s four long-form black journeys seem to draw equally from modern American styles such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Weakling as they do traditional European sounds like Drakthrone and Windir.”
Much of the material is pretty much break-neck paced tremolo picked black metal. But in such moments as the second half of track 1, “Purification,” there is an infusion of doom. Vocals are straight-up second-wave abyssal screams. The recording is full of unexpected chord progressions, thereby keeping a good balance between traditional second-wave sound and the band’s own stamp.
The stand-out track for me is track 4, “To Walk the Path” as it seems to encompass all that makes this release really good; the black and doom metal elements, the twin guitar layers, strange chord progressions, etc. As I mentioned in the opening, hope isn’t something you find often in black metal. But let us hope that artists such as Nan Elmoth keep the old school sound alive while continuing to make their own mark.
Void Serpent is limited to 100 copies and printed with a 5-panel Jcard. It is also available as a digital download.