10:44 AM EDT, July 12, 2012
I'm going to give you the biggest understatement ever: There's a lot of great music floating around on the internet. However, with all of the amazing music so readily available to you, the listener, there are very few times when an artist comes along with an album that just simply blows you away. For me one of those artists is Blood Of The Black Owl.
Good luck finding much information on Blood Of The Black Owl. A Google search will even reveal that Wikipedia took down their page on the band because they couldn't verify any of the info that was there. But here's what I've gleaned - Blood Of The Black Owl is a one-man project based out of Washington state. Light The Fires! is their fourth full-length album and from what I've listened to so far, may be their best to date.
The history of metal is littered with one-man projects with some seriously mixed results. When the next chapter is written this will go down as one of the best ever. The description that you get on the album's Bandcamp page includes tags like "black metal", "dark metal", "ambient", etc. While there are certain songs, such as "Sundrojan" that absolutely fall into the post black metal/dark ambient/doom metal sphere there are also tracks such as "Wind Eye" and "Rise and Shine" that could find a home on someone's 'meditation' or 'relaxation' mix. Even at its darkest, this album has a certain spiritual element to it that you simply do not find on many metal releases. The opening track "Caller of Spirits" for example, is one of the most bizarre and at certain points, unsettling tracks I've ever heard. But at the same time there is a certain vibe to this track that makes you realize that you are about to take a spiritual journey unlike any you've been on before.
Neurosis has obviously played a heavy influence on Blood Of The Black Owl, as has the mysticism and music of the Native peoples of the Northwestern corner of the U.S. That should give you at least some benchmark of a description for an artist that really defies conventional tags. It's peaceful, introspective and yet a little bit dangerous all at the same time - exactly what a good spiritual journey should consist of if you ask me. This album is highly recommended for fans of Neurosis, various forms of music indigenous to North America and any type of ambient/drone/doom/funeral doom music.
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