Fading in and rolling outward this introduction, from deep-green and verdant forests of memory. The Germanic folk tradition channeled, guitar strings a-vibrate with vitality, their tenderness and intimacy undeniable. A timeless soul expression winding like rivers and streams from our common centuries down to gentle fingertips. Nimble drums skip across the sixes, tracing with our stringed poets an exquisite scape of peaks and valleys.
“I don’t belong here, anymore,” hisses our narrating itinerant-spirit, harsh but unapologetic in his shadowing of this pastoral scene. Soon scratchily bittersweet chords and arpeggios arrive, riding an understated blastbeat to an approximation of black menace. “A grey curtain and rain everywhere / Bury me inside the fields, where the grass grows tall,” he pleads. Tom fills and double bass clatter and thrum as an ugly riff descends ominously into uncomfortable stops. Our spectre’s voice grows diaphanous, weary in limbo. “In your arms I could sleep / I cannot sleep / I will never sleep / I will never see you again” he intones at last, his fading words burning away like fog in a bright and promising sun.
As the spirit departs, a return to the elan of the living – and a vision of village life. A tendril stretched across the axis of spring and fall, sun-fed rebirth or retreat to home and hearth – poles poised to reverse over a half-portion of our annual revolution. Accents on the upbeat here and there, a groove and joyful dance, wooden soles on the town square’s worn cobbles. Planting or else the harvest, a humbling in hope or thanks before the ancient forces without.
After, an ambiguity. Guitars rings beneath stars cold and bright and bearing no man knows what in their patient transmissions. Small and meaningless we are in this great march, but often connected in mysterious ways with great and eternal forces.
Genuine – and genuinely moving – a true black metal ballad; the sound of November Rain washing away corpse paint. A folksome and serene guitar introduction gives way to a thudding, martial buildup, which in turn crests into a rich verse. “I close my eyes outside in the rain / as the day draws to an end,” our narrator begins, earnest despite the goblin rasp of his vocals. “I will wait for you by the fire / when you approach the glade / Together we’ll watch the dance of the flames / That remind us of old and precious tales.” Ah! Ageless pagans in love! Grown together, treefingers intertwined against the silent and abiding darkness at their backs.
After a pensive interlude, we ascend! into a section of true and towering black metal might. Blastbeats abound as separated tremolo combines to articulate poignant uplift, edged with vast overtones of melancholy. Tomorrow’s plans are discussed. “At dawn we will wander over the hills / When mist rises from the dale / With the gentle waft of the gale.”
The figures crest the rise and pull back their cowls, warmed by the sun, and by their own stirred memories. “The air smells like great forgotten times / When eagles reigned the empyreal skies,” One remarks. Ah but with the light, there is ever tempering shadow. “And wolves roamed through moonlight nights,” a supplicant reminisces. Moving to soft acoustical tones the figures recede, shadows stretching in the sunset as they vanish back to their hallowed woods.