Spawned from the depth’s of LA’s Black Twilight Circle, Shataan’s War Cry Lament highlights what the BTC does right; crafting truly alien soundscapes through the lens of black metal. Whether it’s the amorphous blackened drone of Kuxan Suum, to the howling abyssal rage of Arizmenda, the BTC continue to innovate with every release. Thematically, War Cry Lament is a mournful work with a focus on the annihilation of native peoples. With song titles like “Those Who Died for the Ghost Dance” and “Trail of Tears” it’s interesting to hear a black metal releases that avoids the typical mythic archetypes of Northern European folklore.
Melancholy flute opens this album, an instrument which fits very well with the mournful lyrical content. Bass heavy leads with folky guitar follow, and by the time of the vocals kick in, which are a hateful mix of almost spoken word mixed with howling shouts, this album has you. It’s blackened folk done the Black Twilight Circle way, and it absolutely crushes.
The production on this is especially notable. The bass is high in the mix, intricate leads mixing with the pounding drums interplay with the twangy (dare I say surf rock sounding?) guitar. The vocals are low in the mix, but powerful. The absolute best example of this is on the last track, “Descent of the Spirit”. As ripping guitar and drum intertwine over the bass, we hear Shataan howling “Bury my body/Bury my mind/Bury my soul”, as the energy builds to a frenetic pace.
War Cry Lament is currently available via the Crepusculo Negro webstore. Insert is printed on high quality silver cardstock. My copy also came with a charm made out of twisted barbed wire lashed to a small piece of wood, crafted by Shataan himself. With War Cry Lament, a haunting, elegiac beast of a release, the Black Twilight Circle continues to push the boundaries of black metal into dark frontiers.