It can be challenging to keep up with all of the releases of any given year. There are always so many amazing and talented folk putting out their work on a monthly basis that it is easy to get lost among them– even this early in the year. So, here’s your chance to catch up if you currently aren’t up to date with what has been happening over at Sol y Nieve. Late January of this year Sol y Nieve released tapes: The Lady In The Lake, by Nemorensis, and Anouof Thwo, by Hellébore. Since I am going to be talking about two different albums I’ll be sure to keep it short, sweet, and to the point– that point being: ‘don’t be a dummy; check this shit out!’
If you just so happen to be into raw, droney, atmospheric black metal, The Lady In The Lake by Nemorensis might be right up your alley. This one track album is nearing half an hour of gritty, noisey, chilling black metal. It’s relentless, mean, cold, harsh, and mystical. My favorite part about the work is the transitions that Nemorensis takes the listener through. The track takes off as a drone piece, that weaves itself into endless gloom and doom black metal riffing with echoing screams. But the songs landing is one that is very folkish and ritualistic sounding in nature. It makes me think a lot about the birthing and dying of man. I have noticed that it is becoming more difficult for me to use words to accurately express the sensation that music like that pf The Lady In The Lake evokes. The track is very meditative in a way that is both hallowing and chaotic (if that makes any sense at all). It is really a prime example of music intrinsically being able to describe existence, or human experience, in a way that is more powerful, and more full, than that of human language–which in many cases falls terribly short. You will not regret taking thirty minutes out of your day to full digest the vastness of this work, that I can assure you.
Anouof Thwo is the debut full-length album of Hellébore. The album starts off in such a way that the listener is taken on a slow, droning, trip through the depths of the universe. This space-like atmosphere is then blended with killer shredding, sweet beats and , cripplingly despairing vocals to make what may be, quite possibly, the best shit to get weird to. The whole package is extremely… extraterrestrial right down to the synth. Aootw, the second track off the album, has to be one of the hottest jammers I’ve heard this year– a track worthy of being high up on the playlist if anyone was ever down to throw a wild BM dance party (sorry, I know Black Metal is serious business, and not fun ever, and that dance parties are totally false… but still). Each song flows together perfectly, like an story describing a dark astral journey. Much like The Lady In The Lake, this is an album that has been very hard for me to write about for me, I think because there are so many different things going on. It is lo-fi as fuck, and super gritty, but at the same time there is this endless beautiful and warm quality that wraps itself around and echos into each wave of audio that is emitted from the speakers while listen. It is a truly strange and gorgeous work of audial art.
Both The Lady In The Lake and Anouof Thwo were released by Sol y Nieve on January 27th, 2014. And if you’ve yet to check them out, now you can go ahead and redeem yourself for having dropped the ball. Sol y Nieve is definitely a label to keep your eyes on, as the work that is put out never fails to be unceasingly genuine–like a fresh of breath air.