Atmospheric Black Metal

All posts tagged Atmospheric Black Metal

Black metal’s fascination with grim forests is well known and bands like Drudkh and Raventale have perfected the art of creating atmospheric black metal that resonates the whispers in the woods. Perhaps it’s the nihilistic outlook of the genre in general which causes it to be a perfect fit as a theme for old, desolate forests. Old Forest from the UK keep no secrets about their love for the woods, with the band name inspired by a primordial forest from Tolkien’s middle earth. ‘Dagian’ is the band’s third full length (their second after they regrouped in 2007) that consists of four atmospheric black metal tracks that would serve as the ideal music for trekking through the wilderness on a cold winter day.

Old Forest Dagian

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One of my fellow scribes summarized his distaste for atmospheric black metal as follows: “Whenever someone mentions atmospheric black metal, I automatically know that there is going to be a lot of standing around and doing nothing”. While this is applicable to most of today’s bands that overdo the repetition part, not all bands can be generalized like this. Done right, this form of music can result in something grim and beautiful. Case in point is the new record from Raventale, titled ‘Dark Substance of Dharma’. The seventh full length from this Ukranian one man project takes a thematic shift towards Indian and Tibetan philosophy, and the music showcases a fine balance of atmosphere, synth melody and guitar riffs.

Raventale Dark Substance of Dharma

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The Indian culture has very rich mythologies and philosophies that can aptly serve as the theme for a metal album. Ironically, there are more bands outside India that take inspiration from these themes than  bands within India itself. The latest band to do so, is the one man atmospheric black metal outfit Raventale from Ukraine. The band’s upcoming full length ‘Dark Substance of Dharma’ deals with the philosophies of karma and dharma. Playing a style of doom flavoured atmospheric black metal, the music has a transcendental feel to it and is perfect for talking about these subject matters.


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