Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.
V▲LH▲LL - “BORTOM FJÄLL”
▲LH▲LL is one of the bands that I have been following pretty closely for some time. They did a remix on my first witchey EP Awaken The Alchemist and I have been in random contact with them for some time - they are very nice mysterious people. Their new album Leaning On Shadows is out now on Artoffact Records and I could not be more pleased for them. Artoffact has a great selection of diverse music and does really well for their artists. Leaning On Shadows is a solid album that plays from start to finish like the most beautiful elements of my dreams. It is dark, spooky, and has emotion behind every song. “Bortom Fjäll” is no exception; deep bass lines and thumpy drum beats mixed with great orchestral elements and big crashing symbols that create a fluid oceanic feeling that makes me want to venture out on the dark waters of high sea just to feel the calm breeze of the morning on my face. Maybe I’m dramatic, but it is true.
The Devil and the Universe - “Stygian”
The Devil and the Universe is one of my go-to bands when I want something that will make the crowd pulse on the dancefloor but I want to keep it as spooky as possible. I love their sound - a weird mix of tribal dance beats, harpsichord, and nightmare gypsy movements. “Stygian” especially, from their newest album Haunted Summer, gives me a lot of pleasure because it appeals to my need for thumpy beats and still maintains a rather old-world-style occult feeling - which is pretty hard to do when you do not have any vocals.
Paul Dee' Laek - “White Flag”
There is a sense of urgency to this song that I don’t feel like you usually get from witch house and the adjacent genres. The song threatens to be slow, starting with long aahs and heavy bass, before kicking into its prime gear, a fast moving beat that features trill high hats and a fast, shuffling beat. It’s this quick paced beat that sets up the catharsis of the breakdown, where the aahs take the forefront again while a half time beats bangs out back, before slipping away into nothing, a brief calm before slamming back into the quick shuffle of the first section of the song.
Mare Cognitum - “Weaving The Thread Of Transcendence”
When I want to listen to black metal, I want something that feels like it has a story. There are movements to it, changes in feeling and emotion. On this, Mare Cognitum delivers. This 13 minute epic begins slowly, with ambient drones a light guitar work, before striking out into a heavier, but still slow moving atmosphere. All this setup pays compliment to the coming storm of tremolo picking and blast beats in which our lyricist weaves his tale of the void of space and time. If you want your black metal to tell you a story, to feel symphonic in its delivery, then this is a band you should definitely check out.