Living Temples - “Sól
While doing some research for our interview with Liste Noire, I found that Kalle Fagerberg, who plays guitar and some keys in the newest version of Liste Noire, also records under the solo moniker Living Temples. Sól, the opening track to the first EP, is catchy and runs down a line of heady bass, lofi synths, and a great overall vocal delivery. It calls back to the older minimal goth rock that sticks out to me as a direct turning point for the genre - bands like Joy Division and some of the heavier Bauhaus come to mind - and for me, to when I really started to listen to gothic music.
The debut Living Temples EP, The Pickpocket, is out now on their Bandcamp.
Hologram_ - “Thirteen Theorems”
Hologram_ is back with a second full-length album, which is something that I have been anticipating all year, and it is all of the elements that I hoped it would be amped up to their maximum. What made Geometrical Keys great was the sense of rhythm that drove the songs forward and the way that sense of rhythm sometimes broke completely, only to rebuild itself from nothing to an incredibly epic new version of where you thought the song was going. “Thirteen Theorems” is a good example of these elements taken to a new level because it takes some of these glitchy rhythmic elements, combines them with some sawtoothed synths, and then builds the tension. This album is slower in some senses, but also hits a lot harder than the first album, which I think is a good way to progress the sound that worked so well before to a slightly different and interesting tone.
Hologram_’s new album, Amen: Requiem For Heart Fragment, is out now on Audiotrauma Records and Ant-Zen Mailorder.
Darkher - “Hollow Veil”
In “Hollow Veil”, Darkher draws influences from folk and doom to create a heavy and haunting track. There are a lot of little subtle things that Darkher does to build the track’s atmosphere. Underneath the strumming guitar, there are soft trilling string instruments coming in and out; their reverb leaves a soft sort of presence, a sort of silent howl. The vocal delivery accentuates this unsettling sound; not quite a whisper, not quite fully released - the feeling of holding back creates a tension in the sound that makes the heavy guitars and drums that follow it feel that much more impactful.
Darkher is Jayn H. Wissenberg’s doomy folk project. Her latest album, Realms, is available on Bandcamp.
Saor - “Hearth”
This is really a beautiful track. Starting with strumming guitars, fiddles, rolling drums, and a strong atmospheric set of strings swelling in the background, Saor transitions into heavier celtic tinged guitar riffs, before dropping fully into blast beats and tremolo picking. The lyrics, said by the author to be inspired by traditional Scottish poetry, paint a beautiful portrait of someone who cares deeply for their home, but feels lost in it. This melancholy is often echoed by the soft breaks where Saor dips back into slowly strummed guitars and somber strings. They also are a reminder of how fraught listening to black metal can feel; the themes, while universal in feeling, could easily be mistaken for themes used by the apoliteic music of neo-fascist movements. I want to be clear: I don’t think Saor is making that sort of music; it is just unfortunate that so many of these universal themes have been made suspicious by those who are.
Saor is an atmospheric black metal project from Scotland. Their latest album, Guardians, is available on Bandcamp.