Mor | Liholesie | Stielas Storhett - Death Comes From the North
Progressive Black Metal | Pagan Ambient.
We went pretty crazy for Stielas Storhett's Vandrer... record, reviewed way back in 2007, unabashedly proclaiming it BLACK METAL RECORD OF THE YEAR. We recently revisited it, and fuck, it still destroys, so much so that it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be black metal of the record of the year no matter what year it came out and no matter what records it was up against. We've been hankering for more ever since. And finally, the Dark Lord has answered out prayers.
Two tracks, both unreleased, both completely amazing and like the full length before, pretty fucked up and freaky. The weirdness here though is more the strange almost major key melodies that swirl around the loping blackened dirge. The guitars are angular, buzzy, the drums pounding, the vocals more a sort of drawled howl, but here they're set amidst some strangely poppy and melodic guitar leads, the two parts mesh seamlessly. but still it's hard to wrap our ears around it. Like a Stielas Storhett pop jam, a Khold like groove, still black, but damn is it catchy and poppy. Later the track gets a little darker, and chuggier, but still the sound is strangely epic and majestic, and black hearts be damned, weirdly happy sounding. Which in itself is bizarre, but beyond that, it's a pretty stellar slab of melodic blackness.
The other Stielas track is more buzzy and frenetic, but still strangely major key, even some bad ass almost Iron Maiden sounding guitar harmonies. The track veers back and forth between more traditionally grim blasts, and as if SS mainman Damian T.G. is struggling sonically, a musical battle between good and evil, pop and metal, depression and misery, effusive positivity and happiness, who knows, maybe he got a girlfriend since last time we heard from SS. Either way, it's a strange development but, man do we like it. Been listening to these two tracks nonstop!
While two new tracks from Stielas Storhett is more than enough reason to pick this up, this three way split does actually feature two other Russian bands we had never heard before. Liholesie, whose sound is a sort of Pagan folk, percussive and dramatic and a bit Renn Faire sounding, but pretty intense and emotional nonetheless, and Mor, whose sound is a strange blend of melodic post rock, and abstract black metal, leaning more toward the former most of the time, we hear bits of Katatonia's epic doom pop. maybe a little Lifelover (although nowhere near as strange), heavy, super well produced, darkly dramatic, even at it's blastiest and buzziest, their sound is still rife with pop and gloom and a gloriously dark tension, although their final track manages to be pretty black metal indeed.
A truly weird comp, but a winner for sure, more Stielas Storhett obviously, and two more cool obscure Russian bands to quite possibly obsess over....
1 Лихолесье - Варвары (Рати Севера) 6:29
2 Мор - Кольский Крест 18:47
3 Stielas Storhett - Taedium Vitae 10:40
4 Stielas Storhett - Sic Itur Ad Astra… 8:36
5 Лихолесье - Безбрежная Даль Льда И Холода 6:47