Like Justin Broadrick project Final, or post-Napalm Death project Lull, Suuri Shamaani attempts to shape sound itself using overlapping drones and ambient noises to create internal harmonies. Mysteerien Maailma (commonly called the “mysterious mailman” album for its resemblance to that phrase in English) represents a more ritualistic and ordered vision of that approach.
Those who enjoy the later music of Beherit, especially Electric Doom Synthesis, may appreciate the extension of ideas here. Like other post-black metal ambient project Neptune Towers, Suuri Shamaani discards what we recognize as music to shape an adventure or topography out of sound.
It is more like poetry made with discovered noise organized into a music-like language than it is composed music as we know it. Because its sonic texture is lighter than that of booming guitars or bright keyboards, Mysteerien Maailma requires a quieter listening environment and more investment of attention from the listener.
The University of York in the United Kingdom will be hosting the Metal and Marginalisation: Gender, Race, Class and Other Implications for Hard Rock and Metal symposium on April 11, 2014. The topic is marginalization as understood through the concept of Otherness and expressed through the categories in the title.
According to the organizers of this symposium, “metal frequently casts itself as a marginalised group in mainstream society, with fans and musicians often reveling in their outsider status which is reinforced by references to non-conforming traits (Satanism, for example).” The strong social traits that result and the rituals enforcing them create “a dominant framework of a classed/gendered/sexualised/racialised identity, marking belonging to the ‘imaginary community’ of metal.”
The symposium’s organizations have issued a Call For Papers requesting 300-word proposals by December 16. These are open to the metal community as well as academics, so if you want to speak/write on these topics, or even better channel them from relatively standard academic fare to something more “metal,” get writing.
Sometime after 1994, black metal lost its spark. Hvis Lyset Tar Oss had elevated black metal to its highest possible form and observers were left with nowhere to go. Thus began the ongoing deconstruction of the genre and the blurring of its boundaries.
Like many other contemporaneous black metal bands, Cosmic Church reaches into areas beyond black metal, however in its favor it does it without destroying the texture of the music. A fusion of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (vocals are directly copied from this era) and what the cool kids these days are calling “post-metal”, the band presents a version of black metal somewhat comparable to a murky glass obscuring a beautiful painting, with poignant moments lost amid a lack of focus and coherency. Melodies briefly break free of rather pedestrian riffing and grant hope that a realization is being reached; before aimless motion dissolves whatever forward progress had been made.
For its genre, it’s a solid release. It’s listenable and has a few nice moments, but this album has nothing that will leave a lasting impression. If the band could isolate their best melodies and craft an album from them, rather than allowing the focus to be on irrelevancy; the end result would be far superior.