What starts as an American folkish kind of weird dream suddenly turns into lo-fi style black metal with distorted shrieks, filtered layers over layers of cleaner, still filtered guitars and a bit annoying pounding that resembles a blast beat. You could think it’s just another cavernous black metal act. Hell no, this is actually good stuff.
Starting here: the sound is not wrong. Well the drum sound kinda is, but you even get accustomed to it. In fact, I think that’s the only reason to call this lo-fi black metal, aside from the distorted vocals. The guitars sound very nice indeed, and there’s a lot of understandable layers once you let the music flow and enter your mind. You just need a slight training for it, or at least that happened to me, it sounded quite harsh to me (though still interesting) until I saw a light and separate melodies started to appear in each and every song. Some are more complicated, anyway, and some contain more detailed passages with up to three guitars, a grand atmosphere-ish bass and the cello. Oh, the cello. And there’s some more sounds, too, like acoustic guitars when you don’t expect such. And the feedback. The arrangements are maybe what makes the best for the music of Book of Sand, aside from the melodies which sometimes are very nice and atmospheric.
That’s a cold atmosphere, for sure, black and bleak; listen to the third song for example (The Righteous is the Enemy of the Natural), where just one bended cello note plus other two make a distressful start alone, soon turned into a violent cry. The melodies are so good alone that you won’t mind the intriguing drum sound. It will disappear and you won’t really notice. I think it’s actually better, the drums sound like a clock’s tic-tac, only with time passing at eight times its normal speed. It’s good that those clicks don’t make a lot of unnecesary noise, and that’s what justifies the ‘Filtered’ up there, in the avantgenre section of the review. This metal is filtered like the blackest of coffees, filtered to get the most out of the best, only the pure essence of the music, leaving behind all unwanted deposits. I don’t know if it’s intended like that but I’m enjoying it, thinking that way, also because this is the kind of music where I don’t miss sensational drum fills, I’m here just for the chainsaws.
Well, actually, the first song that really cought my attention was number 5 (European History is a History of Rot – awesome title). It’s simpler than the rest, has a doom rock feel, but features a crazy cello playing like no other, starting calm and getting stronger and more wicked. After that, there’s an instrumental interludium and then one song that could easily be the best song, To Live Forever. This is like pagan metal could be. In some of my dreams.
Release: Late 2010
Label: Paradigms Recordings
Avantgenre: Filtered Clockworkish Celloed Black Metal
Origin: US of A
Official site: http://bookofsand.bandcamp.com/
Review online since: 31.05.2011 / 14:26:22
01 – No Excuses For Fascist Sympathy