Ambient and black metal, it’s often a match made in heaven. Sometimes that match is a little harder to create than others. Blending such wildly different genres is sort of like trying to fit round holes into square pegs. But somehow, through some sort of aural sorcery, they work together beautifully. They share a lot of moods and emotions that cane help correlate to a melding of sound. ||| achieved this with their demo “Lines and Lands.”
It’s a short EP that barely registers half an hour but musically and thematically that’s all it needed to come full circle. The major theme in Lines and Legends is winter. Winter is the easiest season for black metal to relate to. Besides the fact that black metal was born in the frozen mountains and valleys of Norway, it’s hard to write about how evil and grim summer is, right? Back on point, winter is the season of black metal because it’s bleak, it’s lonely, and it’s hard. Winter is not the season of the light hearted, it’s the season of beauty shaded as death.
That’s is precisely why this album work as well as it does. Lines and Lands starts at the end of autumn, musically, with a ambience that’s more akin to folk music than dark ambient but it melds rather quickly with black metal that gets the dark ambient part right. It’s beautiful just like the first image of the fallen snow as it covers the green and browns and golds of autumn. The entire landscape is white; the horizon is lost in the snow. The music turns slowly from the glory and beauty of winter to the bleakness and loneliness.
The second track, or fourth really, starts in the dead of winter, the loneliness, the cold, and the grim specter of death have set it and the listener is trapped, just like the music itself. The entire experience is trapped in the ice and snow. That has its own beauty but it’s a lot harder to see, the music is mournful with just enough feedback to be considered noise rather than drone (drone would have shattered the whole illusion), it all feeds back to the idea of watching the winter eventually strangle the life out of the landscape in a violent show.
||| shows some surprising musicianship as well. Lines and Lands was a unique experience that I think helped my longing for winter to come again. I listened to it in the dead of summer in 104 heat so it was refreshing to say the least.
Listen and support their fledgling effort!