Just because an album is short does not mean that it is without potency or vibrance. I have experienced this many times over the years. Half an hour of music is more than enough to pull the listener in and give them an experience that they will not forgot. Recently this was proven again when I listened to Fiendlord’s first full length album “Neuromancy.” At just over thirty-six minutes, this album showcases what the band is capable of and exactly what their sound is going to be.
Just what is neuromancy though? I first came into contact with the word reading the sci fi novel “The Neuromancer” and though that’s a story for another time altogether, sufficive to say, neuromancy is the power of the mind, over the mind, and through the mind. In short it’s the power of great intelligence (no not the Doctor Who villain) over the lesser. It’s a title perfect for a band that draws much of its influence from Lovecraft and occultism.
The black metal here is a mixture of symphonic with ambient, which means it’s a swirl mess of beautiful sounds against an uneasy backdrop. In a way, Fiendlord is almost space metal but not quite, the atmosphere is not there, the album doesn’t have the endless echoing sound that is characteristic of space metal but it does have that sense of wonder and terror, as if we are soaring through our own subconscious and finding all the horrors that we’ve locked away.
All the instruments are played by one member of this two-man troupe and he has a good grasp on each of them, winding guitars with haunting keys well enough to give the listener a surreal experience. The vocals, too, are solid. They reminded me a lot of the Rankin/Bass Gollum voice used by Brother Theodore.
All in all, it was a very solid debut album for Fiendlord, I think the Great Outer Ones would be proud of it. They have things that they will want to shore up in terms of production and mixing, making sure each instrument is clear and precise, but they have a very good starting position. They have great talent and “Neuromancy” is worth listening to.
Listen and support!