Depressive black metal and I have had our differences, this has been well documented over the course of Resounding Footsteps. I like a very specific few and generally view the rest with frustrated resignation. So much of the subgenre is shrug worthy, half assed attempts to put out something “kvlt” without any sort of integrity or understanding of what kvlt entails. However, there are a few that really know how to do it. Some Happy Thoughts of Quebec, Anti and ColdWorld in the mainstream, and Rive of Spain. The man behind Rive might be one of the most prolific artists in the deep underground at the moment. He has roughly eight billion projects going that all have a unique sound, origin, and style. Most recently, WIldcrow and teamed up with AIice Stargazer to create Stormgaze, putting out a demo called Self Hate Cocktail about a month ago.
Good depressive black metal is hard to find, female vocals that don’t hinge on the knowledge that they are female vocals is rare too, together you have a recipe for something actually unique and interesting.
I’ve reviewed several of Wildcrow’s projects and I’ve grown to have a lot of respect for his vision of metal. He’s talented and enthusiastic. I’ve come to expect a lot from his projects, and Stormgaze was no different. I went into the demo wanting to be entertained. Did I come out feeling that way? Let’s find out.
With five songs and about twenty minutes of music, I think it’s safe to say Self Hate Cocktail was time well spent. I expected a lot of raw production and, while I got that in spades, it didn’t interfere with the actual music. Too often depressive black metal projects put aesthetic and atmosphere over the music and their lack of talent shows. The music is damn good on Self Hate Cocktail, it’s got melody, harmony, and atmosphere. If the album were just the music, it would be a great success. It has the raw edge we look for in depressive black metal, it’s angry and it’s virulent. The guitar shows a lot of range, something I didn’t expect to find here but damn am I happy with it. The vocals are excellent too. Too often, female vocals are gimmicky and lack the strength that’s required to elevate the music. On Self Hate Cocktail, that issue is nonexistent. The vocals are raspy and ferocious. They have an intensity that fuels the power of the music, creating a perfect blend of vocals and music.
Self Hate Cocktail is just the first offering from Stormgaze; this is a project with a future. The music was engaging and entertaining. It felt familiar yet it was unique at the same time. I enjoyed and I think anyone who likes depressive black metal, or raw black metal in general, will enjoy it.
Highlights: Blessed by Pain, Desolation
For Fans Of: Rive, Some Happy Thoughts, Horrenda
Support the artists!
Listen, Like, Share, Comment, Recommend, Spread the Word
- Back in the Silence
- Blessed by Pain
Self Hate Cocktail was released independently through Bandcamp on August 12th, 2017