New black metal has emerged from the northeast: Cemetery Moon.
Cemetery Moon was initially a one-man band created by founder Apparition. After a time working in solitude, the decision was made to bring more musicians into the fold, eventually numbering three: Apparition (vocals, guitar, percussion, synths), Astoroth (bass, synths), and Langeloth (guitar). The music is black metal in overall style, incorporating other lines of thinking as well such as grunge, hardcore, and technical death metal.
Apparition tells us what is behind the new album: “Over the last several years, a giant wave of raw black metal bands has washed over us. From the outset, I was inspired to try my hand at this style but wanted to incorporate some other elements to give listeners something more. Lyrically, I was originally inspired by old stories of New England and all manner of occult mysticism. [O]ver time, however, this evolved into channeling my own experiences and observations about the world. Ideally, you should find a personal meaning in the work that makes it stay with you.”
The set begins with clanging and caution: “Phantasm.” Toward the end of that intro piece, the music rises, presaging “Only Demons,” a fundamental black metal assault with thrumming percussion, trilling rhythm, and hissing vocals. The final half-minute is an eerie cooldown, and then we get a pummeling on “Limitless Contempt.” The rushing surge slows to flooded land suffocating under murky waters, then repeats. “Eyes of the False God” is the longest song of the set, and takes a contemplative initial posture, asking vile questions. There are a number of twists and turns yet to come across a broad spectrum of musicality, each one furthering the cause. The first half of the ten track set ends with the short bit, “You Went the Wrong Way,” a groaning warning of what lurks on side two.
The back half begins with my favorite track on the album, “The Bleak Universal,” which for me has just the right combination of the diverse elements the band has to offer. “Army of Darkness” is a savaging hardcore number that’ll rip your eyelids off if you let it, while “A Voice in the Woods” is on the smoother side, at least at first. “Life’s Enduring Lie” sounds disembodied, and it feels that way, too, as if a chorus of spirits lingers near a crumbling tomb, telling stories. It is a darkly beautiful song. The last nail in the coffin is “I Haven’t Forgotten,” a melancholy serenade of synths. I haven’t heard anything quite like this album so far this year. Give it a listen. Recommended.
Cemetery Moon is out on May 5th – the best place to pick it up is Bandcamp at the link below.
© Wayne Edwards