Tag Archives: atmospheric black metal

Underground Sounds: Cân Bardd – Nature Stays Silent

Label: Northern Silence Productions
Band: Cân Bardd
Origin: Switzerland

Nature is never really silent, but sometimes you find yourself in a spot where only the silent humming, gentle trickling of water and wind is what reaches you. That is where Cân Bardd takes you on their very first full length, which has a cover that kind of gives away something of what you can expect.

The Geneva natives have been at it for 2 years. The band consists of two members, namely Dylan Watson and Malo Civelli, who both share membership of the band Kaatarakt. That means the folky, traditional themes in their music are not really coming out of nowhere, but a more subtle take is definitely there on this recording.

A medieval, folky intro starts the record, including the ambient sounds required. Slightly dungeon synthy keys enrich the sound and create an extra layer of grandeur. The launch into the atmospheric sound is black metal with a lot of space. The sound is like a valley with a lot of open air for it to breathe in between on ‘My Ancestors’. The folk music never really leaves and even more, it takes the forefront on ‘An Evolving Painting’ with a strings effect.

Though the black metal parts of songs can sound dense and heavy, there’s always an element of condensed force to it. The sound never gets the full space of the spectrum, so folky passages and soothing synths are always at the edges. For example, check the song ‘Océan’, which harrowing cries and silent intermezzo’s, but also the waxing of the waves and burly drums of war. On ‘A Gift of Nature’, we leave the album in smooth tones, pleasant and warm.

A remarkable record by Cân Bardd, hard to really pin down as a black metal record but captivating nonetheless. Enjoyable to day the least!

Underground Sounds: Veldes – The Bitterness Prophecy

Label: Independent
Band: Veldes
Origin: Slovenia

With ‘Ember Breather’, Veldes released one of the most haunting and grand black metal albums I’ve heard in recent times. Just last April the group, which is Tilen Šimon, came with a new record titled ‘The Bitterness Prophecy’. Where the last record was autumn, this is the winter.

Veldes is quite a productive band with a specific aesthetic, which I really like. The minimalism in the compositions offers something very comprehensive and easy going for the listener. Not everyone seems to enjoy this evenly much, but I think it creates a particular sound that may not be as dense and hectic but carries a straight forward feeling and emotion with it.

The album is not one with short, bursting songs, but long epics full of swooping passages and high peaks. There’s a tranquility to it, as there is to the forest in the winter times. The music simply soars, while the rhythm section drives the sound ever onward with fierce, but controlled drums. There are languid passages, to really dream away with. There is a lot of beauty here with beautiful melodies and a warm melancholy.

I particularly love ‘Seeking The Land Beyond’, as it is the perennial quest for most listeners of this music style. To escape into a different realm for even the briefest of times. Veldes takes you there. ‘Ancient Remedy’ is the shortest track on the album, but then again it is an instrumental break of peaceful piano music before we launch into ‘Hollow Antlers’. Now there’s a ferocious climax to a great record with a big finale of hard hitting drums and warm guitar parts. The drums sometimes sound a bit lifeless I have to say, but the overall effect stands tall.