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Aleynmord – The Blinding Light

The Blinding Light
by Gary Hernandez at 07 September 2020, 7:35 AM

ALEYNMORD is an Atmospheric Black Metal project out of Portland, Oregon. I guess you could call them a band but there are only two members. You know, a couple is two, a few is “not many but some,” a shit load is “a lot,” and a band is more than two. Okay that last one is all me, but I think it works. They formed back in 2018 when the world was sane, and given that they are based in Portland, that carries extra punch. On August 28, 2020 they released their debut album, “The Blinding Light.”

The release is short for an album and long for an EP. It comprises four tracks and varies from acoustic and synth passages to blackened riffs and demonic vocals. Interspersed throughout are a variety of natural field recordings — e.g. falling rain, running water, cawing birds. Promo material indicates that thematically the album seeks to convey “the many different feelings one can experience in a self-imposed isolation” separated from the metropolitan and submersed in nature. I wouldn’t say that Atmospheric Black Metal is what I get when I’m in nature; it’s more what I might expect to get when I explore abandoned mental asylums and prisons. Regardless, “The Blinding Light” is a solid album.

What makes “The Blinding Light” interesting is the contrast between the acoustic movements and the riveting lead guitar solos. I’m being specific here. What isn’t so interesting about the album are the standard Black Metal tremolo, muted drums, and screeching vocals. It’s not that these movements aren’t good, it’s just that they’re common. I also have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw the drum work was programmed. I know that takes skill and shouldn’t be dismissed, but I do like acoustic drums. And I think there is a kind of disingenuity at play when you get natural field recordings but programmed drumming.

Okay, with all that said, I did like this album. Every song has at least one section that I really soaked into. My favorite tracks were “Wounded Monolith,” with its exploratory acoustics, partially clean vocals, and haunting whistling; “Poetry Of Marrow And Rot” which has some very good riffage and lead guitar work; and the title-track, “The Blinding Light,” which is the one song that cinches the Atmospheric in this album. I wish I could tell you about the lyrics, but they were beyond my ability to decipher, which is fine. I mean the same way that vocals in Death Metal are percussive, the vocals in ABM are ambient.

Altogether, “The Blinding Light” is an impressive debut. I can’t say it separates itself from the ABM throng, but it does have some distinguishing and compelling attributes. It'll be interesting to see where ALEYNMORD goes from here.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Spores Of Possession
2. Wounded Monolith
3. The Blinding Light
4. Poetry Of Marrow And Rot
JS – Guitars
C. Nihil – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Art of Propaganda


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