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Bastard of Loran – Beckoning the Red Moon

Bastard of Loran
Beckoning the Red Moon
by Gary Hernandez at 29 January 2022, 11:44 PM

BASTARD OF LORAN. Where to begin? Avid gamers will recognize the moniker as an item in Bloodborne. Black Metal enthusiasts may better know it as a project which Alex “Femto” Vogel and Arnau “Londor” De Castro formed in spring 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Their vision was to “create a variant of Black Metal that pays tribute to the video game sagas directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and Kentaro Miura’s manga series.”

In July 2020, BASTARD OF LORAN released their debut EP, “Lyric Revelation of Causality,” and a few short months later they wrote and recorded their full-length album, “Beckoning the Red Moon.” November 26, 2021 the album was given wide release by Northern Silence Productions, much to the thrill of the nightlings who occupy that space in the Venn diagram where Dark Medieval Fantasy games infused with hints of Lovecraftian mythos and Black Metal infused with nuances of Dungeon and Vampyric overlap. A much bigger space, btw, than one might expect.

“Beckoning the Red Moon” comprises eight tracks and spans over 33 minutes. Three of the tracks are instrumental. Lyrically, the album explores the lore and adds depth to Dark Souls (game) and Berserk (manga), though you needn’t be familiar with either to appreciate the album. Musically, it’s glorious classic Black Metal hellscape with Hammond organ interludes. Atmospherically it feels like the coldest, most remote corner of the underbelly of a forgotten castle. Like someone left a Panasonic cassette recorder down there and recorded whatever the fuck happened and then overlaid it with tremolo riffs, blast beats, and banshee vocals.

But this isn’t just horror for horror’s sake, as the band notes they seek to channel “the cruel echoes of humanity’s struggle and despair, as well as introducing the listener to the brilliant transcendental moments that these worlds bring to the readers.” And, indeed, they succeed. Standout tracks are: “Embraced by Her Queer Scent,” “Blood Moon and Aborted Children of the Cosmos,” “The Hunter,” and “Nightmare Slain – Liberation.” All of the instrumentals were very good as well, “Beckoning,” in particular made my blood run cold (or colder). I should also note that the cover art was rendered by Arnau De Castro (Blood Coven Art) and depicts a scene that perfectly captures the essence of the album.

BASTARD OF LORAN promises to “keep expanding as its creators find new ways to merge Dark Fantasy with Battle/Vampyric Black Metal, moving towards a more personal and distinct self, spreading the words of the divine forces that inhabit the depths of our souls.” I’ll take them at their word and eagerly look forward to the next installment.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Embraced by Her Queer Scent
2. Blood Rapture Under Twilight
3. The Hunter
4. Beckoning
5. Blood Moon and Aborted Children of the Cosmos
6. The Race Towards Evolution
7. Unspeakable Sins on Forgotten Shores
8. Nightmare Slain – Liberation
Lineup:
Alex “Femto” Vogel – All music and production
Arnau “Londor” De Castro – Art direction and lyrics
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions
     


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Edited 10 December 2022
 

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