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Black Howling - Return of the Primordial Stillness

Black Howling
Return of the Primordial Stillness
by Katharine Hassett at 22 July 2018, 11:57 AM

BLACK HOWLING is one of Portugal's biggest and longest running black metal bands, a well established duo formed in Lisbon in 2003. In the span of nine years, the band released eight demos, nine splits and four full lengths, suddenly going dark in 2012. The black metal wizards would rise from the darkness with another LP in 2015 and again return release their sixth full length, "Return to the Primordial Stillness." According to the band, the album is "based upon ideas of self-transformation and the idea of becoming your full potential through pain, suffering and hatred, while recognizing our origins as humans."

The album itself surely exemplifies this idea, drawing heavily on themes of depression and overall pessimism. "Iberia" is a textbook example of the ever-growing genre of Depressive Suicidal Black Metal, an agonizing six minutes of seething torment. A horrorscape with gothic undertones, the raspy screams of pain adding to the overall abrasiveness that is their sound. "Celestial Syntropy" is a giant sonic landscape that really sets the mood for this tome of an album: 14 minutes of bleakness, utter torment, at times triumph and plenty of "howling" to communicate the pure anguish that defines their work.

"Celestial Entropy" is a slow burning trip down Dysphoric Lane, distant sounding drumming with a hollow, low fidelity sound coupled with gut wrenching guitar riffage and the shrieking lamentations of the vocalist. Mostly down tempo, the 16 minute trauma center has its fair share of straight black metal sound, powerful blast beats and tremolo picking and overflowing with melancholy. The album closes with a spacey instrumental of layered clean guitars that truly stands out from the rest of the album, as it has a strangely uplifting quality to it. Could there be an indie rock album in their future!? Who knows what these veterans of the game will do next.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Iberia
2. Celestial Syntrophy
3. Celestial Entropy
4. Cosmic Oblivion
A. - Guitars, Bass
P. - Vocals, Drums
Record Label: Signal Rex Records


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Edited 02 February 2023

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