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Seltar – Autoscopia Award winner

Seltar
Autoscopia
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 December 2021, 6:16 AM

SELTAR is a one man  atmospheric black metal project from New Jersey, United States; Invierno is the mastermind behind it all. "Autoscopia" is their second full length album. Since forming in 2015, they have also released two EPs, a compilation and one split. Can black metal be beautiful and moving? No doubt.  If for some reason that notion can't be fathomed then maybe the layered, ethereal, and gorgeously engrossing music of "Autoscopia" will change your mind.

What is important for such s sound as is having a smooth flow and keeping it all  relatively simple; "Autoscopia" certainly exceeds on both front. Like a epic journey, the album goes from track one to track four like a breeze in the wind across its 43 minute length. Musically, it isn't flashy over complicated. There are plenty of ear catching parts but the band stays within their wheelhouse and delivers exactly what they should. Still, this is an album that needs multiple listens because you're going to get something different out of each listen. But don't go thinking this isn't black metal—make no mistake, it surely is. The tone, vocals and drums are the darkness that resides inside the melancholic beauty.

"Aurora" begins the album with soft, gentle sounds that give way to the burst of black metal. The riffs are balanced between a raw and melodic tone, something that has to be hard to find but  Invierno seems to have no trouble doing so. The keys are subtle and mix seamlessly with the guitar. His drums are fast and tight but he isn't afraid to be bombastic on the kit when needed. Sometimes the quieter moments speak the loudest, such as around the 7:18 mark when the drums go off like cannonballs during an ambient passage.

"Niebla," begins quicker and is a lot more direct in its approach, at least initially. The drums and bass have a solid groove that lends the song a nice undercurrent. The guitars are very melodic in places and I appreciate the focus on being so, rather than just depending solely on keys or synth to create the atmosphere. After the eight minute mark, a sudden change in tone adds in heavy doses of straight up blackened rage but it grows increasingly melodic as it goes on—and is catchy as hell. "Vacio" is a moody track with crushing rhythm guitar.  The static off the riffs settles into the fabric of the beginning but that ambient section that sends the guitar fading in and out of either side of the speakers is so good it gave me goosebumps.


The darker side is released and the drums drop the hammer over and over. And that bass? Throbbed my ears so hard I went to the doctor for an ear infection. The vocals that accompany all this are ghastly and over the top—just the way they should be. "Regresare," is a sweeping song, the guitars going to and from, in and out—the song sounds alive. The guitars play off each other, melodic notes bouncing off the riffs. The middle portion of the song is laden with sadness and remembrance of a time past. It's just so heavy hitting in both a musically and emotional way.

SELTAR have released a stunning and engrossing album with "Autoscopia." Give yourself to this album and be taken far away.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Aurora
2. Niebla
3. Vacio
4. Regresare
Lineup:
Invierno - Everything
Record Label: Casus Belli Musica
     


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