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Silver Knife – Ring

Silver Knife
by Gary Hernandez at 18 June 2022, 5:30 PM

SILVER KNIFE is a Black Metal project out of Western Europe—Belgium, France, and Netherlands to be exact. Some categorize them as Post-Black Metal. Their production values, grayscape melodies, banshee screeching certainly say Black, but there is also an Atmospheric leaning which I suppose might push them beyond First and Second Waves and into Post. The band is a bit oblique about the band members and choose to simply go by single initials and veer away from identifying who plays what instruments. In an age where anonymity has suffered an undignified and painful death, I think it’s kind of cool that they opt to remain in the shadows.

The foursome formed in 2019 and released their full-length debut, “Unyielding/Unseeing,” in 2020. In 2019 two additional tracks surfaced, though for some reason they failed to find their way to the 2020 debut. Instead that material was revisited in July 2021 and released as an EP, “Ring,” on April 24, 2022 via Amor Fati Productions.

Ring” spans two tracks and clocks out at 13:40 minutes. Similar to their debut album, the cover art was rendered by Business for Satan. It depicts a solitary ring, silver we presume, afloat in an expanse of night. It is engraved with the band’s logo. Simple enough: A silver knife embossed on a ring set against the void. It almost reads as a manifesto.

The first track, the wonderfully named “Ecomimises,” is threaded with a subdued but curious bassline. Like the frenetic scribblings off a madman, grayscale riffs cut every which way over the backdrop of galloping drums and the wandering bassline punctured by demonic vocals. Every so often the grayscale resolves into well-structured but still aggressive riffs, both tremolo and more traditional. “Ecomimises,” from what I could find, is a concept postulated by Timothy Morton in “Ecology without Nature” where he defines it as “the evocation of the author's environment so that his/her experience is known and shared with the audience.” With this approach we put aside subject-object dualism and experience immersion. At least that’s my takeaway. And if you think on that while you listen to this EP, well, yeah, it works.

“Recalcitrant,” the second track, also imbues a quintessential Black Metal position. Does the track reflect the ethos of the title? Maybe. It seems more morose than uncooperative or resistant, but that’s just an opinion. To be recalcitrant there must first be an initiating force. A secondary force then acts in resistance to it. There can’t be dark without light; day without night. Shaped by two opposing wills, the quality of recalcitrancy lies in the vicissitude between the two. Maybe that’s dawn or sundown. Maybe it’s purgatory, indifference, or nihilism. The aesthetic of “Recalcitrant” feels like that liminal space.

I’ve been digging into a lot of Stone and Pysch Metal as of late, so delving into SILVER KNIFE and “Ring” has been like taking a nice long draught of cold absinthe. The chill is refreshing and the flavor hits me like a blade between my eyes. Ultimately, the effect will either annihilate me or edify me. Either way, the journey will be worth it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Ecomimesis
2. Recalcitrant
N. – Unknown
H. – Unknown
D. – Unknown
P. – Unknown
Record Label: Amor Fati Productions


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