When I pick up my guitar these days, this is the kind of music that wants to come out. Deafest and Cynd, of course, are better musicians than I. Both are one man black metal bands from Colorado. What we have here is droning, ambient and melodic black metal accompanied by tortured, sorrowful screams. The mighty Wolves in the Throne Room are a clear influence.
The instrumentation is rudimentary - accompanied by a drum machine or simple drum lines. The production is appropriately bleak and simple. It feels constrained at first, but just like jumping into cold water, you quickly get used to it.
Thematically, both bands explore a reverence for nature with a healthy dose of misanthropy. Chase, the man behind Deafest, explained that "black metal expressed his reverence for our beautiful earth. Black metal also felt his sorrow at witnessing man's destruction of that beauty. Humans do not hear what the earth needs. We are the deafest species." Cynd's front man says that his band was "started by the desire to express one persons love for nature and earth, and hatred for humankind." Indeed.
This type of music lives and dies by the quality of the melodies put forth in the open handed riffing. For the most part these songs held my interest, with more than a few inspired moments. Deafest are veterans of several other splits, and showed more ability to create cohesive compositions. Acoustic passages spice up the monotony, and frequently evoke some appropriate Explosions In the Sky shoe-gazing.
I'm a fan of this new era of black metal. The occult and satanic trappings are replaced with a sorrowful environmental ethos. Calling this music "Tree-Gaze" wouldn't do it justice. Maybe "Green Metal?" I don't think so.
I look forward to hearing more grim tunes from both of these bands in the future.
The bands have posted this album for download here.