Genre: Black Metal
I thought I’d change things up a little bit and post a new release by Petrychor, a one man black metal project formed in 2009 by an individual named Tad Piecka. The music ranges from classical to ambient to neo-folk to post rock to black metal, reminding me, at times, of early Ulver. The album opens with ambiance and ethereal female choir singing before taking pause for one of the many acoustic guitar interludes that are scattered throughout the album which, for me, are the most beautiful parts of this recording. The flamenco influence in his playing sets these passages apart from most anything else in the genre and is a breath of fresh air. The music then, quite suddenly, blasts into noisy black metal, replete with fuzzed out guitar tones and programmed drums, which work pretty well and don’t sound overly digitized. On the fourth track, Subjugated and Abused, a movement with post rock overtones slowly comes to life, building into a cascade of black noise before dissolving into a gregorian chant. The highlight of the album, for me, is the last song, Beneath Highway and Street, a 14-minute track which, with a beautifully triumphant piano passage, gives the impression of the struggle between the bleak encroachment of urban development upon the pristine beauty of unspoiled nature. As the dark aftermath slowly fades you’re left wondering just who won and I can’t help but feel that that’s the point.