Jam Two New, Brilliant Black Metal Albums From WOMAN IS THE EARTH and STILLBORN FAWN
Last week saw a number of intriguing releases, but none more so than two United States Black Metal bands. Rapid City, South Dakota's Woman Is The Earth and Denver, Colorado's Stillborn Fawn are sneakily creating their own brands of Black Metal. It attests to the broadening scope of the genre in the United States that two bands with two new releases roughly in the same week are able to do very different things with a very malleable Black Metal base. Jon Rosenthal at Invisible Oranges highlighted both groups last week and in listening to the two back-to-back, the thought occurred to me that this small (but significant) sample size exemplifies Black Metal's versatility and existence in many iterations.
Woman Is The Earth are releasing Torch of Our Final Light this Friday through Init Records (IO debuted a stream of the album earlier, listen to it here). Leaning more towards the ambient, post-rock shades of Black Metal, the trio creates textured, ethereal sounds in a region of the United States that typically isn't associated with the extreme metal genre. From the opening notes of "Triumph of the Sun", there is a swirling, airy aura to Torch of Our Final Light before it indulges in blistering tremolo intertwined with a dreamy atmosphere.
The South Dakotan trio consists of members: Jon Martin (drums, chanting vocals), Andy Martin (guitars, bass effects), and Jarrod Hattervig (guitars, lead vocals). Their band name was "inspired by the earth being a powerful creator and provider and man being the one who takes from it and returns to it". The group has now released four full-length albums since their inception in 2007. Torch of Our Final Light officially arrived this past Friday, you can order the album here.
For Colorado's Stillborn Fawn; Black Metal is caustic and oozing vitriol. It is a stripped down and raw Black Metal in its unfiltered form. Their newest effort, a cassette-only release from Bleak Environment, is called Norn. Stillborn Fawn calls to the ancestral black metal with their offerings. The Denver band infuses elements of death metal and rock into their lethal music, creating some multi-layered madness that is equal parts jarring and rhythmic. Tracks like "Arterial Drainage" and "Doppelmord" scream progenitor Black Metal chaos.
Stillborn Fawn is also a trio of members. The group consists of Tom Johnson (drums, also of Orm), Morris Kolontyrsky (guitars, also of Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice), and Tyler Broeren (guitars/vocals, also of Orm and Gemini Trajectory). Stillborn Fawn have a couple of demos and an EP to their name. This new full-length cassette features ten tracks which can be heard digitally now, compliments of a stream from Black Metal & Brews. To break some bad news: the physical copies of this album have sold already. They went on sale April 4 and all 100 copies have been purchased. However, you can still enjoy the album below. Updates will arise should more physical copies surface.