By: Navjot Kaur Sobti
Now, I’m not usually a chick who has the patience to get through most doom metal, unless it’s my bedtime, snooze-inducing soundtrack to abysmally sweet dreams. When I picked up Black Math Horseman’s 2010-released Wyllt, however, let’s just say I got a wake-up call from a genre I’d otherwise have remained all too casual to dismiss.
The slow layering of instruments – first, primitive drum beats, with soft but emotive melody is enough to make the listener comfortable and open to what he/she is listening to, and gradually open up their senses to the melancholy and solitude that the progression invokes thereafter (“A Barren Cause”). With vocals that are melodic, through and through, we get a fresh listening that’s reminiscent of the Osma-style encountered in such Thorr’s Hammer’s tunes as “Norg.”
Despite the familiarity of certain aspects of this record, it’s clear this Los Angeles-based four piece is not afraid to venture out of their comfort zone (of the slow-tempoed doom metal track), with the faster-paced, rock n’ roll laced “Origin of Savagery.” Though the vocals are a bit indiscernible to me (I’d have to look up the lyrics to understand what she is saying), ironic considering my slowly acquired ability to dig out real words from some seriously un-human sounding death to the grimiest black metal vocals, her voice is beyond just uncelestially beautiful enough to keep me ear-to-ear with the lyrics (be they English, or her own incarnate of this already nonsensical language).
Steering their way through the barricades of the doom and psychedelic metal underground (who knew those eras could be so harmoniously fused, without the cheese or the balding hippies), Black Math Horseman ain’t foolin’: having recently shared a tour with Shrinebuilder (feat. Members of Om, NEUROSIS, the Melvins, St. Vitus, and Sleep), and having been set to play what would have been the unholy Roadburn Festival (had those damn Volcanoes not cast their evil eye over the already wicked metal disciples who’d originally been booked to cast the European continent afire).
If you’re into that fusion of all things dark, trippy, and straight-out doom, this is a band that’ll meet your fill.