In the blink of an eye Sam, Bradley, and I are back to our rightful time and place. As usual the time travel is a total rush, and I take a deep breath to keep from giggling like a schoolgirl. A couple of moments later I realize that something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong. This is not the same basement I left behind! And what is that incessant noise?
“Phillip, where are you?”
“Right over here Penfold. I’m practicing my drumming.”
“Phillip, stop. Stop drumming! I need to think. I need to…hey, where did you get all of those drums?”
“What are you talking about Penfold?”
“The drums Phillip. It looks like you’ve combined four full drum sets along with extra toms and two full tiers of cymbals. I can’t even see you back there! Explain yourself Phillip? Why do you need so many drums?”
“Jeez Penfold!?! Everyone knows that the more drums you sit behind while playing, the more progressive you are as a musician. The fifth drum set will arrive sometime next week, and when it gets here I’ll be the most progressive drummer in the whole state!”
“Phillip, I need you to step over here a minute.”
“Because I need to slap some sense into…oh my word! What have you done to your face!?! You look like a robot with half its flesh mask worn off!”
“What is the matter with you Penfold? It’s not like you haven’t seen me before today. I mean, you were the one who drove me to the hospital to get my brain augmentation surgery.”
“Yeah. Cybernetic implants to assist me in keeping a rock solid beat no matter how many time changes we put into a song.”
Horror crept over my whole being in an instant. “Phillip, there does not need to be that many time changes in a black metal song.”
“Black metal? What are you talking about Penfold? No one plays black metal anymore. We play technical/progressive metal.”
This was too much. It was abundantly clear that our last trip to the past had been successful. Entirely too successful I’d say! I still believed in my original theory; that the promotion of interesting black metal bands (or bands with strong black metal elements) in the past would realign the tastes of the present day (2150 AD) world population and thus keep black metal alive. The disturbing changes to Phillip’s appearance and behavior validated my theory. But my goal was not to promote progressive metal. My goal was to invigorate black metal!
“Sam! Bradley! We’re going back to 2011. This time we have to locate a band who sticks closer to the original black metal mold. They can’t be generic, but they shouldn’t be outlandishly different either. Let’s go!”
So Hideous, My Love To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers
I’ve learned over the years that trying to categorize artists is pure folly. For example, I can completely understand a person casually listening to this EP quickly determining that So Hideous, My Love is just a plain old black metal band. Notice that I said a person ‘casually listening’. That is very important in this case. To someone not paying particular attention to what they are hearing, the standard black metal elements are what will stand out. Again, I get that. But we waveriders know better. Oh, do we ever! Attentive listening to To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers reveals what is happening behind the facade, and boy is there a lot going on back there.
“Handprints On Glass”, the first song on TCAFWWBF, doesn’t stray all that far from the standard black metal mold. It begins slowly, almost dirge-like, before mashing down on the detonator with an ear-blasting wall of yells, guitars, and drums. That being said, So Hideous, My Love does bring something unique to the table. I find their use of symphonic instruments to be far more prevalent and important throughout their compositions than what I’ve heard from other black metallers. When you can clearly hear the string instruments along with the distorted guitars and drums, it lends a more dignified, grandiose air to the music. The second song, “Prelude In G Sharp Minor”, cements their importance by fulfilling what is advertised by the title, a purely classical prelude to track three.
“However Boldly Their Warm Blood Split” is a fine song, but I want to focus more on the fourth and final track, “To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers”. Now this is a different type of black metal! I’ve seen this band referred to as post-black metal a few different places online, and this song makes me understand why. Outside of the blastbeat equipped portions of this song, the pacing is noticeably slower. Also, the guitar is focused more on creating a lush soundscape with deliberate note placement than on simply adding to the chaos. Nicely done, and if you subtract the black metal elements this would make a good straight up post-rock song.
Well there you have it waveriders. If you want your black metal to have more classical orchestration to it, or if you wish a group would incorporate some post-rock leanings in their black metal, I know just the band for you! So Hideous, My Love will be happy to welcome you with open arms, and your adventurous ears will thank you every second TCAFWWBF plays.
Listen andBuy here: http://playtheassassin.bandcamp.com/album/so-hideous-my-love-to-clasp-a-fallen-wish-with-broken-fingers