Wednesday 10 June 2015

Review: Twilight Fauna – 'Shadows Of Ancestors'

'Shadows Of Ancestors'

Blending the traditional folk local instruments with a low-fi black metal malevolence, Twilight Fauna continues to innovate and perplex with every release. The follow-up to last years 'Hymns Of A Forgotten Homeland', multi instrumentalist Ravenwood returns with 'Shadows Of Ancestors' to continue to explore his Appalachian home. Ambient, cinematic, hypnotic and still wonderfully savage. 'Shadows Of Ancestors' is an introspective and genuinely moving album that transcends it's black metal roots and builds on the foundations of its predecessor.

Songs such as 'Helical Rising', 'Boring The Augur', 'Meadows Afire' and, 'Cave of Kelpius (Women Of The Wild)' walk a fine line between ambient apocalyptic folk and depressive black metal malice with ease. The traditional folk elements give the tracks a warm underbelly while the hissed vocals and static-spewing guitars wrench them into the modern world kicking and screaming.

While the likes of 'Purging Of Spring' invert the formula somewhat bringing the folk guitar right to the fore. And the final track 'Coffin Nails And Apple Trees' crafts and epic slice of ambient metal meets black metal across it's ten minute length to perfectly distil these elements into a fitting album closer.

With it's roots in low-fi black metal this obviously hasn't got the slickest production job, but what has been done is nonetheless effective. Atmosphere is king despite whether the folk or metal instruments take the lead and even though it is rough and ready it is still a very evocative album.

Twilight Fauna will undoubtedly continue to split opinions with its experimental nature and low-fi style, which is a shame as a more succinct and polished production would still keep the core atmosphere alive but make the end result more accessible. But that's not the point. The point is that Twilight Fauna continues to improve as a project and is crafting some very interesting music that is begging to be explored.  

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