Release DetailsLABEL Broken Limbs Recordings
RELEASED ON 8/21/2012
No God But the Wild
posted on 9/2012 By:
For bands that stick to a very particular, potentially dividing musical style, understanding their audience is an invaluable knack to hone. And in some ways, it’s equally important for those of us who write about such music to do the same. With that in mind, we come to Virginia’s Hunter’s Ground, and it certainly behooves me to mention from the get-go that these boys play an intentionally raw, lo-fi form of black metal that will repulse anyone with even the slightest hint of production snobbery. So if this applies to you, kindly hit the back button and bow out of this review now, because you will find naught but frustration and befuddlement within.
For the small percentage of you who remain, know that Hunter’s Ground not only pulls their influences from time-honored classics, but does so respectably. But let it also be known that this isn’t the sort of calculated rawness many bands execute these days – it is not the meticulously processed atmosphere of Walknut, for example – but true lo-fi garage black metal. Full length No God But The Wild thusly follows the tradition of albums such as Nattens Madrigal and Under a Funeral Moon, while also taking stylistic cues from early Taake, pagan black metal, and even a touch of Mardraum-era Enslaved. The entire affair is relatively mid-paced if slightly up-tempo, with a trebly presentation for the drums and some gloriously deep, just-articulate-enough vocals that are high in the mix. The result is a black metal fan’s black metal album, as alienating to the uninitiated as the words in the first paragraph would suggest, but quite pleasant to the ears for which it was intended. In fact, the only real misstep is “Speaking in the Tongues of Trees,” a five-minute interlude of droning guitars and ambient noise that drags on too long for an album that isn’t even 32 minutes in length. Still, it’s one unsuccessful track out of six, and the rest is a good mix of shorter, more direct burners such as opener “A Storm of Crows” and more complex, layered songs such as the title track.
No God But The Wild is an unyielding homage to metal that the band obviously holds dear, and a successful one at that. It is both a promising debut and quality album in its own right, and it should appeal to about anyone who stuck around reading this review this long out of more than just morbid curiosity. Regardless, Hunter’s Ground is a band to watch in the world of lo-fi black metal, particularly in the States, where well-executed metal of this style is almost as rare as an election year that doesn’t make us all want to jump right the fuck off the grid into the very wild that stands as this band’s deity.
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