“I began to journey this sound as a conduit of personal ritual and growth, spiritually woven within this artistic expression.”
The words of Chet W. Scott, the man behind Blood of the Black Owl who release new album Light the Fires this week. There is no doubt through previous releases and into this new album that he and the project has grown and explored deeper into its premise and heart. Formed in 2004 the band has through the previous three albums been a vehicle for the spirit and exploratory instinct of Scott which has worked deeper and evolved into a startling wealth of creativity resulting in the impressive climax of Light the Fires. Acclaimed for his ritualistic musical exploration with his solo project Cycle of the Raven Talons and drone folk duo The Elemental Chrysalis, Scott brings even more of himself as well as our and the spirit of the world and the instinctive breath of everything into a remarkable aural focus. The album is possibly not the most accessible release and will work on multiple levels and to varying degrees for each individual, but it is one which makes the listener look and reflect within and most of all discover, given the time and opportunity.
Caller Of Spirits is a stunning opening, a heralding of emotions and passion through a primal ritualistic drone. Drenched in discord and dark beauty the piece resonates through every pore to ignite the deepest responses and shadows. It is hypnotic and chilling at times whilst lingering far beyond its departure and even though its thirteen minute consumption pushed personal limits a touch it sets and opens one up for what is to come with its blackened meditative intensity. It connects the inner being to the natural energy of life wonderfully and leaves a unveiled canvas within to be discovered and explored.
As the following elegantly droning Wind Eye with its reflective ambience and the gently and firmly caressing Rise And Shine lay their light and shadows over the senses one finds themselves at one with the release and drifting into thoughts and imagery instigated by the restrained yet sumptuous weaves. At times the album reminds of the recent Horseback release and though they are almost chalk and cheese aurally both transport the listener into places once dormant.
The first three tracks which remain the most impressive by the end of the album offer a more ambience driven investigation and experience whereas the remainder of the release starting with Sundrojan instil darker energies and unleash the blackest shadows to blend with the mesmeric beauty. This track is a more doom driven call with the vocals from a relatively smooth approach turning into a grizzled scraping element. The song brings a crafted mix of light and dark to lead one through the imposing aspects of its intent and theme which you can only be impressed by.
Two Ravens At The Tree Line merges the funereal presence of its predecessor with the heated breaths of the early tracks whilst the closing pair of Soil Magicians and the more death metal toned Disgust And The Horrible Realization Of Apathy opens doors to multiple energies and emotions across the whole spectrum of passions, thoughts, and the light inside.
Light the Fires whose title really does declare what the album achieves is not going to be for everyone, especially those who have no wish or patience to let it reveal its qualities and power slowly and through many visits. At times some tracks maybe stay just too long and before their end the itch to discover the next instalment of the experience becomes too intense but to change them in any way would arguably distil their effect and purpose. The release though is an imposing and enlightening pleasure from Blood Of The Black Owl which all should dip their thoughts and emotions into.
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