Saturday, 11 February 2017

Old Corpse Road "Of Campfires And Evening Mists" (2016)

If ever Ive heard a band that captures the spirit of early Cradle Of Filth it is Old Corpse Road, who I discovered during Bloodstock festival back in 2014. Hailing from northern England, they invigorate that early extreme gothic sound once erroneously coined "British Black Metal" when Cradle were still wearing corpse paint and drawing links with the Norwegian scene. It is a rather formulaic similarity where shrill, piercing screams accompany guttural growls and burly spoken word over the extreme metallic music, aggressive, visual and drenched in symphonic keyboards. As the title suggests its a romanticized vision of British folklore and natural beauty expressed through the the typical tropes of such a sound, however the band execute it all with a touch of class a richer approach to the less Metal oriented moments.

With four ten minute plus epics the eight track record is quite a meal, clocking in at sixty four minutes it rarely lets up with a dull moment to pass. The songs are equally expansive and across the record a lot of variety is to be found, sometimes the guitars lead with groove and aggression, in other moments they let up for the synths to build atmosphere and furthermore drop out entirely for many symphonic or acoustic passageways enriching the musics scope. With all of the members pitching in on the vocal front a barrage of styles become possible as the ever progressing instrumentals are narrated by many voices. For all the variety on hand, these songs have structure and direction, they cohesively unfold, often from driving guitar riffs and gnarly blast beats into expansive atmospheres and soaring moments that certainly deliver.

All of the songs are dense and well fleshed out with a lot going on at once for your ears to pick through. The production is reasonable, the instruments have nice tones, the synths are stark and loud and at time it feels a little muddy with so much going on but it holds together well for the music to shine and shine it does. Each song has its own merit and one of my favorite aspects are the folklore and mythological themes that resonate superbly alongside the gothic vibes. Solid record that I can't falter, excellent for the right, specific mood, best enjoyed in the winds of cold English nights.

Favorite Track: Herne Of Windsor Forest
Rating: 7/10