C. Nihil – Vocals, Bass
JS – Guitar
1. Spore of Posession
2. Wounded Monolith
3. The Blinding Light
4. Poetry of Marrow and Rot
When reading the promotional material and starting my first listen of Aleynmord’s debut album The Blinding Light I truly had no idea what I was about to experience. I noticed the 4 songs were on the longer side, and well, if this was not good then it would be a slog to get through. Luckily, this isn’t entirely the case.
Aleynmord come from Oregon and the inspiration behind this album comes from self-imposed isolation in the Columbian Gorge. It is a largely experimental and instrumental album that has roots in black metal. It’s not out-and-out black metal though, as some parts are ambient, atmospheric and it’s not so aggressive, albeit a bit on the depressive side, with the distant wails and shrieks.
This album is something that conveys so much emotion and must be explored with an open mind. Not knowing what to expect even based on the promotional information I was at first slightly bewildered and needed to really clear my headspace and immerse myself in this as a complete experience. Though I can definitely say it is as previously mentioned feeling on the depressive black metal side. There’s really no discernable words in the vocals. Its mostly shrieks, wails, guttural voice work that presents states of suffering, longing, isolation, and fear. The instrumental movements create the most emotion, as the band set out to make the listener feel lost in the wilderness and their own mind. Its a huge, dark, and cold place and you have to survive with your own haunting thoughts. The longer songs like “Wounded Monolith” have different movements that can be jarring, like different songs and ideas in one, and then they have light moments that rip you right back into the nightmare.
The Blinding Light is not going to be for everyone. It’s not an easy thing to listen to. It has its strengths which are the atmosphere, some lovely acoustic, and ambient movements. “The Blinding Light” is the lighter song of the 4. Its very simple and the shortest of the tracks. Though in “Poetry of Marrow and Rot” you once again descend into madness. All vocals are purposely made to feel distant with haunting echos. It gradually builds in intensity but it drags on and gets too repetitive. Towards the ending of the song, there are some nice melodic solo guitar riffs. It hits a final crescendo and then you fade off into silence with an acoustic guitar.
I had mixed feelings on this release. It is full of emotion and I enjoy the atmospheric black metal parts very much. The lengthier 10-minute songs do drag on for me a little bit. I will have to listen to this album more to see how I feel. It’s not bad and the inspiration behind the album is not something many musicians would really be willing to do. Some like to talk about it but the truth is most of us to love our comfort and in the black metal world its usually easier taking comfort in creating discomfort based on religion and society. This band is creating discomfort in a more primitive way and they suffer for their art. I give Aleynmord’s The Blinding Light a 3.5 out of 5. It doesn’t have much replay value, but maybe it will grow on me over time.
Reviewed by Cathrine Wendt