[EP Review] Night Verses by Sands in Darkness

 

Earlier this year I found myself buying more and more into black metal. Maybe because I was getting more and more lost in the world and I needed to stretch my roots into the black soil and make sense of all the loneliness. It helped me identify with sorrow and pain in ways that were not only mournful but sincere. With depressive black metal I have found it easier to latch onto emotions that before seemed wistful. Bands like Burzum, Austere and Heretoir became a staple. You can imagine how delightful it is to discover an Angolan black depressive metal band which itself offers sombre revelation.

There are songs that sound strangely like dirges. I am not the type of person that longs for anything but once I was introduced to the various themes in this record, I ran with them and found myself yearning for more. Songs like Mon Coeure offer relief with riffs that tear at the soul. This is a record whose main psyche is quite reaching. Like a dark mist it flows strangely within the most desolate parts of the soul.

There are some catchy elements to look out for. They are moments that are tragically beautiful, filled with enchanting passages, long winding passages into the most arcane of night dreams. For instance the song ‘Night Verses’ gives this feeling. The sound pounds infinitely on both sound spectrums, it is both low and high with an elegant delivery. The song isn’t accompanied by vocals but is nevertheless appealing to the ears.

Dying in the Water” is an example of how a song can be well balanced. There is a low throb of an organ which sets the song’s suffocating look. It actually feels like one is dying of asphyxiation, which augers well with the song title. But that is not all. The song eases into a throttling distorted guitar section that has lo-fi aspects to it, obviously paying homage to the roots of earlier black metal. The fact that these claustrophobic lo-fi aspects are on display doesn’t mean that the song denies itself of being melodic. Hence what is achieved is both brooding and tender. I also like how the song ends, with the sounds of water lapping on the banks, overarched by a dainty guitar picking technique.

With “In Ordo” we get introduced to the vocals. They sound distant which give off this very forlorn and abject atmosphere so that throughout the song, it gnaws and scratches at the back of your consciousness like malignant guilt. The track is both steady yet reassuringly piercing in its delivery, haunting yet graceful. The organ-like keyboard is perhaps the most prominent here alongside the vocals. There is a wholesomeness in the song such that it seems like the pain and torment go on endlessly.

Final Rating 4/5 Stars

 

Daniel Otieno Kobimbo

I am no one and everyone
Master of nothing and eternal pad-wan learner
Occassionally masquerades as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya but has no true calling.

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