Band: Barren Canyon
Title: World of Wounds
Label: Avantgarde Music
Release Date: 17 September 2018
Format reviewed: High quality digital promo
I really love discovering great new stuff to move me deeply and to touch strings. Music to make me think it over and demanding to listen it again and again. Barren Canyon’s new effort is one of those hidden fiery gems of 2018 which reached me over the past couple of weeks and seriously listened to. And naturally Blessed Altar Zine is its territory.
Hailing from the vast, cold, lonely and isolated lands of Canada, Barren Canyon is an “obscure studio project” including the two multi-instrumentalists Thanat and Malkan (Circle of Salt). Their roles in this project are considered fluid, as both cover various aspects of the performance, mostly inspired by the wild places of the Laurentian Plateau. “World of Wounds” is Barren Canyon’s second album after 2014’s “Close to the circe”. Soundwise, the record is step forward for the duo (+ the drumming session member Camille Giraudeau). Thematically “World Of Wounds” covers the “inevitable and impending extinction of the human species…and our struggles on ongoing basis to find the strenghth to continue living with this catastrophic burden” – Malkan.
What else can be discovered by pushing play of the record? 2 songs, total running time of 35 minutes. First song – “Congress of Oak” is exactly 17 minutes long. First half of it is ambient synthesisers and keyboards fatality, before bursting into very much inspired and powerful atmospheric black metal. Yes, the first 9 minutes instantly reminded me of Burzum’s “Tomhet”, the majestic magical synth instrumental of “Hvis lyset tar oss”. The last 8 minutes are so good, so delightful, so painful. I could really feel the sorrow in those melodies and blasts. Pressure, loss and bad omen. Oakes in movement, weeping, screaming and reaching out helpless branches; rustling angrily with leaves. And that overall feeling of roaring pain thanks to the repeating keyboard passage over fatal guitar tremolos and tearing vocals. Another instant reminiscence – Advent Sorrow’s Pestilence Shall Come and that striking video about planet’s devastation and catastrophic apocalypse.
Almost same structure repeats in “Taiga Blooms” too. 3 ambient minutes for introductory, followed by personal, dark, atmospheric, torturous black metal part and sudden drop down to another glorious synth part from 8th to 18th minute of this epic track. “Taiga Bloom” is indeed much more into the instrumental keyboards wandering into visions and travelling into unknown times and places.
The overall predominant fatality due to the inevitable end really didn’t left me for a second. “World of Wounds” is so powerful and yet so fragile, leaving nothing but bitterness at heart and thoughts about our small short presence on this hell called Earth. Our destiny, our burden. Highly recommended. 8.5/10 Count Vlad