Title: Under Pale Moon
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Release Date: 08 March 2019
Country: United States
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
Imagine the titillation experienced by an archaeologist cracking open a tomb that had been lost to time. Well, if black metal archaeologists existed, they would be declaring RINGARË’s “Under Pale Moon” one of the archaeological finds of the century. Few debut releases have as interesting a story as “Under Pale Moon”, which was released this month through Iron Bonehead Productions.
RINGARË is a synth black metal duo from the United States, comprised of members Esoterica (keyboards and guitar) and Likpredikaren (vocals). The band originally formed from the ashes of Troglodytic in 2004, initially using the name Ringar. Not long after the band’s formation, Ringar evolved and morphed into yet another project, Chaos Moon. Hours of material had already been recorded and created for Ringar’s debut, and this was dismantled and used to create the Chaos Moon album, “Langour into Echoes”. The remainder of the original Ringar album fell through the cracks where it slowly accumulated dust and was eventually buried. Until now! These 15-year-old, long lost recordings have recently been exhumed and are now finally being released as RINGARË‘s debut “Under Pale Moon”.
This album feels like a gift from a time capsule, from an era when the infiltration of synthesizers into black metal had peaked and was changing direction. It is a phenomenal work and has aged beautifully. It’s rich, deep and packs a punch, much like a single malt whiskey that has been aged to perfection in an oak barrel for 15 years.
The four tracks run for a total of 40 minutes, which feels satisfying but still left me wanting more. The album opens with a haunting synth-heavy instrumental “In Nocturnal Agony” and as it leads into the unsettling title track ”Under Pale Moon”, it becomes clear that the putrid, rotting heart of raw black metal is very much present. The black metal elements hark back to the 90s and are rough, bleak and gritty, but the landscape is expanded by the eerie synthesisers which shroud everything in thick, chilling melodies. The closing track “Through Forest and Fog” is an epic 18 minute journey that really showcases the scope of the band and is an impressive ending to an extraordinary debut album.
With “Under Pale Moon”, RINGARË are offering a rare glimpse into a specific time and scene that has today evolved into a different beast. This release allows an unequaled opportunity to plunge into the past and experience an authentic and masterful work from an exciting time in black metal’s history. The past is alive here, and it feels as though this album is communicating in a majestic old tongue that few people still speak. 9.5/10 Proua Metallist
9.5/10 Immortal classic
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