Label: Casus Belli Musica / Beverina Productions
Release Date: 1 October 2021 (CD); 22 January 2022 (Vinyl)
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
I can say, that if you are into extended, sweeping passages of atmospheric, black metal than this album will transport you to those places deep in your mind, where sometimes you just want to float in a river of nostalgia. Have memories drift over you as wisps of sound and smell that take you to the quiet reveries of time and moments of solace found in silence.
Firstly, Invierno is the sole band member of Seltar and the band name means “tomb”, in the ancient Iberian language. “Autoscopia” is a four-track album, with each track extended to nearly ten minutes and longer. It’s an album where you give time to hear the nuances, and there are many.
A little history of Seltar, the beginnings in 2015, with an EP release, and full-length album release. Following that was a compilation, in 2016, a single, EP and a split in 2020. Now, on to “Autoscopia”…
The first track is “Aurora”, slow, gentle intro, richly emotive, and soon the full aggressive guitar riffs come in and blast and blast. Manically fast temp of guitar and drums kick in and keep on with the savage pulse of the mood of this track. Invierno begins to sing midway through the track in what I call a wind infused vocal, because his voice recording is seeming from a source of an echoey, gale-force storm wind. Powerful sounding and totally works with all that is happening in this song. Mood changes to a slowly, winding affect of music, quieter and calmer, and nostalgic feeling. Track blasts off again, in punishing riffs which to me wasn’t an ongoing repeat repeat, it had something that was highly listenable.
The second track, “Niebla” (Fog), this one has the variance of tempo and tremolo sounding beginning, with the drums as a measured beat, not frenetic. It immediately sets in and you can’t help but feel the cold, crisp, bareness of this track especially once Invierno begins to sing. Drums pick up speed and its like an insistent heart beating after a scare or a spike in adrenaline. Continuing with those distant roar vocals, and riffs and drum that carry the song. The mood created here is definitely astral traveling, nostalgic and also the pure rage pounding of the instruments. Guitars feel as if being tested for durability, with the force of the sound coming out. Invierno, his vocal picks up to howling and growled screaming and no doubt has more in his voice to come. Oh! About 3/4s through, guitar style change to a thrash inspired and then guitar solo. To end this song, the riffs change back to the savage cold from before, and the song fades off to a whisper.
Third track “Vacio” (Empty), much heavier, moodier sound of guitar, slow and ponderous tempo. Emotive and forceful in the slowness of the intro, to the beautiful scale of tremolo sound, again slowly set out. Invierno begins in the growl/scream style of his vocal, sounding forlorn and bitter. Ahhh, black metal riffs and drums hit hard next and leave no one wondering about the absolute rage felt and the expression. Sounds angry and sad at the same time. A switch up in styles, almost a melodic metal sound introduced, giving melodies of frigid, frozen landscapes of Winter and to finish, the echoing emptiness of fading sound.
Fourth track “Regresare” (I’ll be Back), beginning in a wall of sound, with changes in tremolo guitar sound. Guitar styling is varied from a heavy, melodic feel, to the drums that don’t stop, to back into a slower tempo. Invierno giving all with the echoing growls, and higher pitched notes in his voice. This track is the only one that gives me the “repeat repeat repeat” with the unchanging riffs and sound produced. Saying that, there is a skill heard in the way the album was produced, each track had that stamp of finite, detailed attention to promoting the best in each song.
Seltar delivers on this album. It’s a album of many nuances and listening to each track again and again to hear all that is contained in the songs. Multi-varied levels and again, for those who love to put on an album of black metal atmospheres, where your mind is engaged in the imagery. I give an 8/10 Metal Marie
8/10 To greatness and glory!
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