Saturday, January 6, 2018

THE CLEARING PATH - Watershed Between Firmament and the Realm of Hyperborea review

THE CLEARING PATH - Watershed Between Firmament and the Realm of Hyperborea 

I, Voidhanger Records

Some people might think it's a little too early in the year to be tossing out words like "genius" when describing January releases but in this case it's warranted. THE CLEARING PATH is a one man black metal act created by Milan, Italy's Gabriele Gramaglia. On this his second full length Gabriele has composed a slightly over thirty minute opus of blackened brilliance.

For over a decade now I've made my opinion on post black metal very clear. If a band or artist goes clear off the edge of the genre template into never never land (which is only inhabited by hipster music scribes who despise black metal) then you have left the blackened genre behind. Over the years not many full blown progressive acts have been able to win me over by shoving a middle finger in the genre's face just to use it as a spring board. Gabriele Gramaglia does one better, sure he uses a spring board but only to go to the edge and then do back flips back into the genre. 

On here he composes violent black metal passages then stares over the edge to see what he can fuse together to make it more threatening. This includes plenty of gothic doom passages, quasi-industrial nodes and plenty of orchestral style progression. At times it reminds me of some cryptic film score minus the credits. His vocals are like the shrieks of harpies which could easily tingle the spine of the unknowing. The bottom line is that this is the work of genius. It's blackened art for the willing.

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