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Blood of the Black Owl : Blood of the Black Owl

This self-titled debut album of Blood of the Black Owl is the brainchild of Chet Scott, the man behind the Glass Throat label, and the excellent ritual ambient project Ruhr Hunter. While this album is quite original, it's also kind of a tough nut to crack, and I'll tell you why.

First of all, it's quite a long album that mixes a couple of different styles. The opening track 'Kills in Timber' is a mid-tempo cruncher with raw, fuzzy guitars and a slight early black metal feel to it. It ends nicely with some samples of wolves providing the 'vokills'. The second track continues this style, but the rest of the album is more in the direction of funeral doom, albeit with the same fuzzy sound. Tracks like 'Like a Coffin Chasing the Womb, His Chariot Becomes a Southern Bloodstorm' - what a title! - display structure and sound similar to Hierophant and Evoken, and perhaps a bit of labelmate Celestiial.

To complicate things, the album also incorporates dark atmospheric passages with tribal percussion, which of course remind one of Ruhr Hunter. Now, all these musical elements together make this a varied, original and interesting album. It expresses a raw set of emotions, and evokes a dirty yet natural atmosphere.

At the same time, it doesn't work for me entirely. Perhaps it's the production and guitar sound, which isn't really my thing. Maybe it is the repetitiveness in some riffs, or the tempo - though that hasn't stopped me from liking similar albums. Or perhaps the combination of the varied elements doesn't work seamlessly yet. Somehow, I think this album should have been better, based on the great potential of the individual elements, and Chet's obvious talent in his other projects.

Don't get me wrong, this may well please fans of blackish, raw doom, and one is recommended to check this out. Let's just say I expect there to be room for great improvement. When it's there, this will be one heck of a doom project.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Kills in Timber
2. The Thunderous Hooves of Two Goats in the Sky
3. Drinking the Blood of a Lion
4. Like a Coffin Chasing the Womb, His Chariot Becomes a Southern Bloodstorm
5. Uwwalo
6. Hammer Comes Crashing Down
7. A Coven of Vultures

Duration : Approx. 70 minutes

Visit the Blood of the Black Owl bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-2007 by Oscar Strik
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