Surrender to one of 2016's best and most challenging black metal albums.
Photo by M. Garcia
Since 2012, Salem, Oregon musician A.L.N. has been recording material by himself as Mizmor. While the project distinctly differs from his work as the drummer for blackened doom act Hell and black metal trio Urzeit, the work of Mizmor has often failed to achieve the recognition it deserves. Perhaps it’s been too easy for the press to categorize Mizmor as a “members of” act. With Mizmor’s first full-length in four years, Yodh, and a fully realized live lineup to complement the solo studio work of A.L.N., it’s clear that this project has grown into something unique and new without totally shedding its familiar framework.
In Yodh, A.L.N. has transformed the project into something far more ambitious and expansive while retaining the gnarled core of his prior works. There has always been a shifting dynamic between black and doom metal in any given Mizmor composition, but since last year’s split with Dross, the project’s sound has become fuller and more imposing. It’s undeniable that professional production and engineering has played a hand in this on Yodh, but it would be unwise to attribute it solely to outside sources. The songwriting is at its most tense and compelling, with monolithic tracks stretching nearly to the fifteen-minute mark without a sense of stagnation or tedium. Riffs fade to static that crumbles into acoustic passages, leading the listener into a calm that is often broken by A.L.N.’s familiar shrieking vocals and pummeling drums. It’s familiar without feeling worn out and challenging without exhausting the listener.
Yodh is currently available for pre-order from Gilead Media as a gatefold double LP and directly from the artist as a cassette tape. Noisey is honored to share the album’s official stream in anticipation of its release on August 12, coinciding with this weekend's inaugural Migration Fest in Olympia, WA, at which Mizmor will be performing. Listen and prepare yourself.
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