Scars From a Dead Room – s/t

Artist:  Scars From a Dead Room

Title: s/t

Release: Tape / Digital

Year: 2014

Label: BLWBCK

Not sure if “one man black metal project hailing from the Canadian forests” does excite you, but most of the time for me it serves the purpose, no matter how often this very same “one man” thing is a poor excuse for being a crappy musician. However, when that bio is coming from the French tape cult BLWBCK, whose catalogue is often found jumping from black metal to dubby ambient or electroacoustic lo-fi soundscapes, I’m kinda convinced this will probably be something. The variety Romain & Co are providing with each release is surely one great reason to be coming back to this label over and over again, so if you haven’t already come across their output now it’s a great moment to catch up.

All that said BLWBCK were able to discover another musical gem, which is once again breaking their own limits as one man black metal is not a new thing for the label, which has already put out two records by France’s Misery, which is a totally different cup of tea, no matter the black metal label on both artists.

Scars From a Dead Room waste no time but grab you by the throat from the very first second of the album until you completely black out. The record is totally deprived from any color, not only in terms of design decisions but soundwise as well. I don’t know which Canadian forests gave birth to this evil, but no vivid natural landscapes are to be found here. Only primal desperation, lack of air and putrid human bile. The music is very nicely produced, maybe only the cymbals I sometimes find brought to much to the front of the mix, which can be also kinda interesting, because at some point you start perceiving them as grim and dead-punctual clock, measuring your time in Scars From a Dead Room’s world.

However, I’d liked them quieter as the other percussions are mixed in a very organic way and are just subtly enhancing the guitar and vocal work, making the whole sonic mass sound more as a soundscape than an ordinary black metal band. Still the music is pretty much melody based. The tracks undergo very interesting and memorable transformations. At parts the music sounds kinda post-metallish, which is a great thing and definitely an awesome change for the usual Burzumesque or Xasthurish depressive one man black metal stuff.

Scars From a Dead Room is generally not afraid to explore different horizons. He goes from passages, led by melodic singing (Temple of the morning star) to monolithic and epic black metal mantras (Mes yeux s’ouvrant sur l’infini), even to sludgier and more progressive pieces (InHume). Not to mention what takes us out of the album is a fragile acoustic piece, slowly and patiently dying and decomposing in silence, thus giving you the time to realize what you’ve heard was a very intriguing and detailed work, especially for a debut release, and definitely not something you’ve already heard about 35 thousand times.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.