is one of the more noticeable bands within the Depressive Black Metal
genre no doubt due to their atypical guitar tone, their ridiculously high pitched vocals and the fact they defy most stereotypes of the genre. Their album To Lay Like Old Ashes
is considered by many to be a classic within the genre, but I'm not reviewing that album instead I'm reviewing their lesser known Ep Only the Wind Remembers
The music on display here is sort of like the mid point between To Lay Like Old Ashes
and Withering Illusions and Desolation
. Musically this album leans much closer to their first release than their second but there's definitely elements that wouldn't be out of place on To Lay Like Old Ashes
, certain parts on the track Towards The Great Unknown show them leaning towards the style they perfected on that release. The riffs are very melodic and heart wrenching to say the least. Austere
has always been a band that can make some seriously melancholic stuff. Like I said in a previous review I've always liked my Depressive Black Metal
to have a lot of melody incorporated within it and this album doesn't disappoint, the riffs are original and well written.
The production is certainly worthy of note, rather than going for something that sounds as if it was recorded in the grave their sound is much more clear, giving the music room to breathe. The guitars are distorted to an extent, they still retain the Black Metal
rawness but with a much clearer sound. This prevents the music from detracting from the beautiful melodies and allows for a highly enjoyable listen I find myself revisiting frequently. The bass takes a back seat for most if not all of the Ep, it's fairly subdued within the mix but at times it does come through (barely). Sometimes I have to wonder why Depressive Black Metal
bands have bassists at all because for the most part they're completely inaudible, although Austere
's isn't completely inaudible it's still really hard to make out and if not listening properly it's easy to forget that it's there. I never let the bass presence detract from my enjoyment so I don't let it affect my opinion too much.
The vocals are where this release truly shines though. If there was an award for highest pitched shrieking then Austere
would definitely take it, I find it hard to believe it's an adult male doing the shrieking, it's just that high. I'm willing to bet most girls can't touch anything near this pitch. They also have a unique way of delivering lyrics, one syllable at a time, this allows only a few lines of lyrics to be spread across a period of more than 10 minutes. Of course this makes the vocals completely incomprehensible so any chance of picking words up are thrown out of the window. Oh and I'd like to mention that the lyrics are some of the most beautiful and well written I've had the pleasure of reading. They're so emotive and poetic that it really puts all other bands to shame, this guys must really have loved English class in school because they're writing what can best be described as poetry.
Overall this is a great addition to Austere
's discography and although it will most likely continue to be over shadowed by their full lengths this is still a worthy addition to any Depressive Black Metal
fan's collection. Although they're only 2 songs on present here this is just as gripping and entertaining as any full length I've heard.
Overall rating- 18/20