Blood of the Black Owl
A Banishing Ritual

And so the fittingly titled last album from Chet Scott (aided by Daniel Ellis Harrod and James Woodhead), closes the chapter on what has been one of the more interesting and introspective metal projects of the last few years with a deeply personal and almost completely ambient album.

Where as Scott’s last two albums, the debut Blood of the Black Owl and 2008s A Feral Spirit were transcendental and at time tribal takes on plodding blacked drone, doom, A Banishing Ritual is almost all melancholy atmospherics, FX, programming and a seemingly cathartic album that runs as one 41 minute journey into one man’s soul. And while (at least on my ipod) only one of the 4 ‘movements’ contains any actual riffs or metal or any sort, the albums mainly organic, ritualistic throes are commanding and hypnotic enough to keep your attention.

Continuing the almost Native American/tribal atmosphere of A Feral Spirit, the ambience is heavy on naturalistic sounds and woodwind or organic instruments, though backed by a deep industrial hum. The journey is one that seems befitting a smoke filled Wigwam with various shamanistic elements, rattling, hissing, and chanting. 13 minutes or so into the cleansing ritual, the albums only real metal arises with three minutes of a thunderous, doomy riff before a haunting string drone and robotic chant kicks in for a lengthy segue.

The last movement starts as a despondent acoustic mantra that morphs into a discordant shimmer with some pained shrieks that seem to have Scott and co exercise any remaining personal demons and lay Blood of the Black Owl to rest as he moves onto his other project Ruhr Hunter.

Rest in piece.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 2nd, 2010

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