Blood of the Black Owl
A Feral Spirit

Chet Scott’s 2006 self titled debut was an excellent doomy, ambient, almost stoner take on depressive Pacific Northwest, one man black metal, giving the scene an injection of creativity that strayed from typical depressive Wrest and Malefic worship. And the follow up, while taking the same elements, delivers an even more tribal, ritualistic, organic and almost Native American take on the genre.

While my ‘Wrest tripping balls in the forest’, still stands as an apt comparison, Chet Scott appears to have taken some hits from a peace pipe and connected with the spirit world as well as injecting the expected ambience, shoegaze and doom into his blackened, transcendental musical outlet. If Brown Jenkins was Cthulhu’s blackened drone mouthpiece, then Blood of the Black Owl is the spiritual angst of mother nature and The Great Spirit.

Fuzzed out guitars lope and drone amid tribal simplistic drums laced with injections of organic ambiance and Chet’s grizzled chants (plying lyrics written by Daniel Ellis Harrod) for 63 minutes of introspective, mystical music . From lengthy introduction of the chanted “Spell of the Elk” which leads right into the stern march of “Crippling of Age” through the hypnotic “He Who Walked Away From the Fire & Laughed As He Bled” (the section that starts at 3:43 is mesmerizing), steady march of “Void” (which is initially the album’s harshest track before the church organ drenched mid section and ritualistic closure), to delicate and somber acoustics of “The Melancholy Article”, the album is a truly captivating and hypnotic journey into another spiritual realm without spiraling into depression. Just listen to “Unattainable Vistas of Our Remembrances” and rangy closer “Journey of the Plague Year” to hear the deft evolution in the chord structures and progressions from malevolence to a more introspective ambivalence that Blood of the Black Owl has subtly made between albums.

Less malevolent, paranoid and ‘icky’ than the debut, the aptly named A Feral Spirit seems to be a more deliberate, tempered and personal record that looks to heal wounds and soul search rather than open them up and drag you into an emotional abyss. And that is a welcome development to the genre, and I hope the development continues for the next album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 3rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Chris

    A good album, but the 9-minute intro is pretty bad. I simply can’t suspend my disbelief during it, and it makes me laugh every time.


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