Blood of the Black Owl
Light the Fires!

Stepping deeply into the endless chasm of spiritual enlightenment and partaking on a journey to discover one’s true meaning comes the latest album from Seattle’s Blood of the Black Owl. Light the Fires! is an adventurous creation of music and one that begs the listener to look deeply into spirituality, lift one’s spirits, and hopefully guide people in the right direction.

While that’s all fine and dandy, the execution is one that only people with a certain musical pallet can enjoy. Similar to how Sun O))) delivers their messages and music, Blood of the Black Owl’s approach is one that is unique and certainly not for everybody. The seven songs (five of which are longer than ten minutes) are a sprawling listen, but like the aforementioned Sun O))) and similar bands of that ilk, what the listener is treated to is atmospheric soundscapes that drone on and on forever.

There is music, most certainly, but it’s not traditional in the least and the sounds of nature in the background further employ an approach of trying to create a visual ambience through the music. You’re not going to find regular drums or guitar solos, or catchy choruses; what you’ll instead hear are seemingly endless chords, avant-garde sounds, and guttural spoken words at times. Again, this is music that won’t sit well with the average metal fan.

A few reviews of Light the Fires! have been extremely kind; some have given this album very high praise. However, I’m not that kind because this album – and this style of music – simply does nothing for me. I understand where Blood of the Black Owl is headed and I understand the approach, but it’s just not a particular brand of music (metal or otherwise) that suits my tastes.

Obviously there is an audience for this genre of music and plenty of people will surely dig this. It’d be unfair of me to crush this album or harshly criticize it because there has been a ton of thought, effort, and – most importantly – passion that has gone into Light the Fires! With that said, it doesn’t suck and it’s not terrible because it wouldn’t be professional or respectful to say something that nasty or harsh. However, I have to be honest and flat out say that this album is something I will never return to because it’s just not my cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination. Second opinion, anyone?


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
July 31st, 2012


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    yeah, the first two albums had black/doom/droney metal in them but this and the last one are all ambient/soundscape stuff, and not nearly as good

  2. Commented by: Bast

    I agree mostly, good album for certain ocassions, but the hippie-magic-vibe makes me feel a litlle bit like i´m floating with no direction and can´t controle it!

  3. Commented by: David Stoller

    I love this site but isn’t it kind of couter-productive to have writers review works from a genre to which they are not inclined? At least describe the music more next time please.

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