Winds of Tragedy
Hating Life

I initially grabbed this promo strictly due to the striking cover photo (courtesy of Tatiana Lebedeva), literally not knowing anything about the band or album, other than that it mentioned depressive and one-man black metal in the promo blurb.

So with the band’s moniker, album title, and song titles like “I Choose to Die”, No Reason to Go On” and “Wake Me Up From This Act”, I fully braced for some … And the Owls Are Smiling-ish, wrist-opening despondency.

That is not what I got.

What I got from the mind of Chile’s Sergio González Catalán, is a pretty darn killer, and surprisingly burly, death doom mixed with melodic atmospheric/black metal that, to these ears comes across like Switzerland’s Beansidhe or maybe Downfall of Gaia.

Sure there are overarching themes of dependency and general morose-ness, but with a beefy meaty guitar tone, Catalán’s deeper bellows and some really, really good melodic back metal riffage, this has little in common with the general tropes of ‘depressive black metal’. Throw in some lovely acoustic/string/cellos and atmospheric moments here and there, and Im digging the fuck out of it.

After a short intro, 7-minute opener, “Living a Lie” instantly lets you know you are not in for some mopey, Forgotten Tomb, Xasthur styled project ( which, is s style also dig), but a more feral, urgent, almost d-beat take on the subject.  Still, there is an undercurrent of sadness amid the deeper, girthier throes, just listen to the transition about 5 and a half minutes into the opener, where it goes from somber windswept acoustics to an all-out d-beast/crust black metal salvo.

And that sort of more direct dynamic plays out for the next 6 songs and 28 minutes thereafter. This isn’t a drawn-out album of 10-minute dirges ( not that there is anything wrong with that).

“I Choose to Die” starts with a lumbering doom/death plod before exploding into an earthy blast beat that could easily be from the atmospheric/melodic/post/black realm, that the aforementioned Downfall of Gaia or even Vallendusk might pen.

“No Reason to Go On” starts with some gorgeous cellos, and does indeed delve into a more despondent gait initially, but seamlessly bridges into a stellar 6/8 black metal that is robust yet melodic. The cellos show up again the grace the otherwise blistering standout ‘Wake Me Up From This Act”.

The closing duo of “Death Love” and “Remember We Died” deliver more of the same, with the latter closing out the album with a d-beat canter that showcases Catalán’s versatility and creativity, as well as a knack for solid riffs that blend sadness and rage into one very enjoyable album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 14th, 2023

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