Band – Blosse
Album – Loin
Country of Origin – Canada
Genre – Atmospheric Black Metal
Release Date – March 20, 2020
Label – Self Released
Author – Cody Ward
In the world of black metal, there are numerous bands that can hold the “atmospheric black metal” genre tag, most of those are dime a dozen bands who, when it all boils down to it, sound a lot alike. Enter BLOSSE, masterminded by the revered Noctis. Blosse’s discography has a bit of range to it, so pegging it as atmospheric black metal is kind of difficult when you have elements of cosmic black metal, dark ambient and even slight hints, at times, of something more occult.
The word LOIN is french for “far” or “distant” and, upon listening to the first track “Seelenfrieden”, it’s quite clear why this album was named so. It starts off with the sounds of a frozen, desolate landscape. The howling wind sends a chill down to the bone and leaves you feeling nothing short of frostbitten. While the wind steadily begins to turn the blood in your veins to ice, the ambiance of the music starts to come forward, setting an unsettling whisper upon the nape of your neck, leaving your hair standing on edge. If this isn’t enough to excite you for what is to come, then as surely as the guitar comes in with a tone just as icy as the landscape around it, you’ll find yourself wanting more. I sure as hell know I did. If you’re familiar with BLOSSE and his other albums then you know the tone and atmosphere I speak of. One thing I love about this project, and this album more than the others, is the power in the vocals. Noctis’ vocals have improved tremendously on this release, as opposed to his previous works. They’re icy, they’re full of rage and full of power which can be witnessed during the last two or so minutes of the first track, when he just lets loose and SCREAMS! It’s absolutely incredible and gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
When we finally make our way through the first snowstorm, we are treated with track two titled Zurückgezogen. This track is 4:22 of dark, ambient soundscapes, and it does a damn good job of setting the atmosphere for the track that is to come. The last thirteen seconds of this track begins to slowly rise in volume and we roll right into the third track titled Mondbeschienen. This monster of a track starts out with the familiar tone and progression that the first track threw us into, only something is different, something is darker and this becomes more evident as the track rages on. That’s not to say that this nearly twenty minute track doesn’t have it’s fair share of melodies and beauty to it, for is there not a certain amount of beauty in death?
I picture myself trapped on a mountain side, the snow blowing all around me. Yet as I stand on this cliff and I look over the frostbitten kingdom before me, a moment of pure raw emotion comes over me and as I accept my fate. I take just a moment to marvel at the beauty laid out before me. That’s how these moments of beauty and clarity are brought to life in this track. At around the eight minute mark we get just another breathe of ambiance until around the 11:30 mark when the chaos breaks loose, yet again, into a pounding double bass laden cacophony of destruction, devastating this landscape of white we’ve been witness to this entire time, leaving it crashing down in an avalanche of despair, until the moment that clarity we receive only when in those fleeting seconds, where the beauty of death is near us, that we are surrounded by the falling ice. The chaos continues until we are no more. We’ve made our journey. “Pres et Loin”
This review wouldn’t be complete without taking a moment to talk about the absolutely wonderful job Noctis has done covering Paysage d’Hiver’s “Eintritt In Die Sphären”. You can truly feel Noctis’ appreciation of the band and he does the track a wonderful justice.
Biography: Just a guy who loves black metal, and is getting a kick out of getting to write about it.