Old Silver Key - _Tales of Wanderings_
(Season of Mist, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (7 out of 10)
This is IT! Drudkh / Blood of Kingu. Lantlos / Alcest / ex-Peste Noire. Folk-flecked black metal, here we... Nope, shit, nevermind, let's start this whole thing over.

Though Drudkh's entire clan contributes to Old Silver Key with input from one Neige of French blackgaze fame, _Tales of Wanderings_ bears closer kinship to the 2009 Amesoeurs full-length than any Ukrainian brutality. Uncomplicated rock beats, meditative piano, and fuzzy but melodic guitar strumming rule these seven glittery jams. Sometimes the percussion speeds to near-ferocity and tremolo picking accompanies the Frenchman's melancholy poetry ("November Nights Insomnia", "Nineteen Winters Far Away From Home"), but gorgeous '90s guitar tones and memories of simpler 4/4 times are always just around the corner. Given OSK's musical lineage and occasional sonic markers, _Tales of Wanderings_ is sure to get the grumpy old men grouching about the arty schlock being made in the name of black metal. This music is not sanctioned by Satan, Odin, or any ex-members of Gorgoroth. It is also, incidentally, not bad, if you can stand a little beauty in your daily regimen of terror and nihilism.

_Tales_ reminds me a little of Trevor Dunn's Mad Love project from 2009; while the two have little in common stylistically, both involve artists known for gnarlier strains of music taking an accessible approach through straightforward rhythms and clean, pretty vocals. Admittedly, Mad Love doesn't make frequent trips through my time-constrained speakers, but it is a welcome detour from my more standard fare when I do choose it. _Tales_ offers the same alternate path, the one least likely and less traveled. Once the stylistic choice is made, _Tales_ stays the course; once that choice is accepted by the listener, OSK provide a comfortable and enjoyable listening experience.

Contact: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

(article published 1/11/2011)


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