Greetings Abyss! There are a few things here at Metal Abyss HQ that we're passionate about. Supporting underground metal is certainly at the top of that list, as there are roughly 14 quadrillion bands, artists and projects that receive no attention from the metal media. While The Editor may feel differently than me (oddly enough, we've never had this conversation) I'm a strong proponent of purchasing physical copies of albums. Blame it on my age, but whether it's a record or a CD, I don't feel like I "own" an album until it's actually, physically in my hot little hands. Enter Podolsk, Russia's B.M., better known as A Light in the Dark, and his most recent LP, 'A Long Journey Home', which is getting a vinyl pressing on 12, April via Viridian Flame Records. During one of my late night Bandcamp scrolling sessions (when I should have been either sleeping or working, I won't say which), I stumbled across this gorgeous LP and had a physical copy ordered before I was through the first track. Sometimes you just know, and on 'A Long Journey Home', A Light in the Dark melds black metal with post-rock, shoegaze and enough atmosphere to begin terraforming one of Jupiter's moons. Beginning with a synthetic tide, acoustic strums and a simple, electrified arpeggio, 'Uncertain' feels more like a reflective coda than an opening track. By the time that chiming, distorted main riff and blackened screams engage, however, there is no doubt that this is the beginning of a blissful, even cathartic ride. Among the more aptly named bands/albums, there is an over-arching sense of hope here. Extended instrumental passages and sparse vocals allow the wall of guitars to carry, and ultimately uplift the day. The loud/soft dynamic is used extraordinarily well throughout to build and release tension. 'To Drown in Your Eyes' opens cautiously before exploding into modern black metal meets space rock bliss; and a closing, melodic, almost vocal solo that is then taken over by the rapid, pulsing strums of 'Affection'. The longing, disengaged major chords there provide the perfect bed for the plaintive, spoken word verses. That this is not an album comprised solely of blackened screams is perhaps its greatest strength, as while it clearly has roots in black metal, it's not beholden to its often bleak and misanthropic images and tones. The blend of screams, clean singing and spoken words, and more importantly when and where they're each used, adds needed breadth and depth to the soundscape. Ultimately, 'A Long Journey Home' is just that. All seven of the tracks here (not counting the darkwave/dubstep remix of 'Alone' which closes the album) are tethered to one-another in such a way that it's difficult to hear them as individual tracks. In that sense the album can be seen as something of an uninterrupted journey, and one that I strongly recommend fans of everything from Vvilderness to My Bloody Valentine take immediately. Fortunately for us, digital copies of 'A Long Journey Home' are available for FREE via A Light in the Dark's Bandcamp page. There you'll also find links to purchase both CDs and that lovely and very limited blue vinyl. Keep tabs on any new releases via A Light in the Dark's Facebook page and be sure to hit us up there as well with your thoughts on this or any other album we feature. We've said it before but it bears repeating, we love to hear from you. Unless you're Corey Taylor. We've all heard enough from him already. Rage on!
A Light In The Dark- Song: "A Long Journey Home"