As I recently said on my Facebook page, Depressive Black Metal is one of those “needle in the haystack” genres; there is a lot of good stuff, but you have to dig through a lot of crap to find it. A good chunk of the genre, unfortunately, is just a slew of teenagers making shitty, incomprehensible messes of songs with poorly played guitars, a Fruity Loops drum machine and pre-pubescent sounding screams. That’s the shit that you have to dig through to find the good stuff, and the good stuff is the acts who actually know what they’re doing and are able to convey strong emotion with potent, gloomy melodies and tortured shrieks under dismal, murky, old school Black Metal riffage and instrumentation. That’s the stuff that makes the search worth it. Bands like Xasthur, Silencer, Thy Light, Gris, Be Persecuted, Abyssic Hate & more recently, L.A.C.K. set fine examples of how it’s done the more atmospheric way, while the likes of Lifelover, Psychonaut 4 & Vanhelga brought a little more of a melodic feel to it, but did it just as good. This band and album, to me, also does it pretty goddamn well.
This is the second album by Finnish one-man act, The Well-Wisher. I discovered him via Bandcamp a few months ago and really dug what I heard initially. It took me a while to finally give this one a listen, but I’ve been on a Depressive BM kick the last couple days, so I finally did. This one for sure stands on the good side of the spectrum! This is a very good serving of Blackened audio negativism done right. It’s exactly what you would expect by the more raw side of the genre; ugly, murky, echoey and cold as fuck. Nothing fancy, nothing deep, just pure misery and anguish flowing through your headphones and flooding your ear canals to drown your happiness away and make you just as pissy. Tracks that stand out to me like A Never-Ending Day and Time-Distorting Hatred are two of the loudest and most aggressive tracks on here that really got me invested. Then there’s The Ghosts of Past Mistakes and I Don’t Need Hope, I Need Death that show me more atmospherically and keeps my attention all the same. The overall production actually gives off a pretty fucked up and creepy vibe, which is always a plus for this kind of stuff. That’s what really kept my interest.
Depressive Black Metal isn’t for everyone. It’s an acquired taste and some even look at it as a “side effect” of Black Metal, but again, for that, the blame can be put on the amateurs in their bedrooms with too much time and not enough talent on their hands who think pro tools are the answer to everything (younger me is also guilty of it), or perhaps those who have tried it just don’t have an ear for the super dark and disturbing side of things. Also understandable, I guess, but stuff like this, I feel can really prove otherwise if given the chance or even the time of day by those people, but even if that did happen, again, some just can’t handle the more noisy and dissonant style. Different strokes. Anyway, even if this dude makes all this in his bedroom or apartment or whatever, it’s pretty damn impressive and a lot of the amateurish acts that make stuff like this hard to find can possibly learn from it. Teenagers have short attention spans, so I doubt it. Whatever.
So overall, not to ramble on it too much, but this is a very good serving of competent DSBM or Depressive Black, or Depressive SUICIDAL Black Metal or whatever the ever-loving fuck you want to call it. Either way, it’s a very atmospheric, very dark and very brooding 45-minute ride of an album that I can only hope to give more exposure to with this review. Again, not for everyone, but if you’re like me and looking for something fucked up, potent and completely disconsolate, I recommended it! Miserable, nihilistic sounds for miserable, nihilistic souls. Plain and simple.
Until next time.