Gaahl's Wyrd blew us all away with their stunning debut, GastiR - Ghosts Invited, but this second offering, a mini-album entitled The Humming Mountain is an incredible next step. Probably some of the most introspective work in Gaahl's storied catalog, The Humming Mountain explores the sense of self with dark and ambient black metal that oftentimes challenges the very nature of the genre. It's exciting to hear an artist as established as Gaahl continuing to push his own boundaries and explore different sonic elements.
The prevalence of acoustic guitars and black metal might actually make one question if this is black metal at all. However - I think for those of us who view black metal as a vibe more than a specific sound it's pretty clear that this is a black metal record through and through. It paints vivid soundscapes and terrifying realities that we all must deal with. This all being said - the layers of post rock and dark acoustic music that color this record are very welcome and speak to the ongoing magic of Gaahl's Wyrd as a creative entity. This is down tempo and somber music to make you look deep into your soul and question yourself.
The Humming Mountain is a potent addition to the Gaahl's Wyrd catalog and hints at just how much this project is going to do. It helps to prove that there are unique directions this music can still be taken in, and the somber morning music of this record is exactly the sort of thing that will continue to capture the imagination and leave listeners in awe. This is a record that is going to hit a whole bevy of best of lists by the end of the year and letting yourself get lost in it is a delight. I'm truly excited to see music this emotionally powerful unfold on the live stage.
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