“…I curse myself
and the warm stream curls
the moon’s gaze is broken as I pass
and my shadow starves the moss of light…”
The masters of American black metal have just released their massive third album, Hammer of Night, on the newly formed label Sibir Records, which is currently only stocking Yellow Eyes but will feature other black metal and noise offerings in the times to come.
The underground black metal scene, and the noise scene to, is a very interesting and exciting place for the obsessive music collectors. Ultra limited editions, blood splattered cassettes in bags with teethes, all shipped in a wooden casket lined with the ashes of a small goat. But you have to make it interesting if you want people to buy a copy of the music in this overly digitized age some may say. Some may even say it’s just tacky and just a gimmick to make the band seem more interesting and to lure the out the collectors; but I say it’s a great way to entice and reward your fans and make them feel that they got something more than just a piece of plastic with music on it. It’s a really neat way for the artists to connect with the fans, and to show that the band cares about providing their listeners with quality art, not only for the ears, but for all senses. That is something the studio executives in the monolithic record labels will never understand, and perhaps that is for the best.
Well, on to Hammer of Night.
It’s nice to see Yellow Eyes keeping true to their original sound and style. Fast paced, very melodic guitars, inaudible growls, and a sound and atmosphere that a lot of band would kill to achieve. Every sound is great and nothing feels out of place. Hammer of Night is their heaviest album yet and the power is just astonishing! I just wished they would have focused a bit more on the riffs and had a song as grandiose as Silence Threads the Evening’s Cloth from the same titled cassette. Still, the melodies on Hammer of Night is one of a kind, and very unique in the underground black metal scene. The lyrics are a bit hit-and-miss unfortunately, but nothing disruptive…
Hammer of Night is released in a limited edition box set with the cassette in a heavy stock o-card, with a lyrics sheet, a patch, and all is shipped in a handmade wooden box with the logo burnt on, and the box is bound with leather straps. The first edition of this set is already sold-out but a new batch of 30 copies is available for pre-order and will be shipped in August. It is also available as a regular cassette in the heavy stock o-card, and a vinyl edition will be pressed by Dead Section Records in 200 copies.
If you have any love for the underground black metal scene, or love for the physical medium, you should already own Hammer of Night!