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Drone and buzz to the 4th plateau. - 92%

Metal_Finder, June 9th, 2009

The Folk and The Ground is the debut album from the Njiqahdda side-project Oaks of Bethel. This album presents 2 long tracks of super-drone-y, spacey and psychedelic black metal. There is an eerily similar quality to this album that references bands like Procer Veneficus, Velvet Cacoon and the like. Very washed out black metal with incredibly dense and open plains of sound, loaded with reverb and echo. Almost sounds like this album was recorded in a prehistoric cave, with microphones on the inside of the cave picking up the instruments and more outside the cave recording the sounds of nature.

Every part of this record is bathed in field recordings, giving the album a weird sense of being truly alive. Birds chirp, waves crash and winds blow while the OoB duo thrashes out thick layers of fast, psychedelic ambient black metal. The fast blasting portions do make up a large portion of the recording, but there are also some incredibly beautiful almost folk-ish parts. Clean guitars strum, while a deep almost Skaldic sounding voice resonates some incredibly emotive singing among the super spacious recording.

There is a delicate balance between brutality, melody and beauty on this record. Absorbing this album is almost like watching a storm start, stop and pass. This record is somewhat of a monument in the fact it is something to be observed and taken in like a piece of life that is far beyond the control of someone. After the rain stops and the sun peaks out, you truly realize you have witnessed something far greater than you can imagine.

I cannot explain how magnificent this album is, especially for a debut recording. The atmosphere and feeling expressed is far beyond an amateur outing, this album is mature and beyond what many people can imagine of a psychedelic black metal album. Hallucinations through audio, simply put.

Simply amazing, words cannot describe the intense beauty of the album.