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Post-black metal for those who hate the pretentiou - 92%

Necropedophiliac, July 16th, 2005

The post-black metal movement is a small one, dominated by the more recognizable bands such as Arcturus, Solefald, and Fleurety. Characterized by the useage of electronics and the incorporation of other genres of music such as jazz, rock, pop, and even classical, post-black combines these with more traditional second-wave black metal to create a new avant-garde sound; a counter-movement to the raw, minimalism of second-wave black metal. Many metal fans view post-black metal as a shallow movement with a pretentious aesthetic that reflects the emptiness of modern society or even as a genre of metal for metal fans who are ashamed to admit that they're listening to metal. I can't say that I agree; I listen to as much black metal and death metal as I do Solefald.

However, Ved Buens Ende, one of the pioneers of the post-black movement, has released post-black metal that I think even those who aren't a fan of post-black could enjoy. Contrary to more recent post-black, "Written in Waters" doesn't feature any electronics that might deter anyone from the metal aspect of the music. Black metal techniques haven't been lost in this album as it still relies on tremolo picking and black vocals. But also found in this album are clean, singing vocals, dissonant and jazzy passages, and rock-ish clean guitars. The album's production is clean, as is all post-black metal, and perhaps one of my favorite parts of this album is the clear, audible bass. This isn't to say that any bass that can be heard in metal is good but the basswork in this album is brilliant, bringing forth jazzy moments and nice passages but nowhere is the bass over-the-top. It doesn't drown out the guitars or vocals nor does it demand your attention at all times.

I recommend this to any metal fan, though I think most purists will steer clear of this album, especially if you're a fan of other post-black metal bands or dissonant metal.