Alda - :Tahoma: review
|Release date:||January 2011|
01. In The Wake Of An Iron Wind
03. Tearing Of The Weave
04. Shadow Of The Mountain
05. Wandering Spirit
Every once in a while, the oppressive shackles of tormenting, nihilistic black metal need to be taken off, replaced by the soothing spirituality found in its more eco-friendly cousin. Unfortunately, most bands who attempt this approach end up making their music so fake and transparent that you can't help but think that it has actually been made by some city dweller who never saw a tree or a snow-covered mountain peek other than on photographs he downloaded using the latest smart phone. That is not the case with : Tahoma :.
Acoustic passages, vocal tribal chants, riffs both melancholic and uplifting, tranquil and majestic with a perfectly gritty production to tie them all together... yep, everything is here, every piece of the successful formula checks out. It's quite hard to find an album where you can't tell which riff you like better, which section makes you get more goosebumps or which passage bears more barren, natural beauty. : Tahoma : takes you on a journey from the lush forests and blooming rivers, to the highest mountains covered in snow, while Native American shamans keep you company by telling you their tales of old around a cozy campfire at night.
Structure-wise, it's absolutely not something we've never seen before, even a bit minimalistic I dare say: riffs switch with minimal effort, often through acoustic breakdowns, tracks usually tend to start slow and build up speed and power as they go, only to revert to the original slower, mellow droning and elegantly close the track. This works like a charm, of course, although I can't help but wonder what would the final product have sounded like had it been given some more complex and layered songwriting. And as I already mentioned, part of why the album is so enchanting is the production: so organic, so alive, but not low-fi or terrible. Every element and instrument is perfectly audible, even though the sound comes off as completely unedited.
Although many would disagree here, I found : Tahoma : 2011's best black metal release of the hippie, tree-hugging variety, even leaving Wolves In The Throne Room behind. Still, even if you disagree with this statement, you owe it to yourself to check it out, especially so if you dig the whole heathen, folk-ish "this is NOT fake fur" subgenre of black metal, because this is one fantastic release, the kind that only comes once in a long while.
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| Troy Killjoy
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