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Untamed Land - Like Creatures Seeking Their Own Forms review




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Reviewer:
8.1

34 users:
7.85
Band: Untamed Land
Album: Like Creatures Seeking Their Own Forms
Release date: October 2021


01. Once Upon A Time In The Kenoma
02. A Nameless Shape
03. Clothed In Smoke
04. The Heavenly Coil
05. Achamōth
06. A Nameless Shape [short version]
07. The Heavenly Coil [short version]


The scorching sun covers the endless sandy wastes in a blazing golden tide as it sets on another day of lawless savagery. Two figures stand apart, eyes locked, ready for the draw, neither daring to breathe lest the other make his move and bring an end to this bloody rivalry of outlaws. Clint Eastwood pulls out his battle axe.

Do you recall the swells of anticipation you feel when you see Lee Van Cleef narrow his angelic eyes at his challenger, sizing up a roguish gunslinger who is soon to be dead? The excitement that washes over you when you see Gianni Garko robbed of his sidearm, only to overcome the villain with a ludicrous hidden contraption? The betrayal and uncertainty that poison the stagnant desert air when you learn that you’re not watching nice Henry Fonda from My Darling Clementine but evil Henry Fonda from Once Upon A Time In The West? Untamed Land offers a summation of these feelings reinterpreted through the lens of atmospheric black metal, informed by the sounds and aesthetics of spaghetti westerns – as Radu so astutely phrased it when reviewing the project’s debut album, this is “what it would sound like if Sergio Leone directed a Summoning album.”

In other words, Untamed Land slathers reverb over tremolo-picked riffs and leathery percussion, creating voluminous black metal compositions of epic length, and then illuminates that darkness with bright splashes of brass and saloon-style piano. The tom-and-tambourine rhythmic combination elevates the medieval pallor, delightfully counteracted by the fat, sunny guitar lines whose staccato-plucked have shepherded many a nameless rider into the frontiers of Almería, Spain (a.k.a. Italy, a.k.a. New Mexico). The wordless, operatic voice of a ghostly woman echoes through the chasms of black metal’s steady march as the keys shift from Summoning synth to soft prog organ.

It's my impression that Like Creatures Seeking Their Own Forms contains a higher proportion of black metal than Between The Winds, and even starts to sound like post-metal at times; they’re ultimately quite comparable in terms of how much they incorporate that sweet, sweet Morricone sound, though, and especially in the second half this album boosts the level of experimentation with its compositions. “Clothed In Smoke” has a fade-out that’s like an Appalachian folk song being strangled; the banjo and whistle are slowly drowned out by dissonant chugging and sinister drumming and a drone that emphasizes the infernal elements. The otherworldly keys that open “Achamōth” are much more futuristic than Old West (and that title tells you that there’s something more esoteric than Sergio Corbucci going on in there, even if there aren’t actually any lyrics).

What this makes me wonder is whether Untamed Land will twist into a new form on future releases, perhaps pursuing more of the post-metal elements, focusing more on the atmospheric black metal side, progressing into something yet more experimental than this, etc. It’s said often enough, especially around here, that evolving is the way to stay relevant, and I think that that’s generally true, but spaghetti black metal is still so new of a concept and still has so much potential to be explored that I’d really rather see Untamed Land just stagnate for another few records. I won’t be satisfied until I get my black metal cover of “The Ecstasy Of Gold.” Count me in for supporting the continual rerelease of the same album. That said, I’m not reducing this album to a rewrite of Between The Winds, for it is not – but if you were blown away by that first album, this one’ll double-tap you into the grave where you belong.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8





Written on 02.10.2021 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 126 users
03.10.2021 - 10:52
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
"evil Henry Fonda" has to be the best example of anti-typecast

Hyped for this
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03.10.2021 - 13:10
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Arthur Morgan is not dead, John Marston shouts to kill, Mykah Bell is dead.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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03.10.2021 - 17:26
Nejde
Green Devil
Written by RaduP on 03.10.2021 at 10:52

"evil Henry Fonda" has to be the best example of anti-typecast

Hyped for this

That was the whole point because Fonda only played good guy roles up until then. Fonda actually turned down the role of Frank in Once Upon A Time In The West so Sergio Leone flew to America to meet with him. When Fonda asked why he wanted him in the movie Leone replied, "Picture this: the camera shows a gunman from the waist down pulling his gun and shooting a running child. The camera pans up to the gunman's face and...it's Henry Fonda". The rest is as we say, history. I love that movie

When it comes to the album I have really high hopes and the two songs released so far just raises my expectations.

Oh, and great review SSUS. Cheers!
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"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
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08.10.2021 - 10:43
musclassia

I can only assume that this is a big improvement from the debut, because my comment in my list for the first album is pretty sniffy, but I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. Cheers for shining a spotlight on it SSUS, I would've probably overlooked it otherwise
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08.10.2021 - 14:41
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Nejde on 03.10.2021 at 17:26

Oh, and great review SSUS. Cheers!

Thanks!

Written by musclassia on 08.10.2021 at 10:43

I can only assume that this is a big improvement from the debut, because my comment in my list for the first album is pretty sniffy, but I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. Cheers for shining a spotlight on it SSUS, I would've probably overlooked it otherwise

I did enjoy the first album, albeit not as much as Radu, I think, but it was his suggestion to review it that put me onto Untamed Land again. I had so much fun doing the write-up for Between The Winds in the 2018 MSAs that I thought I'd just have some fun with this one, too. I recently watched all five Sartana movies with a friend, so I was ready.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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08.10.2021 - 20:26
nikarg
Mod
I just finished listening to this and I like it more than the debut. I would have preferred some more spaghetti in it but, songwriting-wise, this album is definitely superior to its predecessor. "The Heavenly Coil" (full version) is my favourite track.

Top review, SSUS, Radu knows best how to "assign" work because he also knows best what fits whom among us.
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