By Rachel Hacker
The main force behind BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL is Chet W. Scott (ex. YOUR CELL: YOURSELF, and ex-SVART UGLE), James Woodhead and Daniel Ellis Harrod. I had been told a couple years ago to check out this band, and it’s a shame they had gone under my radar so long. BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL’s Light the Fires is doom metal portraying both the beauty and the beast. The album has a tapestry of delicate and intense music. Since this is my first thing that I’ve written for Hellbound, I think everyone should know that I’m a flute player. This album had just what I like- FLUTE! But, for the record, the flute parts don’t sound like stupid Jethro Tull. They’re folksy-sounding, and add a novel touch to doom metal. There’s several different nature sound effects sprinkled into the album. This is one of those “nature-ey” bands, like Agalloch. The “nature metal” idea on this album is pretty cool.
The album opens up with “Caller of Spirits,” a thirteen minute long ode, to, you guessed it, calling spirits. Track Two, “Wind Eye” is a terrifying, but elegant doom metal lullaby. Thick organ chords provide a nice backdrop to their sound. Next is “Rise and Shine,” another thirteen minute track. There are some beautiful moments throughout the track, and it looms over your aural pleasure center like morning fog. As soon as one is about to doze off, “Sundrohan,” begins, and thus returns the distorted guitars and gutteral vocals. Light the Fires is not an album for the easily distracted metal fan, as “Two Ravens at the Tree Line” paces along at almost 10 and a half minutes long of more doomy goodness. My personal favorite track is next, titled “Soil Magicians.” The first seven or so minutes are gorgeous to listen to, and the end of the track has more flute. Finally closing out the album is “Disguist and the Horrible Realization of Apathy.” This final track is by far the most intense one, and left me with a warm, fuzzy, kvlt feeling at the end of it.
Hey! You there! You still awake after all this music listening? Five of the seven album tracks are over 10 minutes long. This isn’t the kind of album you’d listen to during a first date, but it’s great to do reading or studying to. I now feel ready to take a long nature hike on a chilly November day.