The shifting weather of a Minnesota fall/winter and the presence of more prevalent overcast, darker days play right in to the Atmospheric and Ambient touched Depressive Black Metal of And Now The Owls Are Smiling and make its effect on you that much stronger. It is almost as if this setting, this mood and this music all intersect with ones natural body harmonics in a way that does not depress you as one might think but rather turns one to an introspective mode , for lack of a better term. I will spare all of you all of the numerous, serious and just plain stupid things that ran through my mind during, after and around the many listens of “The Comforting Grip Of Misery” that I have put in rather than the “reviewing” I should have been doing. And, honestly, I think that that is the true power of music, good music, as a whole, you get lost in it and at certain times the whole world seems to line up and support it in full force.
And Now The Owls Are Smiling are a one man band from England who have been very active since 2017 (not sure if that’s when they/he started this band, just when their first release came out), with two EPs and two full lengths, “The Comforting Grip Of Misery” here being the latest, and crom what I’ve hesrd looking back, the greatest release by them yet. Main man, mastermind and only one Nre, handles everything when it comes to this band with a really long name here and he seems to be rather knowledgeable of early Depressive Black Metal such as Abyssic Hate and the Burzum touch that all of the Depressive genre all use. And he uses them wisely in a way that totally shows who his inspirations are while still being able to inject his own personality onto the project.
Depressive Black Metal as a whole can be a hard genre area to always be in the mood for, overall or at all for some, yet this man here, this man, can make it feel like something always welcome, always fresh while still having that comfortable at home feeling of true Depressive Black Metal. (Ben Schultz)