Every so often, you stumble across an underground artist who has absolutely no reason to be as proficient as they are. Your mind immediately does a cartwheel and then pole vaults its way out of your head, leaving you to spend the rest of the evening chasing it around. And it’s important, this chase, because you desperately want to get a grasp on your feelings in order to make sense of what you just listened to.
This is exactly how I felt upon hearing Boreal’s “The Battle of VOSAD.” An Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal album that seemingly came out of nowhere, yet has been gestating for well over a decade. This penultimate album, the last that will be recorded and released under the Boreal banner by one-man wunderkind AEF, packs an emotional punch that literally left me reeling… only to snap out of it moments later so I could put the album immediately back on again.
It feels odd to be writing such a glowing review for an album that was created in such terrible sorrow and despair. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain AEF must have went through (though you can read all about it on his Bandcamp page). Yet, Boreal has funneled all this tragedy into creating a true work of art. It’s hard to find a comparison, though artists like Midnight Odyssey, Lustre or Limbonic Art spring to mind. Any fan of Atmospheric or Dark Ambient Black Metal need to look no further. This is an absolute must-listen.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to mosey on over to Nebulae Artifacta’s BC page so I can grab myself a copy of this on wax. (Sam Cooper)