I have been listening to some seriously fearful music of late. On the morning of Christmas Eve I found myself listening to ‘The Beauty of Doubting Yourself’ by Daniel Thomas Freeman at 5am. And I should say, I would highly recommend that you wake early one morning, just before sunrise is ideal, put on a good pair of headphones and do the same. An ode to emerging out of depression, that record is, at times, a very difficult listen but hugely rewarding. However, it is nowhere near as dark and fearsome as this record by The Haxan Cloak or Bobby Krillic to his friends and family. Yep, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most intense and emotive records that I have listened to in a long time. It’s DARK. Seriously dark and seriously compelling. It sucks you in in a very strange way but when it’s finished with you I can guarantee you will feel all the better for it.
I’m finding it hard to pin this record down if I’m honest. It feels like a very similar experience to Ben Frost’s ‘By The Throat’, which blew me away with its intensity and immense use of sound and texture on first listening. Well, this record does something similar without ever really covering the same ground as By The Throat. I actually think this is darker. More brooding. Haunting even. In fact, there is something very gothic about this record. I am not sure if that makes sense, but perhaps it will to those who understand Gothic architecture. And I think that there are elements of black metal in there too. It’s just so intense and absorbing.
Ultimately, this is a brilliant piece of sound art. One that anyone with an interest in this type of music should own and one that should be rated up there as one of the most immediate and fearsome records you will hear in some time. As exciting as ‘By The Throat’ was then? Absolutely. And as a debut record this is a very, very accomplished piece.
You can check out The Haxan Cloak here. Enjoy
*As a point of interest, the term ‘Haxan’ is an old German word for witchcraft.