Woman is the Earth – This Place That Contains My Spirit (Eisenwald)Sunday, 18th May 2014
This Place That Contains My Spirit was originally released back in 2012 but Eisenwald saw fit to give it a proper release, with the recent dropping of the band’s second LP, Depths. If it wasn’t clear from the band’s name or album title, Woman is the Earth play Cascadian black metal quite similar to Wolves in the Throne Room and Weakling. As holistic and granola as any of the other atmospheric black metal bands of this sound, fans of the genre will most likely be pleased if they haven’t had the opportunity to check this one out yet.
In comparison to their other Cascadian brethren, there’s not much to really separate Woman is the Earth from the pack. The low-fi recording, reverberated and indistinguishable black metal wails and rasps (and a few clean ones here and there of course), plenty of tremolo picking and some triumphant riffs, and of course, reflective and internalized atmosphere. There are bits of folk influence here and there as well, adding to the woodsy and naturalist approach of the material. Woman is the Earth is rather adept at knowing when to change gears and focus, keeping the extended songs engaging and moving forward. The only exception to this is the 8-minute ambient ending to “Glow Beyond the Ridgeline,” which does nicely tie back into the beginning track but in all honesty, keeping the low key momentum going for that long just seems like a bit of overkill.
Some may find some faults with the production however. The drums and vocals seem to be relegated to the background, but truth be told, it does fit the aesthetic pretty well (it does come from the forest after all). That aside, it is nice to see a band in this field that keeps things more metal than post-rock. Even though it doesn’t make much of a name for itself with identity, those clamoring up for more forest-y and nature loving black metal could do a whole lot worse than This Place That Contains My Spirit.