As I write this, it’s a balmy 57 degrees here on the final day of February, and I’m even thinking of opening the windows for a bit to release a nice breeze. That makes for not the best of situations for writing about a black metal album that’s buried in a deep freeze, with skin cells turning black and the warmth your body offers slowly dripping out.
“Fleecian Winter Majesty” is the first release from duo Kaskaskia, a three-track effort that encapsulates your body in frigid black metal that demands you find cover or else. What we get here is raw, scraping black metal with a heavy dose of dungeon-style synth that ices the fuck out of whatever part of your brain IDs with that temperature and ambiance. It is strange with the weather finally letting up and making it less necessary to layer that we’re here talking this album, but luckily my first listen was when there was 9 inches of snow on the ground and it was cold as hell. Anyway, the band—vocalist Tony Hicks, multi-instrumentalist Damián Jadësh Yyven—drive you into the center of a frozen tundra as the winds whips, your cheeks and lips leak with blood, and you battle against the ice and snow, knowing that even amid this torture, it provides a surge of energy that’ll serve you well.
“Winter Tresses” begins with hammering and synth storming as the shrieks rampage. Wintry hell spreads it wings as mesmerizing chaos freezes your cells, the playing wreaks havoc, and freezing majesty reaches in as things snarl. The shrieks crush as the icy keys increase, rushing its way toward “The Throne Awaits” that starts with cleaner calls beckoning the frost. Guitars rush as the emotion picks up, with the forceful vocals blistering amid trickling melodies. That leads into a stampede where madness floods and destroys any sense of serenity, with the synth unfolding into time. “The Brunette” closes the album with a synth wall and plinking notes as a strange aura unfolds and takes over the environment. Guts suddenly are torn out as the keys fog the glass before getting breezy and volcanic. The intensity rises and as the melodies clash with it, the playing utterly destroys, and the power gushes into and is swallowed by a synth fog that shrouds everything in darkness.
Kaskaskia’s debut is arriving at a time when winter is breathing its last over much of the United States, but hearing these three tracks on “Fleecian Winter Majesty” is enough to make you feel the chill all over again. These first few bursts are enough to make their future worth salivating over, and the emotional fury that is all over this EP just pummels you in the chest. It’s easy to be really excited to see what else Kaskaskia have up their sleeves, but for now, this is enough to keep you in an existential deep freeze.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/WinterMagicBlackMetal/
To buy the album, go here: https://pacificthrenodies.bandcamp.com/album/fleecian-winter-majesty
For more on the label, go here: https://pacificthrenodies.weebly.com/