3. BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT, ‘Silence/Motion’ (RidingEasy)

Writing about grief and the accompanying pain can provide heavy catharsis, but I still don’t like doing it. Reason is bad shit has really happened to me the last 12 months, and that’s encased inside a world that’s still half trying to stay alive and half foolishly mocking the ones who want to live responsibly. Records such as “Silence/Motion” are great to have by your side while you’re in the midst of that battle.

Blackwater Holylight use their third record as a sort of vessel for their grief, be it personal or the pain the world has been in for the last 24 months, which has just crushed so many people. Over seven tracks, the band—vocalist/bassist/guitarist Allison “Sunny” Faris, guitarist/bassist Mikayla Mayhew, synth player Sarah McKenna, drummer Eliese Dorsay, (Erika Osterhout joined as second guitarist live)—poured themselves and their frayed and bruised emotions into what turns out is their most impactful and varied work yet. Yes, their doom thunder remains, as does their power, but they’ve also delved deeper into folk territory and softer, vulnerable sounds to make a more well-rounded, realized sonic picture.  

“Delusional” begins the record fairly inauspiciously at first, letting the music drip through a crack in the window before the power is released, and we’re on our way. Faris’ vocals have a way of getting into your bloodstream and calming you, while Thou’s Bryan Funck lends his instantly recognizable scowl to the background as the track really reveals its power. “Who the Hell?” spirals in as the singing haunts and cold waves wash upon you, giving you instant gooseflesh. A crystalized vibe is achieved as their dreams enter yours, and Faris wearily calls out, “I can’t describe this pain I wear, it suffocates, and you left it here.” “Falling Faster” is dreamy and psychedelic, easing you in as Faris’ vocals float, and the ether in which you’re swimming intensifies. It feels like your mind numbs, the melody lines buzz harder, and your feelings are flushed from your cells, slowly drubbing you into submission. “MDIII” moves gently through acoustics and piano before the energy kicks in fully, mashing you and heating up to levels that test your strength. “Every Corner” wraps the record and starts on a mind-altering trip to which you’ll commit without question. Synth beams emerge as the track grows sludgy, and growls from guests Mike Paparo (Inter Arma) and A.L.N. (Mizmor; he also produced the record) add extra thorns to pierce your flesh. Blackwater Holylight always were mighty, but this is the record where they truly came into their own. (Oct. 22)

For more on the band, go here: https://www.blackwaterholylight.com/

To buy the album, go here: https://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/product-category/ridingeasy-releases/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

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