Our own pain and darkness can come on like a brewing weather event, tracing the horizon, looking foreboding and threatening, making you wonder if you should take cover. Difference is when we feel these emotions within us, the collecting assault brews in our minds and heart, sometimes swelling so hard that we didn’t even realize we needed higher ground until the threat is on the doorstep.
Darkher, the project long helmed by vocalist/guitarist/bassist Jayn Maiven, uses this vision of trepidation on her latest record “The Buried Storm,” an album that delves into personal pain and trauma that must be met so it doesn’t overcome completely. Joined on this record by drummer Christopher Smith, Maiven brought in a host of guest musicians—cellists Arianna Mahsayeh and Melanie Chaplin, violinist Lambert Segura, cellist and background vocalist Ludvig Swärd (also of Forndom), guitarist/backing vocalist Daniel Land—to further flesh out these songs. Comprised of doom, folk, and immersive beauty, the record is heavy emotionally, cutting into your heart and acting a passenger as you take your own path into the unknown.
“Sirens Nocturne” opens in a noise cloud, Maiven’s hushed vocals getting under your skin early, influencing your dreams. Sounds threaten as the drama builds, atmospheric pressure increases, and the strings weep, sending the track back into the storm. “Lowly Weep” starts with light drumming and strings making their presence felt, ghostly visions lurk in the periphery, and the vocals haunt as your vision blurs. Strings ache as the low end drops, doom quivers, and the drums slowly pound, spiraling into the dark and the arms of “Unbound” that feels like a deep dream coming to life. Acoustics join the mist as Maiven calls, “It took my heart, it took my faith, it left my body,” as the track melts into the earth. “Where the Devil Waits” is glazed with strings as acoustics enter the picture, the vocals pushing ominous visions of rapture. The spirits accumulate as the oxygen levels increase, everything bowing out in sullen exhaust.
“Love’s Sudden Death” sinks into a doomy gaze that’s thick and dark, breathy vocals making your blood race. “This sudden death is killing me,” Maiven confesses as angelic calls ice your wounds, and a cinematic gush leads the song into deep wasters. “The Seas” has acoustic haunting and delicate singing as the imagery gets more threatening. “Here lies the sun, bleeding,” Maiven calls out as the aura feels like a mid-summer shower that washes away the entire day. “Immortals” brings dripping guitars and heavier cloud coverage, the essence making the water colder and immersive. “Capsized in the sea, immortals are we,” Maiven jabs, the guitars building into a squall. The emotion floods over as your vison gets blurrier, guitars turn to a trickle, and the track disappears over the horizon. “Fear Not, My King” is the closer, starting with piano bleeding and Maiven luring with, “I’ll kiss your every wound.” Darkness sweeps the skies as Maiven notes, “The more I close my eyes, the more I see,” as emergency sirens call morbidly in the distance, strings swell, and the final moments are obscured in vapor.
Darkher’s music is like something from another world or plane, an experience that gets into your bloodstream and changes you while you’re in its grasp. “The Buried Storm” is named perfectly because so much of this music is overcast and soaking, leaving your body shivering and your mind quaking. This is an immersive trip that is forceful and spiritual, something you won’t be able to shake until long after the music has stopped.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/DARKHERMUSIC
To buy the album, go here: http://lnk.spkr.media/darkher-the-buried-storm
For more on the label, go here: https://en.prophecy.de/