Mineral Bearing Veins by From the Bogs of AughiskaRelease date: September 28, 2018
Label: Apocalyptic Witchcraft
From the Bogs of Aughiska return with a complex development of their sound, with new full-length Mineral Bearing Veins mixing Irish folkloric spoken word, noisy ambience, field recordings, harsh chaos and black metal in a dense and unique brew.
Previous releases have emphasised the ambient synth minimalism, but with a raw edge, hints of distortion and darkness creeping in everywhere in the sound, and the tales of spirits, banshees and weasels representing the real and violent folktales hidden behind the contemporary world. Here there’s more use of black metal pieces, and a broadened repertoire overall, such as in the harp (harpy?) plinkings of intro piece ‘Scuabtuinne’, peaceful enough though deep grey clouds are gathering. Always with an intricate, layered feel like weird contradicting histories or stories that are impossible but also true. There are still elements recognizable from the band’s earlier music, the grainy drapes of drizzling noise, and the distinctive yarn-spinning voice of Eddie Linehan. This time he’s telling a tale (or, as is customary, telling a tale of himself being told a tale) of the need to evade dark fairy power in ‘The One Whitethorn Bush’, the only safe course of action being to leave well alone. Elsewhere, a bandmember intones a fairly straight encylopedia entry about crows and buzzards in Celtic folklore, closing the track ‘Wake of Buzzards’, an ominous mist-rising coldness of a track.
‘Poll An Eideain’ rages after building from water trickles to malevolent buzz texture to assault, with the treated vocals taking up an overwhelming amount of the sonic space together with whumming noises and juddering drums, making the black metal spaces packed and claustrophobic. The album cover is a good representation in this respect, the elements all very much fit with the atmosphere but the whole is a bit busier and more tangled than in prior incarnations. ‘Crataegus’ is also cramped and twisted black metal, with the vocals having really been experimented upon sonically to wring out the darkest, weirdest timbres from the technical alchemies of production, before the track collapses into gloomy mists, the damp mossy breathing of rocks which shouldn’t… ‘The Devil is an Irish Man’ is the most compelling of the forays into black metal intensity, a stately rhythm emerging from grey gloom like ghostly marching soldiers while a jagged piercing sound bursts overheard, until fury erupts. ‘An Spealadoir’ is a traditional-sounding sung melody underlaid with groaning sweeps and washes, before finally ‘Lios Duin Bhearna’ closes up the record with a wordless track alternating between calm humming clouds and sections of blistering, coruscating distortion.
An evocative, mysterious record which develops into new areas while building on the rough ambient dark magick of their established signature sound.