Westering – ‘Help a Body’

Posted on 21/07/2011

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I recently got my first job, not entirely of my own will. I do unskilled, menial grunt work from 9 to 5 and, rather than be grateful for the above-average pay and the ridiculously relaxed vibe at work, I’ve decided to feel depressed and complain about how my soul and spirit are being stifled by the unending, crushing routine that is the “rat race”. What better way, then, to soundtrack my daily commute than with Westering‘s Help a Body? Released in 2010, the band, based out of Seattle, consists solely of one member, and produces beautiful, layered black metal, with a strong shoegaze overtone. I particularly like the album’s longer tracks, specifically, ‘My Naked Hands’ and ‘We Buried Him Preciously’; they seem to allow for a more developed sense of atmosphere, complemented by seemingly contradictory harsh, screamed vocals. Rather than having a jarring effect, however, this combined with the sweeping, dense guitarwork showcased throughout much of the album works exceptionally well, comparable to, I guess, Alcest’s later work, minus the clean vocals.

One-man BM bands are inescapable these days, and it’s hard to seed out the ones worth listening to. This record, however, is truly a diamond in a sea of garbage, and I’d say that anyone with even a mild interest in black metal should take a listen to Westering’s work. Along with the French, American artists have really taken the lead in the genre, with bands like Liturgy, Deafheaven and Castevet pushing boundaries left untouched by the more conservative Swedish and Norwegian scenes, and I hope to see Westering continue this trend. Despite the mostly unfounded hate, USBM will only continue to develop and grow.

Download: Westering – Help a Body

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Posted in: Album Download