One of my favorite black metal releases of the year right here. Solo French dude Thomas Bel making absolutely killer atmospheric black metal on what’s quickly becoming my new favorite label (BLWBCK also put out the EUS, Postdrome, & Saåad album that I kinda freaked out over). This is something else entirely, though. Brooding & miserable as fuck, long bouts of chilled ambience, church bells & organs with hymn-like mantras, Paysage d’Hiverian frozen windscapes, stiff lumbering drums like a giant stuck in a blizzard, blistering sheets of icy fuzzed out guitars, and raspy tortured vocals that are clearly identifiable as such but blurred and muffled to perfectly blend with the wall of sound. This is soundtrack to the moments between the top of the cliff and the arctic glaciers below, howling winds & cracked bones, it drones the blackest & bleakest, a depressive cloud of ambient metal that’s just too fucking awesome in every way. And this is his goddamn debut? Perfectly timed to be the next Xasthur.