There’s a lot of music out there – but sorrowfully, some of it is less known than others. That’s why Captured Howls is here.
Gloomseeker — Self-Titled Release
Gloomseeker’s very experimental shoegaze-y but doom-y music pushes at the edge of the listener’s psyche like it’s stumbling around in the dark – a willful dark, though. Through the morbid tones and the experimentation with sound, there’s a sense of control and – dare it be said – the “meaning” embedded in any worthwhile music in the first place. In other words, yes, this dark – and gloomy, pun intended – material should be considered on the same level as other perhaps more accessible works. Its style is not condemning – it’s enlightening and mind expanding.
There’s a lot of repetition on the 2017 self-titled Gloomseeker release, although at the same time, there’s a sense of a dramatic and drawn out build. In that repetition, though, the artist has established an effective draw for an open minded listener. Getting into the album is less like a dive and more like a slow, spiraling descent into thick darkness with intriguing stops along the way,
Yes, saying so is incredibly morbid, but at the same time, that descent into darkness defines all of our existences here in a way, so we best make of it what we will. There’s the “eat drink and be merry” approach – which certainly works sometimes – and then there’s the meditative and sometimes enlightening approach taken and exemplified via Gloomseeker. If you’re in the mood for an almost surprisingly wild ride, turn it on – below via Bandcamp – and expect new music from the project around March 2019.
Grave Blankets — Self-Titled Release
Grave Blankets takes a somewhat more harried approach to the experimental space. There’s less of an almost doom metal-esque build and more of a careful sounding construction of sound on their self-titled, September 2018 release. There are endless nooks and crannies in this work, or so it sounds at first listen, and there’s an ability to either do a deep dive with the music or let it flow along in the background – although the “flow” isn’t entirely orderly, to be clear. The band takes their own approach to, so it feels, the whole array of the music creation process, from the practical side of what’s being put together to the way those components are interlocked and intertwined.
The artist sounds as if they’ve approached perfecting a striking synthesis between dynamics and experimentation. There’s both an ability to appreciate the music on a base level thanks to what it is, and there’s also the opportunity to “question everything,” so to speak. It’s not for everyone, but it is for someone. It’s a fitting entry in the modern catalog of works that feel like soundtracks but aren’t actually paired with a film production. This work charts the path of a dark and tense exploration of the chaos of life from the perspective of the one in the middle of it and exhausted – but inquisitive – about it all.
Check it out below via Bandcamp.