Earthshine - My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain review

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Band: Earthshine
Album: My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain
Release date: February 2021

01. Conquer Thy Mountain
02. Shadows On The Wall
03. A Warm Place With No Memory
04. Bleed With Me
05. Slaves Of Misery
06. When I Die I Shall Return

Do you ever fall in love with an album purely because of its production?

I don't mean to say that Earthshine's My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain's only good quality is the production, but it is the one that made it felt most unique. With a cover art like that and an "atmospheric doom metal" tag applied to it, let's just say I wasn't expecting... this. We'll get to that in a moment, but take a look at the cover art first. Looks like some pretty standard pagan atmo black metal, doesn't it? Especially with such a title. But then again, you could see such a depressing title in a metalgaze band as well. So how do you go from 2016's Doomed To Wander And Never Die, which felt like a doomier version of Wolves In The Throne Room, to the most thrilling metalgaze album of 2021 so far?

Well apparently it takes relocating from Australia to Japan. Not the entire band, but half of the duo, who are also siblings. There's a whole package of experiences and feelings that can come from such a premise, especially when one of the brothers started listening to more psychedelic music while the other listened to more black metal. As a result, My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain feels miles away from Doomed To Wander And Never Die, because it literally is miles away. You can still feel husks of doom (at their strongest in "Slaves Of Misery"), but the rest of the album is much more influenced by atmospheric black metal, post-rock, neo-psychedelia and metalgaze. And indeed, we usually this entire blend "metalgaze", which includes anything from Deafheaven and Alcest to Harakiri For The Sky.

And the reason why I loved the production so much is that its lo-fi quality sets it apart from its more polished counterparts in the genre, and somehow manages to work with both the gaze, the black and the doom, all genres that benefit from some psychedelic noise in the production department. But it's a pretty painstaking project to make the production the right type of lo-fi that accentuates the organic feel and the psychedelic aspect of the music without ruining it, or basically without feeling lazy or way under the budget. Given that this isn't Earthshine's first album, I suspect there's a lot more intention and authenticity in the album's lo-fi production that merely lack of funds or commitment, especially given how awesome it sounds. I do see it as a really big hit or miss aspect for a lot of potential listeners, especially since I have to agree that it still needs some polishing and the removal of that one moment where I wasn't sure if my earphones popped. I can only hope that Earthshine can tweak their sound without ridding themselves of the raw appeal of it.

In a way, the cover art isn't that misleading. A huge portion of their sound is way too post-rock/shoegaze for it, but it's not like it isn't still clearly rooted in some Summoning-esque medieval black doom. "When I Die I Shall Return" sounds taken straight from the Summoning book of mystical atmosphere, but filtered through some Alcest filter, if Alcest's vocals could ever be that meaty. And no metalgaze record would dare to use those baritone chants. But also no foresty atmo black would use tremolo picking that ethereal and dreamy. It's like Obsequiae would go through an extra level of Inception-esque dream depth, leaving behind the folk parts on the previous level.

My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain feels like an album that is just the right amalgamation of tired sounds, repurposed in a way that brings forth authenticity, and reinforces what made them great in the first place. It's melancholia from the past, despair from the present, and hope from the future.


Written on 15.03.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 115 users
15.03.2021 - 12:16

Great write-up of a really intriguing album; there were moments when the production was a bit too rough (I think mostly on some of the higher-pitched tremoloes), but overall the doomy blackgaze sound is really unique and the production ably supports it
15.03.2021 - 13:01

"Shadows on the wall" got stuck in my head from the first listen, fucking love that song. I would have liked a bit more polish on the production but it's not a hindrance to finding enjoyment here.
15.03.2021 - 20:18
Dudeist Priest
Far fuckin' out, man.
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?
15.03.2021 - 22:46
always right
Production and especially vocals make this one interesting to me. It really is a type of production that you don't really hear much but that suits all the genres this record hits. A big problem of metalgaze for me has always been how clean it feels and this sure avoids that.
The last paragraph is a pretty great summary of what makes this album good. Great review.
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
15.03.2021 - 23:30
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I like intro part, sorta artwork , title, song tittles made me check this album out. A bit letdown, but not big.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
16.03.2021 - 12:05
Yeah man, great review. I really like the album, the music is so good and the production is the way I want it to be. "Shadows On The Wall" and "Bleed With Me" stand out for me after a few listens but the whole thing is very enjoyable.
16.03.2021 - 22:57
Lost To Apathy
Glad to see you got round to reviewing this, Radu. It clearly connected with you in a way that I'm sure the band would be thrilled by.

I'm still not sure I'm as sold on the production as you, but I can appreciate how it works with the music. Overall a very good, atmospheric record. Actually quite an uplifting listen.
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
04.04.2021 - 13:22

Really great, thanks to the reviewer for making me aware

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