Alda - :Tahoma: review




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Reviewer:
8.5

18 users:
8.00
Band: Alda
Album: :Tahoma:
Release date: January 2011


01. In The Wake Of An Iron Wind
02. Adrift
03. Tearing Of The Weave
04. Shadow Of The Mountain
05. Wandering Spirit


Every once in a while, the oppressive shackles of tormenting, nihilistic black metal need to be taken off, replaced by the soothing spirituality found in its more eco-friendly cousin. Unfortunately, most bands who attempt this approach end up making their music so fake and transparent that you can't help but think that it has actually been made by some city dweller who never saw a tree or a snow-covered mountain peek other than on photographs he downloaded using the latest smart phone. That is not the case with : Tahoma :.

Acoustic passages, vocal tribal chants, riffs both melancholic and uplifting, tranquil and majestic with a perfectly gritty production to tie them all together... yep, everything is here, every piece of the successful formula checks out. It's quite hard to find an album where you can't tell which riff you like better, which section makes you get more goosebumps or which passage bears more barren, natural beauty. : Tahoma : takes you on a journey from the lush forests and blooming rivers, to the highest mountains covered in snow, while Native American shamans keep you company by telling you their tales of old around a cozy campfire at night.

Structure-wise, it's absolutely not something we've never seen before, even a bit minimalistic I dare say: riffs switch with minimal effort, often through acoustic breakdowns, tracks usually tend to start slow and build up speed and power as they go, only to revert to the original slower, mellow droning and elegantly close the track. This works like a charm, of course, although I can't help but wonder what would the final product have sounded like had it been given some more complex and layered songwriting. And as I already mentioned, part of why the album is so enchanting is the production: so organic, so alive, but not low-fi or terrible. Every element and instrument is perfectly audible, even though the sound comes off as completely unedited.

Although many would disagree here, I found : Tahoma : 2011's best black metal release of the hippie, tree-hugging variety, even leaving Wolves In The Throne Room behind. Still, even if you disagree with this statement, you owe it to yourself to check it out, especially so if you dig the whole heathen, folk-ish "this is NOT fake fur" subgenre of black metal, because this is one fantastic release, the kind that only comes once in a long while.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written by Slayer666 | 09.12.2011


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 69 users
09.12.2011 - 12:22
Slayer666
Hoooray, my 30th review since July this year!

And I have no clue what the fuck happened with the spacing, can someone fix that?
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09.12.2011 - 17:49
Milena
Learning To "X"
It looks like a poem this way
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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09.12.2011 - 18:49
NocturnalStalker
Metal Addict
Nice review. And it seems I will like this album.
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"And we are not who we think we are
We are who we're afraid to be"
- Lux Occulta "The Opening of Eleventh Sephirah"
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09.12.2011 - 19:39
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Awesome review, awesome album. These guys mix their dark folk influence really well with their brand of atmo-black. Definitely something you can recommend to those Agalloch fans who are always begging for something similar to Ashes...
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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09.12.2011 - 20:48
Slayer666
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.12.2011 at 19:39

Awesome review, awesome album. These guys mix their dark folk influence really well with their brand of atmo-black. Definitely something you can recommend to those Agalloch fans who are always begging for something similar to Ashes...


Thanks for fixing the spacing problem, the review doesn't look like a complete eyesore now.
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10.12.2011 - 16:04
pisymbol
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.12.2011 at 19:39

Awesome review, awesome album. These guys mix their dark folk influence really well with their brand of atmo-black. Definitely something you can recommend to those Agalloch fans who are always begging for something similar to Ashes...


Couldn't have said it better myself. This is one of the hidden gems of 2011 (no one knows them....yet).

EDIT: I might be in the minority as Slayer6^3 states, but I think this is a stronger release than WiTTR. I found myself a bit lost on Celestial Lineage at times. Though some would criticize Alda in their more straightforward approach, I believe it actually functions as their greatest strength: They deliver a direct and powerful performance that truly embodies atmospheric Cascadian black metal. Though I admire WiTTR for evolving their signature post-metal droning to a more layered approach on Celestial Lineage, I think ultimately, aspects of it just didn't have the same impact as Alda's release. I may be in the minority, but I really think Tahoma is the best Cascadian black metal release this year hands down.

Who's with me? :-)
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