Altars Of The Moon are fixing to release their sophomore record, The Colossus And The Widow, later this month via Disorder Recordings. But before the ethereal post-black metal/shoegaze masterminds flood your ears with the full length, we have been blessed with just a little taste of what’s to be, priming and tantalizing us through melody, atmosphere, and a dreamscape of serotonin in waveform. Today’s premiere will feature none other than “The Signal”, only one of many new tracks from the aforementioned upcoming record, sure to haze you into a pre-order and a ‘follow’ for the band, ASAP! Do your ears a favor, and hit ‘play’ below…
Opening on a mass of swelling, decadent soundscapes that provide the same sort of atmosphere as an exciting new thriller or Sci-Fi film, the song’s drums, reverbed guitars, and general build-up already have you ready to don your robe and say your prayers. The song keeps a steady groove, introducing crunchy chords, arpeggiated melodies, and raspy vocalizations that put your mind somewhere between dreamy and derelict. It’s the sort of juxtaposition that tends to draw listeners like myself into blackgaze bands so heavily. This combination of gritty, dark, melancholic, and bitter, blended seamlessly with ethereal, romantic, and poetic sort of sounds and themes.
Generally, shoegaze and post-black metal crossover tends to maximize expression and dynamics, which comes as no surprise given the history of the greats from either sect of that combination. But Altars Of The Moon have a particularly powerful track here that resonates like an impactful speech or sermon, building upon itself just before fading out at the outro of the song. “The Signal” carries a hypnotic aura about it, one I could see pairing incredibly well with visuals or theatrics, but even without – you’ll likely find the hairs on the back of your neck raising by the 2 minute and 48 second mark of the duration. Time feels like it’s slowing down while this song is going, and I mean that in the best way possible. But interestingly enough, this (and likely much of their music) tends to center around bleak observations of the vanity and ignorance of humanity, or more specifically modern society in general, as Heath Rave so passionately points out:
‘Are you surprised that in a sewer sphere of 7.8 billion upright-walking viruses there are still a few who think that some higher beings have any sort of negligible interest in our planet consuming anthropology? If only we’d be so lucky to get wiped out of existence by the mouth of a sentient anomaly. Nope. You’re gonna get up again tomorrow, drink your coffee, take your meds and shuffle along. Ground control to major bummer.‘
While I could never limit the ‘right time’ to listen to a song like this to any specific time-frame, this also seems timed just right for the coming season. As the air has gotten much colder in my region, and others nearby are already starting to see snowfall, “The Signal” practically soundtracks the essence of winter weather to my ears. In fact, I would venture to say it mirrors along with the characteristics of a snowy landscape in the dead of winter; While harsh, barren, enigmatic in its own ways, and not without its haunting qualities, it is easy to recognize its natural beauty, the message it sends, and how it makes way for anew. Regardless of how much sense any of that does or doesn’t make, I’m definitely playing this one on repeat when I inevitably have to drive into work during the first big snowfall and my state loses their minds over it and exhibits every reason why nobody likes driving here during the winter, and you can’t stop me.
But don’t get distracted by what kind of weather I think “The Signal”, or Altars Of The Moon, belong to. The album is quite adequately and powerfully described as ‘an unclassifiable morass of doom and gloom‘, which pays plenty of respect to the esoteric nature of the band’s compositional quality, and that’s only part of why you need to be paying attention. Treat yourself to this mighty fine pre-order of The Colossus And The Widow right now! Don’t forget to give the band a follow via their Instagram, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for when the album drops November 17th! But you won’t have to work too hard for that, will ya? Because you’re gonna pre-order it and be notified the day it drops anyway, right? Right! Good talk!