This album ended up on pretty much every heavy metal best of list for 2015, topping several of them, so I was super excited to listen to it. What a gigantic let down.
First, here’s what it’s got going for it: it’s unique. A West Virginia band paying tribute to Native Americans in part by, I’m told, incorporating Native American melodies and instrumentation throughout the record. So I mean I’ll give them an “E” for effort.
But I’m just not hearing anything beyond that. I have very little education in Native American music, but what I have studied is probably more than most, and I’m not hearing the incorporations here. “October 6, 1813” has what sounds like a pan flute in it, but it’s reverbed so heavily that it sounds like a cheesy version of what Hollywood tells us “Indians” [sic] sound like, not like what they really do.
While there are parts of tracks that are listenable, this album to me is mostly just boring stretches between those mildly compelling parts. And the vocals are undecipherable, which, if you’re making some statement on genocide or American history or whatever, is a big failure. I might like this more if I could understand what was being sung. I doubt it, but it’s a starting point.
I tried, but I’m putting this down as another naked emperor moment. Fat Clown wins again.
Like: “The Serpent Tradition,” “Lost On The Trail Of The Setting Sun,” “Skyhook”
Meh: “The Impending Winter,” “October 6, 1813,” “Traversing The Shades Of Death,” “Skimota,” “Kiselamakong”
Song Notes: After the jump
- The Serpent Tradition – good once it gets going
- The Impending Winter – short
- Lost On The Trail Of The Setting Sun – starts with war sounds
- October 6, 1813 – the vocal melody is cool in parts, and by “parts” I mean like a few notes here and there where they interact with the underlying chord in an unusual way.
- Traversing The Shades Of Death –
- Skimota –
- Skyhook – cool
- Kiselamakong – has its moments. Ends with long spoken word silliniess. Lots of pan flute.