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Aprilmist: “Aimless” in Just the Right Direction (Mini-Feature)


While many depressive post-black metal bands are prolific, candid, and prodigious, the reality is that those who hide in the depths of the Internet run the risk of withering away. There are some, however, that manage to see the light of day, transferring the popular one-man writing and recording process to the care of session-turned-permanent bandmates. Such is the story of Aprilmist. Making their start in 2014 with guitarist/vocalist Jon Houst (Abjure) at the helm, the solo black metal venture gradually expanded into a quartet: Houst welcomed Anthony McMeins on bass in 2016, as well as drummer Drew Ballard (Abjure) and guitarist Dustin Albright (Diskreet, Renouncer) last year.

A gem of a vision manifested into its full potential with a few helping hands, Aprilmist has been sharing compelling odes to losses and gains, both online and in real life.

The journey to becoming a conglomerate spanning Missouri has been a graceful one. In 2016, Aprilmist contributed their first release, the aptly titled Bleak EP. From the get-go, introspection is at the core of Aprilmist’s essence — while being a product of an environment has always heavily influenced the themes of black metal, Houst centers our relationship with nature not in the grander order of our forefathers, but rather the existential agony of being thrown into a life for which we never asked. The Bleak EP’s opening track “A Terrible Day for Rain” expands upon this concept, describing, “staring into pale light / a shift in perspective / grand paradox / it left me breathless / to realize the nature of it all.”

The depressive pulse of the album is further driven by the angst-ridden riffs that almost resemble post-hardcore. More optimistic tones reminiscence of most post-metal take on a uniquely sinister tone, as if hope is no more than fool’s gold.

Aprilmist’s story continues onward with 2017’s follow-up Remembrance EP. Comprised of two lengthy tracks, the nostalgia-trip starts with “Swirling Gaze,” made up of a progressive break held together by two grippingly aggressive bookends. Despite lingering depressive elements, the vocals are most characteristic of blackened death. True to form, the resulting mayhem brings about a swirling sensation as a vortex of bright guitar riffs and bouncing blast beats forms. The second half of the Remembrance EP takes on a slightly different tone with “One Last Time.” While the howling atmospherics remain, a grungy beachiness of the rhythm guitar tugs at the heartstrings.

While Aprilmist has yet to release a full-length, there appears to be a major break in the very near future. The quartet released a new song “Aimless” in January, which is one piece of a major puzzle coming later this year. The almost nine-minute track explores much of what Aprilmist has come to do best — namely, allowing internal chaos to reign as the external realm sits cold and untouched. While the rest is still unwritten, the next chapters of Aprilmist are highly anticipated.

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