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Black metal's future is a duality -- for every forward-thinking artist or band, there is another which looks to the fairly recent past (because let's be fair, 1986 wasn't that long ago). For a style so entrenched in history, black metal still desires an identity as it approaches the third decade of the new millennium. At least, if you don't ask purists who refuse to listen to anything past 1996.
Elegiac moves forward with his eyes purely focused in the rear-view mirror. Reckless while driving, sure, but focusing -- at least musically, as Elegiac's visual approach is an awkward hodgepodge of various black metal aesthetics -- as a musician. People have lost sight of black metal's past, this stubborn, minimally-driven denial of metal's excess in favor of celebrating modern overindulgence. Music like Elegiac, whose Black Clouds of War is being reissued on Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum, is a refreshing exercise in this somehow antiquated riff-by-riff "backbone" style.
Lyrical and bare-bones, sole musician Zane Young's approach is purely celebratory, but sharp and passionate, made by an artist who clearly feels very strongly about the latter part of second wave black metal. As such, there are no forests, no acoustic guitars, and no post-rock. All the weight carried on this album is purely content, wholly casting off the glut of manufactured atmosphere.

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Black Clouds of War will be released on CD via ATMF this Friday, January 12th. You can listen to the album in its entirety below.

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