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From time to time, even the most modern and industrial person craves sylvan isolation. From Thoreau to Benedict of Nursia to the North Pond Hermit, the romanticized idea of leaving society and returning to primitivism retains an allure in the modern mind. An escape, even if just a daydream, is comforting.

After five years of silence, a modernized, more metallic Encircling Sea, too, feels the call of the wild. A sharp turn from the long-form, neofolk-driven A Forgotten Land, Hearken is sleek, a polished obsidian monolith of thick, blackened sludge metal, but the natural spirit of its predecessors lurks just beneath the surface.

Note the accompanying video to "Elderfire": a stark, neopagan ritual held deep within the Australian bush. Deep strains of animism make a stark contrast with the contemporary discord and bottom-heavy nature of present day doom metal. Encircling Sea is mighty, possessing a brawn which only comes from a deference to metal in the 21st Century, but dreams of denying themselves and satiating the wild spirit within.

In a way, we all do.

Much like those who drifted from society before us, we all want to dismiss the superficial notions of responsibility and cut-throat denial of modern life and simply "get away." Maybe metal itself deserves that kind of idealism, too.

Hearken will be released April 6th on EVP Recordings (preorders are live here). Watch the beautifully shot video for "Elderfire" below.

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Follow Encircling Sea on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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