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Feral Light, formed by guitarist Andy Schoengrund (ex-Wolvhammer), has been doling out wonderful black metal under the radar for half a decade. The band's debut and second full-lengths championed a stylishly abstract style in the genre without bowing too far toward the gazing or hyper-atmospheric end of the spectrum. The results were damn fine: as listenable as these two releases still are, they still provoked feelings of familiarity, and most importantly, the notion of progression. Well, progression is here in the form of the band's third full-length Life Vapor -- we're streaming the whole album now prior to Friday's release.

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Immediately, album opener "Blood in Sand" will convey what Feral Light is all about -- the sense-feeling of dischordance without, well, too much discordance. There's a melodic tinge to Life Vapor that buries itself beneath the scenes, poking out when it needs to but not oversaturating the mix with sing-song or anything circusy. And, as the album progresses, you'll notice a gently undulating wavelength in the sound, as intensity rises and falls under Feral Light's mighty pen. The abstraction the band achieves on this release is impressive given how familiar and poignant these tunes sound -- for black metal that hits all the spots and doesn't give you anything you didn't need, Life Vapor is where it's at.

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Life Vapor releases Friday via Hypnotic Dirge Records.

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