Mossweaver by Old GrowthRelease date: February 5, 2021
Label: Supreme Chaos Records
Old Growth is the spiritual child of sole member Shaman Animist, a man as mysterious as his music is beautiful. Hailing from Germany, Old Growth play atmospheric black metal filled with harsh instrumentation and touching moments, a contrast made in musical heaven and one of many reasons why this genre is my most listened to. Animist’s primary aim is to express his gratitude of this great big world of ours through sound and voice, bringing attention particularly to the primal wilderness and the ages of evolution seen within the gnarled bark of the colossal woodland overseers that populate the vast outdoors. Originally released back in December 2020, Mossweaver is a fully formed debut that will be hard to top and will be remembered for years to come.
‘Old Growth’ introduces us to Mossweaver and Animist’s vision with sublime guitars breezing in and sweeping you away into a lullaby of strings. A clash of symbols breaks the trance and you’re thrust into a spiral of blastbeats and primitive cries. The first track proves to be a flowing melodic journey with a bite with plenty of story crammed into this evocative ten minute opener. ‘Oakenheart’ is the kind of musical chill that brings shivers to the spine. Opening with cold winds and the gentle twang of strings, soon forlorn tremolos wail from the depths of cavernous melancholy. Simple beats and magical riffs climax to pummelling blastbeats and heart-squeezing guitars. ‘Oakenheart’ is the lifeblood of the album showcasing Animist’s talent and Old Growth’s sound, which is immersed in the many contrasting colours of atmo-black metal.
‘The Seedling’ is another nuance-packed gift of powerful charging drums and catchy high-flying tremolos, soft touches, aggressive fits and energy-driven guitar work that ultimately culminates into a fading and dreamy outro. Ending the album is ‘Altar of Wisdom’ a rabid and visceral track with shrill, commanding vocals booming wildly as if proclaiming something of great importance. The track is one of the more seriously toned and thunderous in energy and brutality but still brushed with melodic hues against some of the more primal, crushing moments, ending the album on a foot-stomping high.
I am continually amazed by the raw talent that this genre has to offer, especially for those flying solo and writing, recording and producing music as intensely satisfying as this. Bands like Unreqvited and Violet Cold, to name a few, do such wonderful things with the talent they have and now Animist can surely add his name to these pioneers. The album has a clear vision, to pay reverence to nature, something that isn’t a new trend in the world of black metal, seeing as a lot of its music is rooted in tradition, ritual or primitivistic ways, but Old Growth hits the spot for a atmo-black man like myself.
Mossweaver will be the beautifully hand-crafted survival tool for any nature-loving metaller. It’s what you want atmospheric metal to be… oldly enough full of colour and vibrance juxtaposing more harsher music, mainly through its superb use of tremolos and haunting ambience. It’s filled with hook-laden, beautiful, harsh, majestic, image and scent evoking black metal. Close your eyes and reflect and revere, be lost under the stars in sound and in beauty… and then bang your head until your tent shakes.