Ambient textures and blackened extremity have long been bedfellows, but where once we had the slightly more atmospherically-inclined works of Ulver and Summoning, styles like blackened post-metal and blackgaze are now fully-fledged genres in their own right. Looking back on the early days of black metal’s second-wave, it might be hard to imagine just how effective dreamy soundscapes and furious blastbeats would be when merged together, but combined, the two seemingly disparate styles bolster one another and concoct something entirely more enticing and captivating as a result.
Ever since Alcest and Deafheaven took black metal out of the murky shadows by merging its anguished wailing and razor-sharp guitars with reflective melodies and luxuriant atmospherics, in the process pissing off diehard fans of the genre but attracting a whole new swathe of fans anyway, we’ve seen a wealth of atmospheric new takes on the subgenre, with recent years gifting us world-beating albums from the likes of Denmark’s Møl and America’s Bosse-de-Nage. Now, the UK is looking to get in on the act through Sheffield newcomers Hidden Mothers.
Born out of a mutual love for artists like Oathbreaker, Deafheaven, Amenra, Converge and Alcest, the Steel City group are a forward-thinking new blackened post-metal/blackgaze group who share a goal of “making abrasive yet ethereal music and pushing ourselves and each other creatively,” an objective clearly reflected in their triumphant debut single ‘The Longest Journey Yet’. The track was recorded by Joe Clayton (Pijn, Leeched) at No Studio in Manchester, who the band selected due to his excellent work with the likes of Ithaca and Wren.
Hidden Mothers plan to head to the studio later this year to record a full EP, and have some shows booked for September and beyond, but for now, you can hear their debut single exclusively on this very site a few days before it officially drops. It’s a life-affirming bout of blackened post-metal, with anguished cries emanating out from amidst lush soundscapes – enjoy!
Words: George Parr