Síoraí Geimhreadh - Solitude
Black Metal
4 songs (33:50)
Release year: 2007
Síoraí Geimhreadh
Reviewed by Goat

There are few bands truly capable, when all is said and done, of developing an atmospheric effect of their own that doesn’t need a certain level of commitment from the listener, a suspension of disbelief if you will. Atmospheric music asks something of the listener, that he or she puts aside the rather obvious fact that they are sitting in a dark room with headphones and pretends that something completely otherworldly is happening. Call me a cynic, but in my view the band in question has to work for this privilege, and I tend to be disappointed when they don’t.

Irish trio Síoraí Geimhreadh, formed but three years ago, here present its debut EP, released in September 2007 but due to a variety of factors only presented for your consideration now (yes, it’s my fault, many apologies to the band). Expecting some sort of gentle Post-Rockish material from the calm-looking cover art, I was quite nonplussed when the four tracks here turned out to be closer to your typical Black Metal, fast, violent, early-Burzum-with-more-varied-drumming kind of stuff, with fuzzy riffs that form a background wall of noise whilst manic shrieks slither on the top like a nest of snakes. Far from being lightweight, however, this sucked me in immediately.

Whilst you can find a wide range of Black Metal bands that play sloppily and are proud of it, Síoraí Geimhreadh is made of sterner stuff. Drummer Barry especially is surprisingly technical, whilst Decy’s gloom-tinged riffing is what gives the band its atmospheric bite. After a brief intro section first track Solitude moves into a fast and furious storm of darkness, some slower-paced instrumental segments stopping proceedings getting dull, despite the ten-minute-plus track length. There’s a Nietzsche quote on the inside of the booklet: ‘For one person, solitude is the escape of an invalid, for another, solitude is escape from the invalids’. Assuming that they follow the latter half of Fred’s advice, you can feel the band’s disgust quite clearly, which is especially impressive for a band this young, which often have difficulties making emotion come across without feeling ham-fisted.

The standard is upheld throughout the EP, with A Wandering Moment providing some moments that wander from the beaten path, and Forest Of Thoughts being fast and furious. If there’s a fault, then the last three tracks could benefit from a bit of editing to make them really killer (the shortest being nearly seven minutes long), final track An Endless Winter truly seeming endless. Still, what’s good here is very good, and the band has a suitably murky future ahead of it if it can reign itself in a little and focus on the best parts of its sound.

Killing Songs :
Solitude, A Wandering Moment, Forest Of Thoughts
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