Black Tower are set to unleash their debut album The Secret Fire next week, but before it lands, Exclaim! is streaming the record in its entirety for your listening pleasure.
The black metal band hails from Ottawa, but as they put it themselves, "it might as well be Middle Earth." Putting a unique literary spin on their music, each of their songs is inspired by the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Secret Fire draws special inspiration from Tolkien's classic fantasy novel The Hobbit, and they're careful to point out that when they talk about the dark lord, they don't mean Satan; it's all about Sauron.
The new record was tracked at Apartment 2 Recordings in the winter of 2014 with Fuck the Facts' Topon Das manning the sessions. The music "wears its nerd credentials proudly on its sleeve," but there's much to be admired on The Secret Fire by both book and black metal enthusiasts alike.
The songs unabashedly reference Tolkien's mythical world of dragons, dark lords and magical rings, setting the tales of Bilbo Baggins' journey to heavy, hard-hitting and fittingly dark music.
"Just consider this the beginning of a journey — you're Bilbo, the band and I are Gandalf and a bunch of unruly dwarves, and you're being beckoned down a strange new road," said Unspeakable Axe boss, Eric Musall. "And if that metaphor was a little too nerdy for you, best to bow out now. Otherwise, good times lie ahead."
The Secret Fire is out on June 2 through Unspeakable Axe and No Idea Records. Get your nerd on and give it a listen below.