Parhelion Midnight Sun

From the days of groups like Iced Earth or Dark Tranquillity, metal's notion of a post-human planet was usually communicated with crushing grooves and throat shredding wails. Perhaps the "denial/isolation/anger" stages of mourning have come and gone in projects like Parhelion and we've moved into the "depression/acceptance" phases. Toronto, ON graphic artist and sound explorer Ihor Dawidiuk has put together an hour of compelling ambience that journeys across the Arctic landscape, describing its many dark reflections and sudden eruptions. His drones are agitated and changeable beneath the desolate upper crust, often drawing in elemental samples of water and air to diminish abstraction and augment mood. An intuitive placement of melody, distortion and noise also enliven the dead spaces. To earn metal stripes the power chords occasionally rear up, but sparingly and to maximum effect because of it. Closer "Solitude" is an effective summary of the whole, going from violence through to echoes then settling into eventual silence. It's a cold world, after all. (Cyclic Law)