Atmospheric doom metal: admittedly, not something I’m the most familiar with. In this instance, I’m experiencing The Sun Through A Telescope for the first time, and I can say this: it’s quite heavy on the ambience. Since I’ve not the experience or breadth of knowledge for a real and legitimate album review, this is more of a “first impression” sort of post. I do have pretty extensive experience with different types of atmospheric musics such as serial composition, minimalist composers, post-rock bands, etc. as well as both doom and black metal (even atmospheric black metal bands like Wolves In The Throne Room) so I’m quite interested in hearing this project.
First, a little about the double EP Orange and Green/Black that I’m writing about. It’s a project done by a man named Leigh who hails from Ottawa, Ontario under the name The Sun Through A Telescope that was recorded and released on two separate cassettes (though you can download the .mp3 versions).
I’m 100% unsure of which EP to start with, so I selected Orange in a rather arbitrary manner. From the start you get a very good taste of what’s to come, hearing what I can only imagine are sounds from some sort of ocean area. Birds squawking, gentle movement of water, and there are some light synth noises and some feedback… then out of nowhere a black metal section blasts you in the face. The first few songs go a lot like that, with metal carefully woven into some very cool atmospheric textures. When things truly start to get interesting are when the vocals come in on “Glowing Halowe’en Eyes” — they’re pretty haunting, having been processed through some sort of filters, they’re quite reminiscent of the vocals at the begging of “Akeldama” by the Faceless, and at some other points they’re totally unleashed being delivered with pure and unadulterated emotion (often in the form of a powerful shriek).
The rest of Orange continues on in the same manner, tastefully swapping out noise, doom, black metal, and atmospheric sections while introducing more unique nuances to keep the listener’s attention. Green/Black? Not so much, it starts off with a thirteen-minute monster of an atmospheric track, using some of the most haunting tones and harmonies I’ve heard, then moves into the visceral three and a half minutes of “The Priest With One Black Hand”–a raw and heavily hardcore punk influenced track. Right after the album takes another slow but extreme turn where you get the first clean and unprocessed singing on the set of EPs.
Overall I really enjoyed listening to the double EP. It is very well recorded and mixed, and is full of really interesting content. Whether it’s music, bird noises, running water, screaming bloody murder, or whatever else is on this album, it was all very pleasant to listen to. I can’t say I’d recommend this as a listen for anyone with a short attention span, but I will say that it’s certainly worth checking out if you feel like taking sixty-three minutes of sonic exploration.
Here, check out the song “Glowing Hallowe’en Eyes” for a taste of what you can expect from the album:
If you’re interested in checking out more, each EP is a measly $2.50 at The Sun Through A Telescope’s Bandcamp, so head over and check that out.