Exiled From Light - There Is No Beauty Left Here
Hypnotic Dirge
Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal
Disc 1: 3 songs (38:29) Disc 2: 6 songs (01:04:24)
Release year: 2010
Exiled From Light, Hypnotic Dirge
Reviewed by Charles
So the vile season of summer is upon us (for those us in the Western hemisphere, anyway), and with it comes the disgusting spectacle of human merriment: ice creams, sand castles on the beach, and all the other things that make the elder gods of black metal vomit uncontrollably at the sheer piteous foolishness of it. Except for my birthday in July, of course, to which all readers are invited! But, er, aside from that… what better way to cleanse the sickening sounds of happiness from the ears than with There is no Beauty Left Here, the two CD retrospective compilation from New Zealand’s now-inactive one-man project Exiled from Light? For fans of the niche-within-a-niche that is the depressive black metal scene- and who aren’t already familiar with Mort’s work- this CD could be a bit of a treat: almost two hours of output from a guy who, if perhaps not what you would call an innovator, certainly knows how to crank up the wanton misery.

For what it is, There Is No Beauty Left Here is actually quite accessible. It doesn’t have the murky abstractness that makes projects like Xasthur something of a gruelling listening experience, for one thing. It’s rather more straightforward, based around lengthy expanses of gloomy chord progressions, delivered in a sour-treacle black metal crawl, and often given a wistful gothic sensibility by the keys. The latter sometimes give Exiled from Light’s music the feel of teary-eyed Quebecois Gris, but in general this is rather more straightforward, choosing to luxuriate in despondent but linear buildups rather than spinning off into oblique black-ambient esoterica. The entirety of the first cd consists of three thirteen minute tracks, each opening with ripples of miserably clean guitar, and proceeding to pile on oily distortion and screeching vocals. It’s generally conducted at a trudgingly regular mid-tempo pace, eschewing the ultra-slow floating feel that makes premier acts like Nortt so horrifying.

Given that it’s a compilation, it is no surprise that the tone is somewhat uneven. Indeed, the second disc strays closer to the boundary lines of doleful funeral doom with the last three tracks- drawn from Mort’s previous work in Funereal - starting to encroach on the territory of bands like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost. These- especially Of That Which Lies Beneath- are the most immediately enjoyable numbers here, wheeling out surprisingly meaty riffs that bring There Is No Beauty Left Here to an uncharacteristically crowd-pleasing climax after a long stretch of frail introspection. This is unlikely to have much appeal outside of the dank and unpalatable world from which it drags itself (I mean the DSBM scene, not New Zealand), but those that have acquired the taste may find this an interesting release.

Killing Songs :
Of That Which Lies Beneath, Faded Are My Memories, The Bitter Taste of Tears
Charles quoted no quote
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