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White Medal – “Yorkshire Heathen Black Metal” – [Legion Blotan]

yorkiehbm

I like a title that explains exactly what something is. White Medal, the Yorkshire, England-based solo project of George Proctor (proprietor of the UK’s fine Legion Blotan records) produces Black Metal thematically dedicated to the lore and landscape of his native region, the inhospitable Northern setting of ‘Wuthering Heights.’ This 2012 compilation brings together two demos, 2009′s ‘Agbrigg Beast’ (t.1-7) and 2010′s ‘Alone As Owt’ (t.8-12) with two unreleased tracks (13-14) and one from 2011′s Legion Blotan cassette comp ‘Old Ways, Once More’ (t.15). White Medal presents a fantastic merger of raw Black Metal ferocity and wintry pagan melodicism. Lo-fi but delicate, with many galloping punk drum parts, this stuff most immediately evokes Ildjarn or Akitsa, but the mournful tremolo riffs also remind me of Drudkh and Clandestine Blaze. Distant, goblin-throated vocals choke on lyrics that are at least sometimes written in Yorkshire dialect. These are some of the most stirring Black Metal compositions I have heard from recent years. I can almost see the blizzards sweeping across the frozen moors where grim battles once were fought. The ‘Agbrigg Beast’ and unreleased tracks are probably the strongest, but frankly this is pretty close to a perfect release. “Tha’s heard’t howl ut wolf/Down’t Agbrigg way…”

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on February 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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