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Review: Blackbraid – Blackbraid I


Review by Justin Joseph

Blackbraid – Blackbraid I

Record Label: Independent

Year: 2022

Rating: 10/10

I have always maintained the belief that the act of creating forms of art, no matter the womb that it is bred from can be viewed from the perspective that it is a diptych that links to our very spirit, the consciousness that exists beyond flesh and all that is material. For the soul that resonates within a piece, where it be the ink on a parchment or colors strewn on the canvas, once it intertwines with our very being then the silver veil that separates us as mere spectators from the spectacle is now severed. In turn, the unification of souls achieves a symbiosis that is transcendental in its nature, like nerve endings that come together seamlessly to form a new organism.




Blackbraid I”, the debut album by Blackbraid is a musical entity that gives the impression as though it is an ineffable source of energy that has once again reentered this mortal realm to grant us an aura that elevates human emotions from fickle anger, despair and abhorrence. For if an act of channeling a river that knows no master in its motion of language, if that action could be captured where one would freely submit itself to the currents, to let the waters guide the flesh without hesitation, for gaping wounds to be cleansed in its streams, for when the body emerges, the mind shall also be reborn a new…the very result would be the sounds inscribed upon this offering.

The pulchritudinous atmosphere that becomes livid in its expulsion is fashioned forth from the contrasting themes explored by both the strings and percussions, for the extremity in terms of tone feel naught as though they are molded from human hands, instead, it offers a feeling as if an invocation has been cast through that which is unseen. Take for instance, the track, The River of Time Flows Through Me, the manner in which the riffs flow exudes a liberating sensation as though the guitars are relaying a force that wishes to be unchained, like one’s imagination that knows no limits, free to create as it pleases, so too do the strings morph within itself. The tempo that resonates from the notes coupled with the fluctuating beats of the drums carves out one of the crux of this entity, as it becomes the very lifeblood that imbues an elemental spirit onto these tracks. However, if one were to view the instrumental components as the very citadel of nature that springs forth from the soil, the ever-changing notes reflecting that of the orphic patterns of the forest, the vocals would become the very nucleus of this being, the tongue that bestows speech to the very nature of these motions. Songs such as Sacandaga andPrying Open the Jaws of Eternity are evidence where the register used fuses to the bones of these harmonies and melodious notes, birthing a new flesh of many textures, in other words amplifying a very much engaging sound.

Blackbraid has forged a ceremonial offering that is capable of dissolving weakened, frail flesh to reveal that which is unseen to mortal vision, for it is the smokeless fire that ignites the soul to soar with sable wings upon deimosian winds. The act of employing these primordial elements embedded into the soundscape of the album is what renders an organic quality to this listening experience. As you are no longer just ingesting the melodies, rather it can be viewed as the very magik that is found within the earth, the same power to turn one’s limbs into that of the trees, one’s life-force into the very river that bleeds into the sea, it is an album that unifies both soul and soil to feel as though it is rooted into something archaic yet magnificent. As such, it is because of this potent yet captivating listening experience is why I would recommend this album.


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