The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

Nebula Orionis – The Black Shores

Russian solo project Nebula Orionis has been adorning us with some of the most beautiful and blistering atmospheric black metal for close on a decade. Like many of these solo projects, the talent and the foresight that goes into creating such heartbreaking melodies and spirit crushing passages of music can often go criminally under the radar. This is why I want to do my bit in showcasing one of the finest examples of post black grandeur you will hear this year.

With an album, Sorrow, due for release towards the end of the month, Alexander has shared two tracks with us all before the full album release, and as part of our ONE TO WATCH series I want to discuss the opening track, The Black Shores.

Opening under gently lapping waves, and calm acoustic guitars, the mood is both tranquil and serene, and even when those imposing and near planetary guitars come surging forward with that beautifully melancholic death march, the atmosphere is still glorious, although shrouded in dark rumbling skies. The vocals are faint and subdued but bring with them an ache and a yearning that elevates the music to another dimension. Blast beats come crashing in amidst a swollen sea of synths and raucous percussions, creating a wall of sound that is heartbreaking but incredibly uplifting. The track ebbs and flows through tremolo shredded strings and subtle tempo changes. Nebula Orionis is more than just another blackgaze band doing the rounds. This track is littered in lush, sonic layers of sound that hypnotise and carry you weightlessly along its journey. The vocals are diluted, and some might say lost in the mix, but it’s intentional and it’s a stroke of genius.

I cannot wait to hear this album in full and I have high hopes for it. Do the right thin folks and head to the Nebula Orionis Bandcamp page and show your support. Music needs to hold emotion and melody. It needs endless intensity and have the ability to change your state of mind. The Black Shores bring all that and more. Stunning!