Blood of the Black Owl - _Light the Fires!_
(Bindrune Recordings, 2012)
by: Dan Lake (unanimously approved by the wolf, the coyote, the crow, and the raven)
Yes! My bones -are- ice! Indeed they -are- shattered by words and buried by time! Yes, my language -is- reduced to dust! Yes, oh yes!

Chet W. Scott. Svart Ugle. Fucking Blood of the Black Fucking Owl. Names are irrelevant. You could call this stuff Brightly Checkered Knickers and I would still rock this wonderfully textured, intensely personal music with no doubt, shame, or reservations. The project that introduced itself as naturalistic drone-doom has blossomed over the course of four viscerally affecting full-length albums into a catalyst for endless awakening and reversion to a deep moral compass. The instruments conscripted to evoke inspirations both internal and external vary widely -- from acoustic strings, flutes and percussion to organs, gravelly chanting and electric sucker punches spiked with rattling distortion. _Light the Fires!_ is not so much filled with musical ideas (though it kinda is) as it indiscriminately follows any available pathway to achieve physical communion with a nameless immensity.

You'll notice (because I'm specifically mentioning it now) that there is no score atop this review. Nor should there be, for several reasons. Most importantly, BotBO's excursions beneath and beyond our anthropocentric world orientation are certainly not metal (though other base audiences are unlikely to appreciate the harsher depths), and rarely do they qualify as songs that can be analyzed or graded. There is simply no defined metric that allows easy comparison between BotBO and any other musical project, extreme or otherwise. Additionally, _Light the Fires!_ can hardly be isolated from its blackly owlish brethren; ranking this journey numerically amidst the other BotBO releases ignores the continuum of experience that these recordings represent. And, as CoC primarily informs a metal-craving readership, the obvious variables of personal taste apply to _Light the Fires!_ perhaps more evidently than with other albums. The expansive style will bore some listeners and exhilarate others. Regardless, every CoC reader owes him/herself at least a taste of Mr. Scott's work.

I didn't really describe the music, but just like my refusal to score the record on an occasionally meaningless 10-point scale, this is appropriate. If you have any unformed spiritual inclinations at all, or if you are racked by unaskable questions you wish to thrust into the void, _Light the Fires!_ poses those queries with breathtaking eloquence. As Chet himself elaborates: "It is a voice to help expose, understand and heal an increasingly egoic nature of programmed disconnection and sickness we as a species carry within. We are no longer the human being and have become the human doing. It is also a voice to the awakening, to the survivalist, to those connected ones upon their own paths, and to the seekers of the flame whom fight the silent battles."


(article published 29/7/2012)

3/16/2007 T DePalma 8.5 Blood of the Black Owl - Blood of the Black Owl
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