Harakiri for the Sky, Ghost Bath and Unreqvited bring Autumn Asylum Tour to Atlanta
Written by Scott Belzer | April 17th, 2023
The realm of post-black metal is one of introspection. It’s atmospheric. It’s emotional. It’s less combative and more cathartic. And it provides a place for listeners to deeply think about life, death, and all the complexities between. Post-black metal shows, in turn, provide the perfect place for release.
Don’t believe me? You’ll have the opportunity to put the theory to the test on April 23, as Harakiri for the Sky, Ghost Bath, Unreqvited and Jaeger take over Boggs Social & Supply.
Genre veterans Harakiri for the Sky—made up of Austrians Michael “J.J.” Kogler and Matthias “M.S.” Sollak—haven’t let the pandemic slow them down. The duo released the album Mære in 2021 and re-recorded their two debut albums, Harakiri for the Sky and Aokigahara, providing listeners with deep, dark refuge amid a chaotic reality.
Hearing Harakiri for the Sky is like hearing a confession. The lyrics are brutally honest about addiction, death, mental health, and general loss. Each song is a raw lamentation for past versions of the self and past relationships. When paired with the duo’s layered lead and rhythm guitars, as well as its penchant for steadily building awesome, soaring crescendos, it’s easy to see why the band is a post-black metal staple. It’s loud. It’s kinda pretty, in a spacey way. It’s still hella rockin’. It’s intelligent and emotive enough to attract new and old metalheads alike.
North Dakota’s Ghost Bath gives listeners their own brand of atmospheric black metal and a similar place to process their inner workings. Referring to “the act of suicide by submerging in a body of water,” Ghost Bath combines equally competent melodies and orchestration with vocals that can only be described as pain-filled. Hearing Nameless’s (real name: Dennis Mikula) raw screams and shrieks is reminiscent of hearing someone being tortured—a stark contrast to the band’s beautiful leading guitar and progressive soundscapes.
For their latest release, Self Loather, Ghost Bath leans more into their black metal sensibilities, but not enough to shed their label of atmospheric/post-black metal. Nameless employs his deep growl a bit more. The production isn’t quite as polished as past releases, and there’s a tangible, crushing wall of sound accompanying the soaring melodies. While past releases have been spacey-er and prettier—allowing listeners to bathe in the “ghost bath”, heyooo!—Self Loather is much angrier and demands much more attention. It’s a pleasure to listen to, and it’ll be an even greater pleasure to hear live.
And if it is progressive soundscapes you’re craving, Canada’s Unreqvited combines black metal, post-rock, shoegaze, and more to deliver quite the repertoire of highs and lows. The solo project, helmed by 28-year-old virtuoso William Melsness, brings a little bit of everything to the table, including soaring guitar solos, requiem-esque piano parts, thundering rhythms, and ethereal vocal transitions.
Unreqvited’s latest full-length release, Beautiful Ghosts, earns its moniker. The mostly instrumental album offers hauntingly melodic dirges that swing between depressive and uplifting. It’s as quick to shred as it is to bask in its own ambiance, transporting listeners to a desolate, snow-capped mountaintop or an empty sun-filled field. You’ll find yourself not only bobbing along to the rhythms and riffs but also contemplating life’s big questions. If you’re craving something a bit more black metal adjacent, check out Unreqvited’s latest 21-minute single (EP?) Perpetual Green of the Willow Groves, which truly shows the project’s overall range.
It’s one big epic trip, man. Let’s take it together on April 23.
– Scott Belzer
Harakiri for the Sky, Ghost Bath, Unreqvited, and Jaeger perform in Atlanta at Boggs Social on April 23rd. Tickets are available online here.