Album Review: And Now The Owls Are Smiling – Dirges (Clobber Records)

Clobber Records will release the new album of atmospheric black metal band, And Now the Owls Are Smiling on January 29th, 2021. Called ‘Dirges’, it follows on from the previous album ‘The Comforting Grip of Misery’ and the debut release ‘Desolation’.

Haunting melancholy, Dirges is both cold and warm, both isolating and freeing and both gorgeous and disturbing. The 8 parts that make up the album can be seen as singular slices of pain or the whole thing can be seen as a lesson in suffering. Not because of its innate savagery but rather because of how mentally draining the atmospheric side of things is.

Known as a band that delivers on the promise of subterranean bleakness and emotionally charged heaviness. It is no surprise that once again, And Now the Owls Are Smiling provide that strange combination of comfort and loneliness to perfection.

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Rest assured though, for all its wonderful and picturesque elements, it is still undoubtably a black metal release. Where the instrumentation often sounds like the cries and roars of a wounded beast and the vocals are the suffering of those that get in the way of its rampage.

This is a band that understands how to combine black metal’s past with its varying futures. The strength in Dirges lies in just how well forlorn misery, soul-tearing and ruthless sounds are portrayed. It is, simply put, a thing of beauty.

A very early contender for album of the year. Dirges gets under the skin and causes maddening itches but scratching is so satisfying, you’ll not want to claw it out.

And Now the Owls Are Smiling – Dirges Full Track Listing:

1. Dirge I – Grief
2. Dirge II – Rejection
3. Dirge III – Darkness
4. Dirge IV – Solitude
5. Dirge V – Lucidity
6. Dirge VI – Pointlessness
7. Dirge VII – Acceptance
8. Dirge VIII – Ascension


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And Now The Owls Are Smiling - Dirges (Clobber Records)
  • The Final Score - 10/10
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