Technically, Echtra‘s “BardO I” is a track premiere. I say “technically” because BardO is only two songs long but clocks in at 46 minutes exactly, evenly split between two songs, making “BardO I” a tad bit longer than your average track premiere on Decibel‘s website. BardO is the fourth full-length from Echtra, whose sound falls somewhere between drone and atmospheric black metal, with touches of folk music thrown in.
Echtra do hold a number of similarities to groups like Wolves in the Throne Room, especially at their most pensive and atmospheric. As the relaxed guitar playing is joined by swells of feedback and ceremoniously sung vocals enter the picture, I’m reminded of songs from Thrice Woven. When the sole individual behind Echtra—also known as Echtra—screams, his vocals reverberate, sending chills through the listener. “BardO I” requires patience; it never succumbs to blast beats and icy storms of tremolo picking. It relies on the eerie, lonely mood that builds over the course of 23 minutes before vanishing like it was never there.
“Conjured during a time when the seeker behind Echtra was bathed in grief, ‘BardO I’ was a journey into dissolution,” says the musician Echtra. “It was thrust out of a damaged psyche, an embodiment of the adage that only one who is willing to relinquish that which has been made is worthy of keeping it. Altars were destroyed, and severances were mourned, while the fire was stoked and invited to consume the very notion of future…”
BardO will see release on November 23 via Temple of Torturous.