The progenitor of Dutch funeral black metal Am Himmel is none other than JMKP himself. Who is JMKP, you ask? Well, better let mysteries be mysteries in the Information Age. What we do know is that JMKP has cultivated a sound in black metal that’s somehow at the crossroads of funeral doom, shoegaze, and cosmic architecture. Am Himmel’s debut album, As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow, hints at cathedrals of sound, upward-facing night-gaze pictures, and light-less descends into the other. Previously released track, “The Fumes of Thy Preposterous Torment,” pulsed the body electric with gritty, if slow-motion grace.
Decibel and Dutch-based Burning World Records (Celestial Season, Seirom) have teamed up between realities to proffer Am Himmel’s latest track off As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow. Unlike “The Fumes of Thy Preposterous Torment,” the next soul-bender “The Patience and Silence of a Saint’s Death” is a softer caress, the kind that’s like descending into a burial vault while the world melts away for eternity. Here, Am Himmel shimmers, soars, and comforts, while JMKP issues shrieking sacerdotal proclamations of the life (as cosmic dust) after. Am Himmel aren’t an easy listen. Nor is JMKP belting the grinder on purpose. As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow is somewhere between, its anti-lilt the motivator as well as the sonic wall the driver.
Says JMKP: “The freedom of the depths intoxicated me; the odours of the wild beasts and the fumes made me drunk with joy. But the women now bring dead children into the world. The moon trembles with the incantations of witches. Desires of violence, of immensity, seize me. I wish to drink poisons to lose myself in the feverish dream of a martyr’s death. The absolute immersion into the wallowing darkness. An infinite state of bliss.”
Drown in the stained-glass, unearthly couloir of Am Himmel’s “The Patience and Silence of a Saint’s Death.”