Dawn’s first light begins to unwind its weary fingers through the splayed branches of the naked, sleeping trees. The winter air is like crystal, numbing your mouth, freezing your throat and riming your lungs in a fragile cage of hoar frost. The pale sun holds no warmth and your blood becomes sluggish, like an ice choked stream, as you stand at the end of your path – slowly, quietly dying. Your last breath drifts between your lips in a small, soft cloud and a lone, black bird begins to sing an unheard lament for your passing.
As time gently draws a pall of velvet darkness across the closing eyes of this broken year, Nre, the bard of And Now The Owls Are Smiling, emerges from his solitude once more. He brings with him Dirges, a new collection of songs for the heavy-hearted who shield their sorrows from the world like a flickering flame in a storm, to whom the sadness is a treasure, a pathway of memory, a gift never to be relinquished. Dirges is the distilled essence of that deep melancholy, a bleakly beautiful landscape of tears painted in shades of grey. Once again Nre has entwined the sweepingly majestic with agonizing intimacy to create the stunning sound of And Now The Owls Are Smiling and as last year’s powerful offering, The Comforting Grip Of Misery, took great strides beyond debut release Desolation, so Dirges towers over its predecessor in turn. The entrancing sound of songs like ‘Dirge VI: Pointlessness’ wrap you in an embrace of black thorns, their curved ebony points cruelly puncturing your skin as they comfort you. This is black metal at its most emotionally charged and magically bewitching, steeped in an atmosphere of solitude and sombre reflection. Dirges is a landmark release for And Now The Owls Are Smiling, an album that will touch the fractured hearts of the lost and alone.
Clobber Records have once again reached out to Nre and will release Dirges into the night on January 29th of 2021, to carry its messages of cold solace to yearning souls, waiting in the darkness. This album will transport you to moments in time that both frighten and entice you. It will unlock the boxes in your mind where the most beautiful and painful memories reside. The owls are smiling again and it is time to become undone…
“…so evocative of the land and nature you feel safe in its arms.” – AVE NOCTUM
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