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CD Review: AUTOLATRY Of The Land

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Autolatry is a Progressive Black Metal band from eastern Connecticut. Readers who like to make the trek over to MetalSucks may have heard of the band before from this edition of Freeloader earlier this year. I fondly remember meeting guitarist Dave Kaminsky back in 2008 when I called on his old band, Yildun, to offer some promotional services. While the collaboration never really came to fruition, I sensed in Dave an authentic and earnest drive to make original and inspired heavy metal.

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Fast forward a couple years and here we are, with a new Autolatry EP, Of the Land. Drawing from influences like Krallice, Absu, and Castevet, the band weaves its folk and riff-laden style with tales from New England's historical landscape. Growing up in eastern Connecticut, it only makes sense that the band would draw influence from the hills, trees, and old villages that give the area its reputation (for my part, coming from the complete opposite end of the state, I don't know how these kids have kept sane out there…but that's just me). All joking aside, it is refreshing to have a Black Metal band out there writing about something other than Scandinavia and the Anti-Christ, as Satan Rosenblum noted in his aforementioned article.

Of the Land contains 4 tracks: Mountain, Oak, Stag, and Snow.

The first 2 songs have a very atmospheric and folk-influenced Black Metal sound. Mountain is a to-the-point opener, with riffs and drums that jump out at the listener while creating an intricate and foggy atmosphere. Oak is an unbelievably catchy and heroic-sounding track that would fit well as the soundtrack to the next season of Game of Thrones or some other glorious fantasy epic.

The second half of the EP seems to take a different with Stag, a song that bears a notable degree of melodic Death Metal moments, perhaps pointing to some earlier influences within the band. The song is also much more self-consciously progressive than the previous tracks, a direction continued by the EP's closing track, Snow. While I thought every track of this EP to be absolutely fantastic, I found Snow to be the most compelling. It's atmosphere reminded me of recent releases from Immortal and Agalloch, but the pacing and aggression actually made me think of the more straight-forward attitude of bands like Goatwhore.

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As Of the Land is only a 4-song EP, I would have to recommend every song as an excellent display of modern American Black Metal. For readers looking for a great new band to check out, and for CT residents looking for a reason to be proud of their state (it is possible!), I strongly urge you to give this awesome and talented band a listen.

8/10

You can listen to the entire EP here at Autolatry's Bandcamp page.

And! You can also check out their entire debut full-length release as well!

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Autolatry

Guitar – Dave Kaminsky
Guitar – Joe Makuch
Drums – Matt Kaminsky
Bass – Dominic Testa
Vocals – Karl Chamberlain

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