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Avant Garde

In Visible Shadow… Velvet Robe – La Seance Haunted

The small Massachusetts based label Yersinia Pestis is responsible for a recent line of limited releases by some pretty niche artists. Doom and black metal are mostly what they’re servin’ up but they move some thrash and punk on the side as well. Among their releases so far are the Rites Of Samhain 7″ EP by the North Carolina occult rock Hour Of 13, a 2xLP collection of rarities from the west coast black metal titan Nosvrolok and a split 10″ by two of my favorite new north eastern doom acts, Pilgrim and Ice Dragon. Not bad for starters but perhaps the most intriguing addition to the label’s small catalog is an obscure cassette release by a band named Velvet Robe, about which next to nothing is known aside from their name and label. The release is limited to thirty deluxe cassette tapes very nicely packaged in hand stamped velvet lined boxes, accompanied by two double sided inserts, a small candle, mouse and bat bones handpicked from owl pellets, yeah you read that right. This release is in a world of it’s own. It plays like the blackened offspring of Jus Oborn and Justin Broadrick but when the album is in full swing it takes you to deeper and darker places than what you’re probably use to from something that toes the line of what could be considered metal so gracefully. The material heard on this cassette stands out because it is devoid of pretention, unlike a lot of new music in this vein. There are some occasional vocals that eerily creep across certain sections of the album which bring to mind the gutoral zombie calls of Scott Carlson, however significantly slower paced. The recordings are pregnant with dialog samples from obscure films and an overall cultish ambiance which permeates throughout the record. Don’t take my word for it, stream the album and check out a music video sample after the jump!

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