And Now The Owls Are Smiling // Epitaph // Album Review
Hailing from north Norfolk, the one-man Atmospheric Black Metal band And Now The Owls Are Smiling has returned and that one man, known as Nre, has emerged with what has been announced as his last collection of bleak and sorrow-led offerings.
If you have not heard any work by And Now The Owls Are Smiling and wonder if it is worth getting into a band when it is coming to an end, please listen to this along with the back catalogue and be prepared for what is not only an audible experience but also a very emotional one as what you are about to hear will reach into the dark sections of your mind and trigger thoughts and feelings that you believed were firmly locked away.
Having spent six years on this project, Nre has taken that decision that no fan of Black Metal would ever want to hear, however, the brainchild thinks that this has run its course, and that’s what matters.
This eight-track final offering spans approximately 51 minutes and not to spoil the surprise but, it ends with a stunning cover of ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ by Radiohead. Now Radiohead is one of my favourite bands of all time and never for one-second thought that I would hear a Blackened version of such a beautiful song but this version somehow buts a different emotion over and really brings a new angle to the track.
The 7 tracks before this however are more important than the cover and in many ways, some of the most emotive and captivating work that I have heard by And Now The Owls Are Smiling. Nre manages to provoke thoughts and feelings in the listener like so few others and granted, many of these are the ones that you tend to suppress. But, what we have here is raw and gripping Black Metal at its finest and the idea of music, to me anyway, is for it to speak to you.
Epitaph does more than speak to you, it is in tune with you and in some ways becomes your voice that you hear through the speakers. It is a strange feeling when you hear the despair and frustration that you feel being played back to you, however, that’s exactly what happens here.
Yes, it is sad that Nre is shelving this band, but what a way to go out. Epitaph is as good as you are likely to hear in this Depressive Blackened corner of the musical world, so give it listen and then be grateful for And Now The Owls Are Smiling.
1 – Every Day Another Piece Of Me Is Removed
2 – Monochrome Visions Of What Life Used To Be
3 – In Darkness, Light Candles So The Demons Can Find Me
4 – Winter’s Elegy Part II
5 – The Miserable Grip Of Comfort
6 – There Is No Laughter Here
7 – L’Appel Du Vide
8 – Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead Cover)