Review: Misertus – Daydream (self-released, Aug 4)

Writing about releases that are entirely emotional, visceral experiences is difficult for me, which is part of the reason I started this site in the first place: to hone in on the actual qualities of the music that produces these effects. Albums like Daydream, and other works that would be best described as post-black metal or “blackgaze,” are personally very hit-or-miss, a volatility I’ve parsed down to the way in which the softer, prettier, more melodic elements are incorporated into the atmosphere of darkness and isolation. In the case of Misertus’s debut album, the integration is absolutely seamless; blanketing blasts of anguished howls and pounding drums birth breathtaking stretches of densely layered guitar harmonies and invigorating major key motifs, which are either skillfully reeled back into the shadows or end the track on a happy note (as is the case with “Duskwinds”). The attention to detail in solo projects like this always amazes me, and the multi-instrumentalist known only as Tomas crafts each of the eight pieces with a deep reverence, creating clouds of cathartic emotion that are astoundingly immersive—I could get lost in the opening moments of “Fragility” until the end of time.