When Bitter Spring Sleeps – Spirit In Flames

This second full length by a name (at least to me) unknown until now, that of the Americans When Bitter Spring Sleeps, is a rather peculiar work. The first approach to the listening, without any prejudice resulting from the knowledge of what the one man band from Iowa has done in the past, pleasantly brings us back to Primordial, for the epic and solemn charge contained in the two initial tracks (Witch Of November and Burning Your Eden), though obviously not reaching the same levels of the phenomenal Irishmen. The sound offered by Lord Sardonyx is definitely more rustic and less accurate but, also for this reason, it appears completely sincere and endowed with an ancestral charm. The lyrical concept focused on the nature and, in particular, on the animal figure that embodies the pure and uncontaminated image of the wolf, does not cover a marginal aspect in the economy of the work, but is an integral part of it. Moreover, most of the proceeds from the sales of Spirit In Flames will be donated to an association that deals precisely with ensuring the protection of wolves and it seems superfluous (at least for those who have ears to hear) to emphasize how the protection of every living creature on this planet is essential to ensure the balance of the ecosystem and, consequently, that of the planet that sees us all as temporary guests. If this makes me instinctively much more benevolent towards the American musician, this does not mean that his work is automatically overrated: said of the first two tracks, excellent demonstrations of pagan black metal inspired and engaging, it must be said that even the title track and Raven In The Ribcage effectively follow in his footsteps, while Lunar Elegy and the final Where Moss Once Grew are two evocative tracks of ambient matrix that, in addition to the reciting Lord Sardonyx, offers us the opportunity to hear the voice of nature, the true protagonist of a work probably for a few but fascinating, engaging and, above all, genuine, as unfortunately happens more and more rarely. After getting to know When Bitter Spring Sleeps and the excellent Spirit In Flames, it is worth rediscovering the previous releases, the self-titled demo of 2008, the split with Panopticon of 2010 and Coven Of The Wolves of 2013, all published by the label Pagan Flames Productions.

2015 – Pagan Flames Productions