Back in heydays of Equivoke I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Night Heir, when their debut Wind In My Dream Mist In My House got a limited release on tape. What became acutely obvious to me after digesting the record was that this group were clearing new paths between genres and made it interesting, honestly toiling in a dark corner among friends in a manner I and others should be aware of.
Since that time their clandestine progression around the edges of black metal has never left my radar. Their 2013 follow-up showed their well of potential was indeed deep, their sound unfurling comfortably for a longer, increasingly profuse experience.
However there was no physical press in the works upon A Maze Of Evenings’ release. In fact the last I heard from Sean Barry (late 2013) A Maze Of Evenings was being shopped for an analog release, following a remastering by James Plotkin who’s veteran touch has been felt on many records readers have encountered no doubt, one example being a recent favorite of mine Accidents Grotesque by Great Falls.
This reformation brought their ever inquisitive sound into a richer bloom than even the initial release. Patience held strong it seems because Night Heir now have copies of A Maze Of Evenings on tape pressed through Bough House. I strongly recommend that those who are interested in this get in contact with the band.
Follow after the break.
Revisiting this record two years later it’s still separate from anything I’ve heard since, engaging in each eerie layer. A collective of musicians executing strong material (especially reaching the middle portion) makes this a surprisingly lavish record without gloss, where the writing and cooperation shine naturally in each slow creep, each beautiful verse. Employing many manners of expression and never once stumbling it makes for a rewarding, indeed interesting, hour of listening.
The black metal descriptor only loosely applied at any point when reviewing their work. It really isn’t an appropriate genre descriptor if you want to recommend them. There is an anchor buried in all the progression however, somewhere amongst the chorale inflammations, ambient and gloomy slow-folk. It’s the flexible, spirited singing both snarling and radiant evoking stories that have a winding gait, that help steer it away.
I’ll try to keep this short since I did an extensive review not long ago. As a whole it stands strong and apart, much as the title suggests a labyrinthine journey through many nights, through sounds and lyrics, fantastic and somber. I do have my favorites however and the bias lays slightly on the second side. No doubting though from “Solar Plexus” to “Inner Female” it’s a powerful release.
Let’s start with “Solar Plexus”. It draws out the blackened threads at first and then becomes something solemn, quiet; a turn that develops unexpected layers of singing, percussion, sadness. A sincere procession. “The Snakewife” is another. At first a bit creepy it again impresses upon the listener how resourceful and creative this band is, able to pull sinister, sad, somber and aggressive within one song without a snag; remaining without comparison.
The drugged and wandering “Theme From Slowland” truly entrances. Sedated sways and a cold croon that stumbles into the weird marshes Godstopper, Chelsea Wolfe, or Giles Corey might find themselves in. A brilliant moment on this record no question.
Not discounting key tracks the first side: as mentioned “Daymare”’s aggression brings a reform to what I loved so much about WINDMIMH’s personality. The beauty balances it out far more here.
This dissipates into the foreboding and melodic “Giver & Receiver”. How vast and warm it it becomes, reinforced through the eerie lullaby of “The Wheel”, a soothing and unsettling tale at the same time. The atmosphere billows ceaselessly here, while “The Curator” brings the first shockingly heavy journey before you have to flip sides.
Now to the pressing itself. The release came out nice as you’ll notice. While it doesn’t have an equivalent DIY feel as Wind In My Dream Mist In My House did (which came sealed with a gold ribbon and hand numbered black w/gold shells) A Maze Of Evenings has been housed correctly, more professionally, and sounds excellent.
The midnight blue cassette fits the art and atmosphere well, a glossy j-card though lacking lyrics (not surprising considering the songs) contains substantial credits and information, and twilight drenched layout. Besides they have all their lyrical schematics on their official blogspot page, check ’em out if you feel the need.
I don’t know if it’s officially limited to this amount but the band has around 200 copies on hand so contact them to get yours.
In terms of what the group is up to right now? As is often the case in these times circumstances have led to a pseudo-disbandment as members relocate, despite material still manifesting in Sean’s mind. There is still a future I’ve been assured but as a living group Night Heir has slowed for now.
As always this gets a big recommendation from me. Support Night Heir, contact them and grab a tape or a sticker, or send some well wishes if your into that too. It’s not easy doing stuff that has to be done.