Old Corpse Road – Of Campfires and Evening Mists

In the metal genre we all love, a band’s artwork speaks volumes as to their intentions. The splendidly named Old Corpse Road’s evocatively titled Of Campfires and Evening Mists features a fire-lit forest with their logo superimposed over it. The said logo features such symbols of nature as a wise owl and horns, and of course, trees feature prominently throughout.

Old Corpse Road are named after the trackways that would be cut when a graveyard was full to capacity and another field used for the same purpose; they are a still extant part of history and heritage.

And history and heritage are what Old Corpse Road stand for. They mine a rich vein of history and lore. Their lyrical inspirations are part of the very ground they stand on, the air they breath and of the forests and ancient ruins that inspire them. Here you will find none of the negativity and faux-extremism that has marred the metal scene in later years. At the end of the day, it is all about music, and music is either good or it is not, and Old Corpse Road’s music is very good indeed.

Musically, Old Corpse Road have their own distinct sound: a group of six equals and friends, they do not sound like any other band. This is music without ego, created for the love of it.

In fact, Old Corpse Road have all of metal’s strengths and none of its weaknesses, few bands could one honestly say that about.

Of Campfires and Evening Mists opens with the aptly titled “Opening The Circle,” drawing the listener into several tracks which tell beautifully written tales of black moons, forests and the splendidly named Peg Powler. This is truly reviving the storytelling tradition we would otherwise lose in our soulless era of mass-communication.

I have to say the lyrics are truly beautiful, Dio-like in sincerity, and in depth; they sum up Joseph Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces. It is as though the words always existed and the band drew them forth with their music.

Musically, they are flawless and yet the music always carries a warmth and sincerity. Beautifully acoustic passages vie with metal fury, choral chants, spoken word sections, and just… expect the unexpected!

My album of the year thus far, and I don’t expect that to be challenged. If you buy one album this year, I would seriously suggest this be it!

(Cacophonous Records)

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Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (http://toendallwarscomic.wordpress.com/writers/).