Review: Månen Skygge - To Rot In A Shallow Grave (Demo EP)

Artist: Månen Skygge

Album: To Rot In A Shallow Grave

Genre: Atmospheric Depressive Black Metal

Review by Steve Jenkins

Occasionally, you come across someone who has the songwriting ability and musical talent to successfully convey the desperation and hopelessness of true depression and, as such, is able to make an emotional connection to the listener - Månen Skygge is one of those few acts.

Månen Skygge is an Atmospheric Depressive Black Metal project from Adelaide, Australia. Seemingly taking Xasthur's model of depressive black metal and making it a touch less harrowing, but almost hauntingly romantic in its presentation of despair. All the familiar elements are here, mournful soundscapes and reverberated howling vocals, long track runtimes, dirge-like tempos, wall of sound production. You name something that should be in DSBM and Månen Skygge has got it in spades. These two tracks don't deviate even remotely from the formula, but they definitely stand-out on their own accord.

As well as ticking all the boxes with the DSBM traits, the music is also all about atmosphere, and Månen Skygge definitely delivers in this department. This music isn't anything particularly novel or ground-breaking, but it's quite decent, especially when you consider how grating and repetitve some other ambient/depressive black metal acts can be at times. Instrumentally, Månen Skygge really knows how to put you into that trance like state. The bleak lo-fi black metal accompanied by the tortured vocals has an additional layer of melancholy provided by the subtle addition of strings and piano, the successful deployment of these being well beyond the skill of the average bedroom black metaller and another aspect that sets the project well ahead of the pack in the DSBM field. Only being two tracks in length means it's a relatively engaging listen from beginning to end, and I've found myself playing it on repeat, finding little bits here and there that I may have missed. If you're looking for melancholic ambient/depressive black metal, you will probably not be disappointed with this release, and I hope there's more to come soon.

As the bio states for this one newly formed project, taking influences from a wide range of artists and not caring for elitism in music, the project is pure emotional and artistic expression that explores the concepts of misanthropy, disconnection with reality, spiritualism, mortality, and decay. I would definitely agree with everything above and if you're into this type of music then I highly recommend you check it out. A very strong and solid release from Månen Skygge.

To Rot In A Shallow Grave is available now via Bandcamp:

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