All new batch from American Decline
by Threshing Spirit
Perseverance is central to Threshing Spirit’s The Crucible, a one-person black metal album about environmental and experiential extremity with nods to psychedelic, noise, and country traditions. “I’ve always found transcendence hiding in pockets of adversity,” explains the artist. “For this release I used language dedicated to the desert, heat, and the interconnectedness of the planet and cosmos to showcase that.” The sun, sand, and drought become consistent motifs of the album as the album’s protagonist moves through an apathetic wasteland.
The album goes through a variety of sounds, evoking a cinematic, narrative progression. Clean guitar passages like intro “Into the Crucible” and outro “The Frolic” allude to entrances and exits a la characters in John Ford and Sergio Leone films, providing scaffolding wherein the narrator wrestles with the Crucible’s trials. Songs like lead single “The Abyss’ Embrace (A Ship Of Fools)” begin with breakneck drumming and soaring guitars as Threshing Spirits high-register howl escorts the listener into a swirling miasma. Other songs are more hardcore-influence like “Survival” with its plodding rhythm and menacing guitar.
The Crucible unfolds quickly with its eight songs lasting thirty minutes, but it’s got staying power with catchy, memorable sections easy to get stuck in a listener’s head for hours. And as the light gets low, and the album ends, it’s impossible not to envision the artist riding off in the distance.
Songwriting and performance: JR
Artwork by Calvin Cushman/Obsidian Pantheon
Photography by Michael Vallera
Mastered by Andrew Weathers