Genre: Primal/Ambient Black Metal
Band Website: -
Label Website: Mater Tenebrarum
Alter Era is one of those mysterious black metal bands that have the reviewer at a loss for words when trying to talk about their work, because what they do is not only music, but more of a cult, a spiritual thing. I personally find that a few elite black metal bands (including Alter Era) do escape the narrow confines of sociable "heavy music" and cross over to another world, where evoking deep spiritual trances of the darkest hateful feelings becomes the norm.
Throughout In Autumn's Solitary Decline, Alter Era comes at you straight and directly with refined old school black metal that actually gives more of a cold rather than an overtly extreme feeling. The album contains 6 lengthty hymns that are totally true to a very mysterious and - may I say - paganistic nature. Most songs average around the 6,5 minute mark and this provides enough ground for the band to develop their sound, and also envelop the listener in an effort to follow and identify with the totalitarian atmosphere that Alter Era give off in the most unashamed manner.
If you sit down and analyse the specifics of the album, everything suggests that this is black metal and nothing else: violent guitars forge steel in a dark mine of BM dissonance, with catchy but true BM vocals and a blurry exchange of drum tempos (the loud snare is drum loaded with reverb and sounds like the doors of hell). Then again, if you pay closer attention, you certainly realize that this band gives off a very dark and chilling avant garde aesthetic. It's like the soundtrack to an endless fall, to an inevitable trip down a well that leads to nowhere else but Hades. Therefore, what you get is the whole satisfaction of black metal violence combined with a frosty nocturnal feeling that can haunt your mind and accompany your darkest thoughts during those late night hours.
All in all, this is a unique and pretty album which blends black metal with subtle new age elements. Of course, Alter Era have nothing to do with the popular post-black metal movement of our times. And that, is a glorious victory in itself: to manage to bring together different paths and craft a unique black metal sound without copying the popular (and shitty) BM trends of today.