Can Bardd
Devoured by the Oak


3.8
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
November 16th, 2021 | 87 replies


Release Date: 11/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fortune favours the path you stick to.

By now I guess it wouldn’t be much of a leap to call myself a fan of Cân Bardd’s brand of atmospheric black metal. While genre name-stays like Saor and Falls Of Rauros seemingly dominate the realms to which Cân Bardd tread; the act’s third studio effort, Devoured By The Oak continues down the same salubrious, well-trodden tack found on both the debut, Nature Stays Silent and then the sophomore, The Last Rain. Since moving from a one-man project to a duo, Malo Civelli (who handles writing duties en masse) and Dylan Watson (drums) have found strength in reworking their music from one musical canvas to the next. In this manner, Devoured By The Oak isn’t really too far abroad from the band’s previous records—finding growth within a set of staple sounds and motifs. As such, nature themes run amok while sprawling compositions build into atmospheric climes. Cân Bardd’s immersive nature allows for sections that leave us in place; whether that’s solace on the edge of a running river, sitting on the mossy floor of a dense forest or even being caught in an arctic gail—ice in the wind, Devoured By The Oak’s power isn’t measured in just how many burgeoning riffs and soaring refrains stretch across the album’s fifty-eight minute runtime. Rather, the triumph comes from the rise and fall of the atmosphere and how its respective music transports a listener.

As obnoxious as that is to read, Cân Bardd’s music is really all about that painted immersion. It’s almost as if you could assign colours and shades to “Echoes of the Moss'' and yet the track opens the new record with an epitome of that particular train of thought. While the canvas of the album’s opening track swells slowly, the chips of bird noises and even windswept leaves tickle at the sides of the mix. In providing this landscape of noise gently, Cân Bardd’s more ethereal sweeps begin to enchant and captivate through use of elegant tones and lighter notes. The time before the use of guitars and percussion are well spent, paced; as if gentle fingers slowly glide over a lover’s back. Operatic vocals “ooh and aah's” which builds towards a graceful climax, only to return full circle to the gentle frames only minutes before it.

From here Devoured By The Oak launches into an epic tale told through celtic black metal aesthetic. The two-part title track is a majestic, sweeping and sprawling display of the band’s successes to date. Despite this, there’s a light hiccup in the story-telling and some of the lyrics border the edge of a fondue recipe—but these become minor gripes on a portrait of sounds too wide to start nit-picking. Putting this grievance aside, the sixteen minutes that represent the album’s namesake carry the listener through each of the locations mentioned above and yet Devoured By The Oak’s strongest sections (and my favourite moments) reside in its latter half. After a few somber notes “Crépuscule” saunters; steady rhythms making way for even paced raspy snarls and steadily building instrumentation—but there’s contrast. Before succumbing to the genre’s baser instincts and the larger blast beat meets tremolo riff aesthetic, “Crépuscule” becomes rather minimalistic and both the melody and atmosphere shine. The furor does return in magnificent fashion; bombast and abandon both thrown like caution to the wind, but these are all staples of the [very] atmospheric black metal genre, and comparatively similar to the more intense passages of musical brethren Saor and Caladan Brood. Thankfully, Devoured By The Oak’s production and mixing shares less likeness to that of the debut and favourably follows that of the sophomore. As such the album sounds lush; with depth coinciding with the high crescendos and immersion follows the warm, organic minimalism that peppers the record’s length.

By the time listeners experience “Autumn Shore” they’re greeted by an absolute barrage of screams, blast beats and icy melodies and yet the more subtle tropes breathe in and out, allowing room for the listener to soak in all the nuance mentioned here and earlier. This nuance seeps into the closer, “Blomsterkransen” which features features from both violinist Lambert Segura and vocalist Linnéa Lindqvist who provide gentle dark folk edges to round out Devoured By The Oak’s more typical ‘black metal’ soundscapes. If there was ever a moment throughout the new album’s run-time that screamed for some contrast, these two inclusions more than fit the bill. Looking forwards, there’s a few reservations to be discussed in terms of where Cân Bardd’s music goes from here. While it’s not really relevant to this specific release, I would worry that Malo Civelli and co. might accidentally find themselves self-plagiarising or copy-pasting their next few albums. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; as the music they do produce is enchanting—but I’d hate for the schtick to wear off into meaningless nothingness. Putting future misgivings aside, Devoured By The Oak is another welcome addition to Cân Bardd’s discography, narrating the wilderness to which Civelli draws inspiration.




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user ratings (45)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 16th 2021


15821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Forests and trees and things here: https://canbardd.bandcamp.com/album/devoured-by-the-oak



and yay #400

Digging: Obscura - A Valediction

Slex
November 17th 2021


12641 Comments


Excited to listen to this

Digging: The World Is a Beautiful Place... - Harmlessness

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


15821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Excited for you to listen to this : ]

Sevengill
November 17th 2021


10465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just drown me in this band I swear to god. review is ace as usual.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


26502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"and yay #400" My man! Congratulations, u absolute legend!



My morning coffee read has been delivered right on time!

Digging: Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


26502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also just wanna point out that the mid section of Autumn Shore makes my brain boil like a stew.

necropig
November 17th 2021


6342 Comments


Eaten by a tree

Digging: Force of Darkness - Twilight Of Dark Illumination

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


15821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

--u absolute legend!--



Only....190 more to even out Sowing's count haha. Maybe inside the next four years.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


26502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Piece of cake!

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


15821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

It's possible I'm sure, but chances he'll be dibbing the next Darkthrone review for a #666

Muzz79
November 17th 2021


1460 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Congrats on 400 dude, thats alotta reviews. This record is great but not blowing me away - yet

Digging: In Mourning - The Bleeding Veil

Pikazilla
November 17th 2021


19926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

too many organic minimalist peppers



2.7/5.0



I'm sorry, I tried

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


15821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I don’t mind a good adobo pepper sauce

Elynna
November 17th 2021


1053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great to see this record reviewed, the more exposure the better. Grats on number 400!

Digging: Preterite - From the Wells

MeatWolf
November 17th 2021


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nowai it gets under 4. Album of the year for me

AaroN911
November 17th 2021


3316 Comments


is this more on the folk side or black metal side?

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2021


9670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

happy 400 bro m/

nash1311
November 17th 2021


3572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

“just drown me in this band I swear to god” [2]



Holy shit. Never heard this band before now but this is phenom. I love this shit.



Can anyone recommend good stuff like this outside the similar bands list?

Digging: Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Noktvrn

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021


17052 Comments


Gotta peek through those trees

Digging: Malignant Altar - Realms of Exquisite Morbidity

nash1311
November 17th 2021


3572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@AaroN911 - honestly it feels pretty 50/50 to me



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