Faidra – Militant: Penitent : Triumphant
By Jools Green
Release Date: 3rd November 2023 (Northern Silence Productions)
Swedish Black Metal solo project Faidra may be a fairly new name to the genre but the anonymous musician behind it has had a longstanding involvement in the music industry since the 90’s, somewhat surprisingly in Folk music, this new musical direction apparently coming from explorative sessions in Dark Folk, an aspect that still lurks subtly within the very fabric of this project’s sound as well as drawing a great deal inspiration from the early 90’s Scandinavian Black Metal scene, with a particularly strong Burzum influence.
His debut 2020 release Six Voices Inside attracted a huge amount of attention, now he’s back with his second album Militant : Penitent : Triumphant, which follows the format laid down in that first release. Lyrically it’s much more focused than the predecessor and explores a specific theme, “a contemplation on sin, penitence, and redemption, mirroring the title of the album and representing the three states of the Catholic church.”
Militant : Penitent : Triumphant delivers six tracks , spanning forty six minutes, so they are all pretty lengthy pieces, with two hitting the eight minute mark. End to end its hugely atmospheric and melodic, with a lo-fi feel and with a mid-tempo pace. The tracks following a simple but effective formula that are variations on a theme to a certain degree, buzzing guitar work, simple haunting, reflective synth repeats, precise restrained drum rhythms with a well delivered, raw acidic vocals, that have good protraction and are very expressive and this is, for me, what makes the album a good listen.
Because of the similarity to the tracks, if you like one track, you’ll like the lot and it’s an easy listen, perfect background music, especially if you are doing something that requires a good deal of your attention as it’s not overly intrusive, you can easily listen and do other tasks, it also creates calm, relaxing and meditative mood through the repetition of the synth work.
Although it’s a consistent listen end to end, Parousia Delayed, which develops a lot more depth and punch particularly in the second half and Jaws of Neptune did stand out a little more for me, both largely for the fact that the vocals on these two pieces are exceptionally expressive and also meriting a specific mention, Halo of Ashes picks up the pace slightly in the latter part adding a bit of extra variance and interest to its construct and therefore impacting positively on the whole album as a result.
The cover art for Militant: Penitent: Triumphant is Saul and the Witch of Endor, a painting by 17th century artist Salvator Rosa. The album will be available in various formats including digital, CD, LP, and cassette and is currently up for preorders.