Anna Von Hausswolff - Dead Magic (City Slang) 2018
Anna Von Hausswolff has been releasing dark folk tunes for over eight years. Her most recent lament, Dead Magic, is a full-fledged, head-first leap into the classical gothic doom foretold by her previous material, perhaps due to production by Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Marissa Nadler, etc.).
Often drenched in the eeriness of pipe organ, Von Hausswolff’s work feels religious in its grandeur and theatrics; her soprano voice soars into wails that are charged with ecstasy and fright. Contrary to the “heavy” that describes metal albums, Dead Magic is heavy in emotion and its atmosphere that can only be likened to fog encroaching on a being in a dark field. The five-track record’s centerpiece, “Ugly and Vengeful,” is a 16+ minute mainly instrumental drone opus that the great horror writers of history would surely appreciate for its twists and turns that always lead back to somewhere haunted with elegant spirits.
A definitive record for bitterly cold nights, Dead Magic is beautiful, terrifying, intense and spectacularly bleak in ways that inspire both love and nightmares.