Anouof Thwo

by Hellebore

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Pro-dubbed, pro-printed blue tint c50 cassettes with white ink in traditional plastic case with heavy stock j-card and button. Comes with download code. Limited edition of 100.

"Cold and calculated black metal that successfully rides the line between traditional riffage and psychedelic atmospheres. Reminiscent of late 90's/early 2000's avant garde european black metal." - Sol y Nieve

"The components of Hellébore’s sound are simple enough; blunt, distorted guitars, programmed drums, unearthly sci-fi synths and harsh, rasped vocals make up the basic framework, but what’s ultimately so striking about them is the way in which Hellébore weaves them together in order to make these compositions take flight. The nameless musician behind the project has a knack for crafting epics that reflect the eeriness of the cosmos, like a long lost black metal soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s Alien. To listen to Anouof thwo is to ride the void into horrific blackness, to drift out to a place where the closest star is but a pin prick, thousands of light years away.
As one might expect the production is decidedly lo-fi, but this in no way detracts from the music, rather it lends Anouof thwo a welcome grittiness. The drums possess a stiff, mechanical quality that gives off a bit of an industrial vibe, which works especially well when Hellébore delves into patterns that recall The Sisters of Mercy more than they do other solitary black metal projects. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Hellébore is as much influenced by industrial, gothic rock, post-punk and possibly even synthpop as it is black metal, given the album’s rhythmic qualities, as well as the synthesizer work which invokes said genres far more than than it does anything even remotely BM.
In spite of these outside influences, Anouof thwo remains firmly embedded within the realm of black metal. By striking a near-perfect balance between bouts of bludgeoning, serrated guitars and moody ambience, it invokes both the tranquility and harshness of the vacuum of space. The music is as abrasive and claustrophobic as it is strangely beautiful and vast, and it is this contrast that marks Hellébore as such a unique entity within the confines of the genre.
Hellébore have crafted an endlessly enjoyable debut that’s surely among the strongest and most unique to grace the genre in ages. Obscure black metal afficionados owe it to themselves to seek this one out at all costs." - That's How Kids Die

"Hailing from the highly fertile musical grounds of Quebec, one-man band Hellebore's debut full length is almost the polar opposite of label Sol Y Nieve's other recent signing, Nemorensis. The unpronounceable Anouof Thwo is an infinitely stranger beast, containing labyrinthine, psychedelic riff-based songs sprinkled with warm, looping and distinctly un-black metal sounding sci-fi synths and a super raw, almost industrial vibe. This one took me a few listens, but once it clicked, it hooked me completely. " - Cloth Bodies

"As if one massive, spacey black metal release wasn't enough, Sol y Nieve will also be releasing Hellebore's "Anouof Thwo." I have no idea what the title means, but the album art leads me to believe that the cosmic atmospheres have a lyrical direction that matches. While I don't listen to too many bands that take ambient black metal this far, this release genuinely captivates me. While my initial listen left me slightly confused and uncertain about my feelings, repeated visits have planted this in my head. Pounding rhythms and oddly textured leads are par for the course here, but this does not make for a straightforward listen. I'm all for unorthodox, and Hellebore seems keen on delivering just enough strangeness for me to be hooked without running the risk of scaring away more traditional listeners. Even the mellower interludes here (like stunning yet brief centerpiece "Udrea") have an unearthly feeling that isn't quite sad so much as detached, which really adds depth to the experience for me. The vocals have enough reverb to resonate across the void yet they aren't as buried as many similar bands might have them, allowing for a more balanced approach that still yields a raw coldness that pleases me. This surprised me in many ways and I'm glad I gave it a full and fair listen." - Black Metal and Brews

"Dark, yet bright as a cloudless sky in the middle of the night, Hellébore is a one man atmospheric black metal band from Québec City. Given the plethora of "metal noir" bands in the Belle Province capital, this one comes nonetheless as a refreshing comet in the genre's horizon.
Lo-fi and visibly homemade, it has the primitive raw emotional charge of a constellation of other black metal bands. Nonetheless, one particular quality caught my attention and showed that Hellébore has something distinct from the mass. As expressed by the cover artwork, Anouof Thwo has a certain "naivety" of ideas, one that is natural for a newcomer, but harder to retrieve for a seasoned musician. It takes the shape of weird electro sounds and questionable programming; a very slippery slope that could normally require a project to stay anonymous, but in some cases, like this one, it just happen to become the magic ingredient that sets the band apart. Hellébore integrates loop reverberation over the guitars as well as 80's space-like synth effects to create a captivating soundscape. Sprinkled over the music, it adds a lot to the atmospheric quality of the whole.
Overall, this black star is a good discovery. With its odd alien flavour, Anouof Thwo is a very interesting addition to the Québec atmospheric black metal landscape." - The Black Hull

"Hellebore, a Canadian solo black metal band, also has its eyes set toward the skies, but their music in their latest piece “Anouof Thwo” feels like a gigantic sci-fi exploration into the stars, past planets and galaxies unexplored by humankind, and into a cold, isolated blackness that should scare the hell out of you (think Darkspace at times).There is a lot of crushing and black metal rage that might make you think of the early days of the Second Wave of Nordic bands, and the mind-altering passages could have you seeing things, hearing strange sounds, and wondering if there is some way you, too, can go beyond this planet and headed toward another level with species who we haven’t met yet. And the fear sets in when you realize you don’t know if you’d survive the encounter or not. That’s just the feeling I get, not my interpretation of what’s being said, as I don’t speak French and cannot translate the words. But again, mystery is good.
The album kicks off with the noisy interlude “Etoiles d’eau” that leads into the 12:42 “Aootw” that begins chugging right away. There are strong riffs, harsh vocals, and bits of melody that sweep through the machine-like drumming and massive under section. The music keeps building, getting darker and meaner as it goes, and as the song grows off-kilter and cosmically weird, it keeps delivering violence and chaos that rages until the song fades out. “Udrea” is a chillwave-style interlude with beats and sweltering synthesizer, setting the stage for “Les Martiens Eta’ient la’,” an 18:28 crusher that begins with whirry, spooky keys, that give way for guitars exploding and going off, keys buried into the torment, and vocals that cry tyranny. As it builds, the song climbs aboard soaring riffs, the drums don’t just keep the pace but blow it into powder,’and the lead guitar playing is both glorious and explosive. The fury subsides a bit about halfway through the song, but as finger tapped guitars take over, the track’s soul soars deep into space, the tempo violently changes back and forth, and beastly growls erupt from the pit of fires to give a terrifying voice to the thrashing chaos that brings the song to its wild conclusion. Closer “…reflechis dan l’eau” ends the album ideally, with acoustics that meet up with whirring keyboard, buried growls and howls that remind of Leviathan, wildness that feels uncaged and free, and that final jaunt into the stars where the rest of the story will repeat itself forever." - Meat, Mead, and Metal

"Anouof Thwo is the debut full-length album of Hellébore. The album starts off in such a way that the listener is taken on a slow, droning, trip through the depths of the universe. This space-like atmosphere is then blended with killer shredding, sweet beats and , cripplingly despairing vocals to make what may be, quite possibly, the best shit to get weird to. The whole package is extremely… extraterrestrial right down to the synth. Aootw, the second track off the album, has to be one of the hottest jammers I’ve heard this year– a track worthy of being high up on the playlist if anyone was ever down to throw a wild BM dance party (sorry, I know Black Metal is serious business, and not fun ever, and that dance parties are totally false… but still). Each song flows together perfectly, like an story describing a dark astral journey. Much like The Lady In The Lake, this is an album that has been very hard for me to write about for me, I think because there are so many different things going on. It is lo-fi as fuck, and super gritty, but at the same time there is this endless beautiful and warm quality that wraps itself around and echos into each wave of audio that is emitted from the speakers while listen. It is a truly strange and gorgeous work of audial art." - Cvlt Nation

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released January 27, 2014

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Sol y Nieve Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

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