Black metal has really become a quite diverse genre, and a number of black metal artists have taken their music down the avant-garde road.
This applies to the Russian one-man band Stielas Storhett's latest release Expluse whose base sound is melodic black metal. The music may fronted by typical tortured black metal vocals and it does adhere to the basic ethos of black metal aesthetics in terms of cold production and a focus of expression of darker aspects of the human experience. I mean, just the opening of the first track, which sounds like a woman screaming in pain (and this recurs again on the album) is extremely unsettling and creepy.
However, Expulse is far from at generic black metal release. First of, it is incredibly melodic - even for melodic black metal - with loads of melodic guitar leads and several clean and darkly soft passages with clean guitar leads and even some midnight saxophone (which I think is well nigh a stroke of genius). There are several changes on this album, too, and most tracks take you through a lot of different musical aesthetics, ranging from all out harsh black metal over melodic metal bits with plenty of lead guitar harmonies to heavier stuff, some of which is quite atmospheric.
And therein lie the progressive and avant-garde aspects of this album; in the and combining experimentation with moods and modes of expression, using black metal aesthetics and combining them with elements of outside of the metal universe. There is a lot of shoegazing and introspectiveness on this album, but it is far from uninteresting, I must say, in fact, it is one of the more interesting experimental black metal released I have heard.
1. Dying Delirium
2. Buried by Storm and Eternal Darkness
3. All Paths Lead to Oblivion
5. Two Lifeless Months
7. Angel of Death