Released: 2010, Bindrune Recordings
Well this is interesting. Nechochwen (band mastermind Aaron Carey’s given Indian name) is a mostly one-man project based on the themes and history of the Adena and Hopewell people. One glance at the track listing will suggest the depth of both personalization and theme running throughout the album, and certainly, like all Bindrune Recordings artists, Nechochwen demand much from its listeners. Indeed, AZIMUTHS TO THE OTHERWORLD, like label mate’s Blood of the Black Owl’s latest album, is an intensely personal work.
Compounding how difficult this album can be is the fact that it is almost entirely non-metal. The bulk of the album is both instrumental and acoustic, more based in folk music (note: NOT folk metal) than anything remotely heavy. Certainly Carey’s musicianship is flawless and effortlessly carries songs through their twists and turns, of which there are many, but do not expect to come into this album and understand it right away. This is an album that must be listened to many, many times before it even begins to sink in. For those that crave their metal, look no further than “Allumhammochwen: The Crossing” and the latter half of “Red Ocher” for your fix, wherein Nechochwen incorporates the earthy tones of blackened acts such as Agalloch to go along with the requisite growled vocals. Even so, these moments are actually some of the least intriguing of the album. The more spellbinding moments come from the ethereal-inflected tracks such as “At Night May I Roam” and “Noameatha, You are the Ghost in the Water”.
For me, of the three current Bindrune Recordings releases, this falls in the middle in terms of enjoyment (well ahead of Celestiial, but firmly behind Blood of the Black Owl). However that should not stop you from checking out all three releases. If earthen, atmospheric music is your thing, look no further than Nechochwen.