One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggers Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness. Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we have now gathered both Dusk Dawn and Follow You Beloved together in a double disc set.
The first Aelter record Dusk Dawn from 2009 from is now out of print on vinyl and featured two side-long tracks. The first half "Dusk" begins much like something you would hear from Wolvserpent, an eerie guitar figure slowly plucked over heavy, rumbling doom metal chords, the dark menacing sound slowly unfolding in a manner similar to newer Earth but with a much more sinister vibe. But then this gloomy dirge starts to transform into something that is not so much like Wolvserpent as lush gauzy synthesizers wash in alongside ethereal choral voices, the sound drifting and uncoiling without the propulsion of drums or any other percussion, just a cloudy black fog of doom-laden darkwave underscored with those heavy rumbling guitars. This sound is utterly gorgeous, like some strange mixture of Earth's bleak ambient heaviness and the dark ethereal downer pop of Clan Of Xymox or some similar darkwave outfit. The second track travels deeper into this lush shadowy ambience, the guitars dropping out for long stretches of time as gorgeous high-end drones and shimmering dream-pop keyboards. The vocals begin to appear way off in the distance, slowly fading inwards as the guitars again materialize with chugging downtuned crunch and somber minor key melodies unwinding overhead. And when the vocals build into a majestic multi-part harmony, this becomes incredibly beautiful, like some drifting dreampop epic descending into darkness, finally combining with a minimal piano melody at the end.