Over the past few years, 24-year-old UK musician Andrew by Andrew Curtis Brignell, aka Caïna, has put together a compellingly strange discography, one that mixes dirty black metal, dark shoegaze, a love for 4AD, and some indie-rock tendencies that found me comparing him to “Xiu Xiu going Alcest or Jesu” when he appeared in the Outsiders in ’08. Right, Brignell was ahead of the current “post-black metal” bus; it’s interesting then that on his fourth album Hands That Pluck, he dishes out some of his rawest black ‘n’ roll metal to date. (Among plenty of other things, of course.) You’ll get a sense of the seething sound via a list of the collection’s guests: Krieg’s N. Imperial (on the expansive “Murrain”), Starkweather’s Rennie Resmini (on the excellent Converge-meets-black metal of “Callus And Cicatrix”), and Chris Ross of Blood Revolt/Revenge/Axis Of Advance (on the monstrous 13-minute psychedelic black metal/progressive rock mind-melter “I Know Thee Of Old”). The album’s first track “Profane Inheritors” is a crusty shredder that would fit well on a recent Darkthrone album. It’s followed by Krieg’s 11-minute sky-melter “Murrain,” the swirling ambient drone of the title track, and the anthemic instrumental post-rock of “The Sea Of Grief Has No Shores” — songs that would not fit well on a recent Darkthrone album. As all of this suggests, the 70-minute Hands That Pluck, his best to date, is ideally experienced as a whole, but get started at the beginning:
Hands That Pluck is out 8/2 via Profound Lore. The album comes with a 9-song bonus EP called Old Songs New Chords showcasing more Brignell’s ambitious genre-tweaking tendencies. It includes four reworked tracks, a Nico Cover (“Roses In The Snow”), and the four original versions of the four reworked tracks.