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Svalbard Singer Serena Cherry Launches Black Metal Solo Project, Noctule

Serena Cherry of Svalbard. Photo credit: John Ashby.

Svalbard released one of my favorite metal albums of 2020, the anthemic, gorgeous and achingly heavy atmospheric post-hardcore masterpiece, When I Die, Will I Get Better?

Only a few months later, frontwoman Serena Cherry has returned with an album of her own, Wretched Abyss, released under the Noctule moniker. How’s that for productivity, and what did we do to be so lucky?

We endured this pandemic along with Serena, as it turns out: the vocalist/guitarist turned lemons into lemonade by making the most of her time under lockdown, returning to her pre-Svalbard black metal roots to write an entire album themed around the RPG computer game Skyrim. Each song is about different dungeons, story lines and weapons within the award-winning game, press copy states. Serena explains:

“I have always associated Skyrim with black metal. The snowy mountain settings, the morbid themes, the Norse mythology backbone – it just goes hand in hand for me.”

Cherry yesterday released the album’s title track as its first single, explaining of this particular cut and how it ties into the overall theme of the album:

“‘Wretched Abyss’ is a song about Hermaeus Mora — who is the daedric prince of fate, knowledge and memory in Skyrim. He often appears in a Lovecraftian form of tentacles in the game, this imagery combined with his unsettling psychological questline is what inspired me to write this song.”

The song carries with it the hallmarks of Svalbard’s atmospheric post-hardcore but is also unmistakably more black metal in tone. It’s the perfect tonic for those of us ready for more Svalbard but not wanting a straight-up repeat so soon after last year’s album.

Have a listen below. Wretched Abyss comes out on May 28, 2021 via Translation Loss Records (North America), Church Road Records (EU/UK), and Through Love Records (Germany); pre-order here.

[via Revolver]

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