Fauna - The Hunt
While listening to The Hunt, only recently I realized that the release has been remastered, reworked and granted a tracklist, splitting the original one-hour long compositional into sequential parts. Live drums were recorded for the re-release, and the cover art was updated to what is seen below, making this record quite more accessible and at the same time, not putting any of its merit to jeopardy. It's easier to suggest The Hunt to someone when it consists of seven tracks, than one long piece, however the audience that has been molded into the band's work surely never had a problem with the immersive ambiance and repetitiveness of Fauna.
As the originators of Cascadian black metal, in my opinion, this group resides on top of the ladder within this subgenre, even above the widely more popular Wolves in the Throne Room, offering listening experiences that are deeply introspective, unique, and simply mindblowing. The Hunt is the band's second album, and instead of describing it I will retrieve an answer from an interview found (and you should read all of it) here:
""Could you tell us a bit more about The Hunt, and any plans the band have in the near future?
“The Hunt” is a mythic journey into our ancient past, an exploration of the transcendent wisdom of hunting in all its ramifications. An attainment to totemic consciousness, we worked with the skins, bones, spirits and meat of our ruminant brethren, enacting a psychic journey from the hunger of our modern catastrophe to the rejoining of our animal selves to the flesh of another through the rite of consummation.
Thus sated, we moved on to our 3rd Cycle, known as Avifauna. For this chapter we worked with the bodies and the metaphor of birds, weaving owl, seagull and falcon into our world as part of an ascensional rite of flight and transcendence. Our 4th Chapter, undertaken in MMVIII, took us further into the Red Light of the Earth, and was performed thrice on Cascadian soil.
“The Hunt” has been reworked and will be re-released on Aurora Borealis on or around this summer’s Solstice. We will be recording and releasing our 3rd and 4th Cycles at some point in the coming years, and will be returning to the spiraling skyward that is “Avifauna” in live environments throughout the West Coast this year. We are also currently seeking assistance with a journey we wish to take on European soil this Fall.""
In this reply, Fauna also mention what would later be released as Avifauna in 2012, their most outstanding album and one of the best of its decade. I am not certain if the band is still active today, but Echtra, their vocalist / guitarist, has moved on with his own project of the same name. Bear in mind, that you would need to invest more time and attention before going into the material of this set of musicians, but it is rewarding all the way.
Listen to The Hunt: