Alda is a duo from the Tacoma, WA area who make a nice blend of atmospheric black metal and folk metal that is kinda similar to Agalloch and Burzum in some ways, but personally I like Alda more than Agalloch and Burzum put together.
This album surprised me. I found it through >:3’s AOTY blog and after listening to it I ended up putting it pretty high up on my AOTY list as well.
The album starts out with a folky intro on the first track “In the Wake of an Iron Wind” but soon enough gets into the distorted guitar and then blast beats and metal jamming which I’ve got absolutely no complaints about. “Shadow of the Mountain” is an entirely acoustic song that has a haunting chant thing happening at the end which is amazing and really gives off a nice vibe. The rest of the album switches between black metal jams and folk sections but it all fits together nicely and doesn’t seem to put anything in the wrong place at the wrong time. The album is mostly instrumental but there are occasional screaming vocals that are kinda in the background and they blend with the music nicely.
Even if you don’t like metal I’d recommend you check this out because you might just enjoy it. If you already listen to metal I very strongly recommend this album because you’ll probably love it.