Review: A death metal band playing heavy metal in the hazy aura of black metal technique, creates an interesting and very listenable allow that despite lacking the flow and inscrutability of hardcore black metal creates an atmosphere specific to the genre. An influence from Necrophobic, perhaps in the sweeping riffs which move from broad intervals through a melodic bridge to binary variation, and songs which move from there into permutations of central riffs while keeping an ear for melody and the harmonic sublime.
Similar to bands such as At the Gates or Sentenced Dissection integrate heavy metal melodic playing with smooth and lengthy black metal riffs, allowing harmonic space to be saturated by osmosis in preparation for thematic narrative and conclusion. Sonorous and often gentle, this album embraces a different aesthetic from black metal in its wavelike complement and recursion, with an emphasis on motion and structure in a style consistent from speed metal through the renaissance of death metal.
1. Black Horizons (8:10)
2. The Somberlain (7:04)
3. Crimson Towers (0:47)
4. A Land Forlorn (6:38)
5. Heaven's Damnation (4:43)
6. Frozen (3:45)
7. Into Infinite Obscurity (1:04)
8. In the Cold Winds of Nowhere (4:19)
9. The Grief Prophecy/Shadows over A Lost Kingdom (3:10)
10. Mistress Of The Bleeding Sorrow (4:33)
11. Feathers Fell (0:43)
Instrumentalism is highly competent and creativity abounds in riffs that achieve a level above the usual death metal riffs which follow a up/down up/down pattern of motion, variation, and then resolve. Arching melodic structures complement this sense in arrangement, allowing rhythm and tone to mesh like an engaging gear. Like most black metal this music transcends noise for beauty and then surmounts that, leaving a lasting impression of a dark, abstracted, chilling intake of life with the stranded emotion of a bruised soul.
Highlights are in the incisive motion these patterns have, and the conventional but evocatively human percussion. Parts become too conventional rock-n-roll, but at odd times, without being disturbingly obvious, and without being half-hearted thrusts at some rock glory thrown into otherwise decent metal. Incongruous though it seems, the touches of rock tactics that glaze this sound are less of a barrier than some fundamentally basic assumptions in tone and rhythm which isolate this album from entry to the black metal canon.
While this release is well executed within the defined parameters of its style, it creates atmosphere but falls short of finding a synthesis of feeling and action as underground black metal in its inventive era did. As beautiful and artistic music that bridges a few genres in its attempts to create a form powerful enough for its peregrinations, this music is strength emerging from listenable yet emotionally referential songwriting.
Review: This album invokes melodic rock-based metal band Iron Maiden as its overwhelming aesthetic ancestor while its skeleton retains a complex evolution of architectural pieces of an idea, the philosophical style developed by death metal bands as the format of their artistic expression. This fusion creates music of rare beauty with embedded elements of the sophisticated emotion of black metal.
Harmonizing guitars serve melodic patterns over linear percussion and almost integrate the overwhelming tendency of rhythm when the pattern shifts and disintegrates into metamorphosing rhythmic signals, a new deconstruction of idea. Lead guitars tear through the silken patterns of melody, curling notes like mutant worms self-consuming and virulent, beautiful in the reverberating balance of aggression they portray. All of these patterns combine in simple songs that reveal building ideas in their patterning changes, increasingly intensity to one or more moments of intensely composed and darkly eloquent music.
1. At the Fathomless Depths (1:56)
2. Night's Blood (6:40)
3. Unhallowed (7:29)
4. Where Dead Angels Lie (5:51)
5. Retribution - Storm of the Light's Bane (4:51)
6. Thorns of Crimson Death (8:06)
7. Soulreaper (6:57)
8. No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep (1:26)
Brainwave tendencies of sloping melodies move like rock n roll and this music repeats too often the idiosyncrasies of that genre, yet the vocals carry rasping not toneless melodies disembodied through the waves of music, richly harmonic and subversively rhythmic in an exacting evil dissonance rather than the sleazy nihilistic apathy of rockstar gluttony. Melodramatic, melancholic, dark music emanates emotional beauty with sad interlocking melodies speaking an essence of epic mental sensation through fantasy, metaphoric gateway to the artistic content inspired by this release in the listener.
What first seems happy sad rock music turns poignantly evil as it inverts and enunciates a recursing serpentine despair in virulent and corrupted voices as if through the distorted transmission of a sick comic radio script reporting the apocalypse. Unlike most of black metal however, this is not ideological music; there is no "save the world" or "destroy the world" mentality here. The first Dissection album may be a clearer vision of this band, but this release is sleeker with a more warlike dedication to functionality within art. As if brushed steel this is malevolent but musical metal, created by the masters of several styles.