Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
The world is in constant evolution--the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form, whether it be physically, mentally, artistically, or emotionally. Empyrium are not exempt from that process. Since forming in 1994 they have evolved from a dark metal band blending elements of symphonic metal, folk metal, doom metal, and tinges of black metal, to a purely neofolk group with classical elements as well. An evolution, which might I add, was great and I have absolutely no complaints about.
After breaking up for a few years back in the early 2000's, Empyrium reformed and continued their quest of all things grand and majestic in subtle forms, leading to their previous album, 2014's The Turn of the Tides, which served as a reminder of why Empyrium are great at what they do. After seven years of absence of full-length output, it makes me happy as hell to review Uber Den Sternen, the latest album from the German legends. And there is a lot to talk about on this album.
Written by: The Administrator
For a music reviewer, familiarity is a tool. Thus, before getting too embroiled in the details, here’s the rub: the world of atmospheric and folky black metal constitutes for me the proverbial Road Less Travelled. My experience in these woods is limited; I have little knowledge of convention or expectation. That said, I do have a deep respect for any artist under the metal umbrella who strives to replicate and/or honor the lushness and vibrancy of the natural world.
If anyone fits that vague criteria, it is the remarkably prolific Robes Of Snow, whose album covers alone should indicate a certain dedication to the out-of-doors. Each photo captures a prototypical seasonal moment, with Autumn’s Stag and the Crescent Moon—today’s album in question—featuring a melancholic autumnal scene. A boardwalk, wet with rain. Rusty pre-frost grasses. Bare trees standing stark against a yellow sky. The snow is coming soon, but it ain’t here yet. As someone who grew up in the rural reaches of the northeast US, it’s a scene I recognize quite well, and inevitably take solace in. But the visual aspect would fall apart, obviously, if the sonic qualities didn’t hold up their end of the aesthetic bargain. Luckily, Robes Of Snow succeeds quite well in this regard. And that's puttin' it lightly.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!