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: Loveloth
Avast ye dirty landlubbers and hear me tale! Name's Tentaclebeard, cap'n Tentaclebeard, and allow me to blow yer breeches away with this mighty tale of adventure, loot, friendship, and grog--many barrels of it. During me long, scurvy-ridden life I met plenty of folk but naught compare to this group of swashbucklers. Three moons ago, me crew and aye careened near a wee island rumoured to have treasure. 'Twas a hot, dry day, like most in these cursed lands but aye'll never forget the moment we weighed anchor. On the beach, five odd-lookin' lads scurried along after burying something shiny in the sands. Didn't take long before the buggers were caught for me crew is an experienced lot but so were these lads it be turnin' out. Calm as that Tortugan one-eyed drunkard these scurvy dogs were. Even me trusty parrot squawked in anger but even with ol' Bertha yellin' the fivetet remain'd cool, cool as the northern winds up in... arrrr ye get the point. Where was aye?
Aye, 'twas a...blimey, get me some grog laddie, have ye no respect for old sea dogs like yarr's truly? What kind of wenches owns this bilge-sucking tavern anyway, bunch of landlubbers, don't even get me drinks...arrrgh, back to me tale.
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.
SOJOURNER - Premonitions (Review)
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
There is darkness within all of us; it doesn't matter who you are. Rather, it all matters on how you handle it. Some resort to writing lyrics, painting, or various other art forms. Unfortunately some pick more destructive means. Sojourner does the former, using melancholy as a tool to add to their already highly atmospheric blend of black metal and folk metal. Premonitions marks the third album from the international atmospheric metal band, and their first album on new label Napalm Records. Do they succeed in expanding their darker and more melancholy emotions on this album? Let us begin.
"The Monolith" begins on a grand note. We are greeted to the gorgeous vocals of guitarist/clean vocalist Chloe Bray, who's voice really helps add to the scope of this tune. You are transported to a vast open field with the music taking you by the hand and comforting you on your journey.
Written by: Bane Ov Silence
Usually when I think of places known for producing great black metal, I think of Scandinavia, particularly Norway, parts of the United States, and random countries in central Europe. Obviously, there are plenty of bands who are exceptions to this rule, but I think if you ask your average metal fan where their favorite black metal band is from, their answer will be one of the aforementioned places. Today however, we are talking about a band from a country not very well known for exporting music, much less black metal, 殞煞Vengeful Spectre, from China.
The first thing the listener will notice about 殞煞Vengeful Spectre is that they wear their Asian heritage on their sleeve. They have everything one would expect from a black metal band, such as tremolo picked riffs and blast beats, but they also set themselves apart by incorporating traditional Chinese instruments, making for an amazing mix of Asian folk music and traditional European black metal. The album sounds like a soundtrack to a gritty retelling of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Every song invokes imagery of two massive armies clashing in an open field.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!