Fen “The Dead Light” Review

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Fen has released a new album called “The Dead Light” it is their next opus in their extensive and consistent discography. I had the pleasure to listen to the album and wanted to say that it is good but there are some moments where the album gets a bit repetitive. Instead of covering themes of nature and the ground beneath our feet Fen have decided to take the listener skywards to the stars and planets above. The album takes me through this journey in a wonderful way. I picture ancient populations before civilization ballooned looking up at the night sky in wonderment and mystery. I think the lads from Fen have constructed an album that really conveys these feelings.

The album starts with an instrumental that paints an image of wandering a meadow at night stargazing. There is a calming vibe with the song but as it progresses, it builds to the first song “The Dead Light (Part 1)” and as the first chords kick in I now see myself sitting on an asteroid shooting through space and time. This song is very progressive in nature, and a bit chaotic in a way to. This is the first major difference from Fen’s prior releases they get much more proggy in their song structure. I think this helps “The Dead Light” but hurts it a bit too. I have not been the biggest fan of prog metal because I feel it meanders too much and gets a bit too technical for my liking. Some moments in the album go in that direction, but Fen are able to balance it out with much more beautiful post metal passages.

As the album continues we are then introduced to another instrumental bridge “The Dead Light (Part 2)” that reminds me so much of Morgion’s instrumental “Solinari” it has this very mystical and ethereal vibe going on with it that is perfect transition to one of the stand out tracks “Nebula”. This is a really well written and beautiful song by Fen, they go straight up black metal meets post rock meets shoegaze in this song. It shows how versatile they are as songwriters because you get a sense of chaos and kinetic energy in one song and now introduced to a very dreamy/introspective tune to balance it out. I think “Nebula” is probably the closest sound to their work off “The Malediction Fields” with an even greater emphasis on clean vocals.

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The last four songs off “The Dead Light” are very different from one another and this where things end up getting a bit repetitive on the album. The first track “Labyrinthine Echoes” is a good song and epic in nature. It sounds like an extended version of Enslaved’s “Return to Yggdrasil” with many movements both heavy and quiet. The next two songs “Breath of the Void” and “Exsanguination” are where the album gets a bit rocky. These songs sound very similar to one another and just bleed into one another. Nothing really stands out about these tracks compared to other amazing songs on the album I have heard so far.

The final song on the album “Rendered in Onyx” is an amazing song and a great closing opus to end the album on a high note. The images in this song are stunning, dreamlike and hopeful. When I hear this song, I picture myself floating in the Milky Way with stars, and planets surrounding me. The millions of suns warming my face amidst the peace and quiet of the interstellar silence. I feel “Rendered in Onyx” is a healthy mix of “Bereft” and “Winter III (Fear)” it has that specific hook that really hits all the right emotional buttons. The combination of clean vocals and The Watcher’s screams makes this song super interesting. It successfully takes you down so many paths both aggressive and calming.

“The Dead Light” is another great entry in Fen’s discography. There are plenty of highlights to be heard on the album there are just some areas that didn’t impress me as much as the songs from Fen’s prior releases, specifically, “Winter” and “Carrion Skies” . If you have been a fan of Fen, you will enjoy this album and may even love the songs I did not enjoy as much. Fen is one of those bands that know how to write consistently good music and I am glad to hear the experimentation found on the album. Eventually the different paths Fen takes with their music will lead to even more interesting and adventurous albums in the future.

Rating 8/10

Bandcamp: https://fenuk.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fenofficial

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FenBandUK

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Alcest a Retrospective 2005 to 2010

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I recall a while ago that an old friend of mine introduced me to a band called Alcest out of France. He let me borrow a CD with beautiful artwork of a mermaid, sleeping man, and the full moon in glowing blue hues. I come to find out that this album is “Écailles de Lune” when I first put the CD into my car stereo and drove home the music absolutely floored me. I never heard anything like Alcest before and I have yet to hear any band like Alcest even now. This was the first moment in time that I was enraptured by Neige’s genius, and as the years passed, Alcest became part of my top five bands of all time. I wanted to take this time to do some mini reviews of Alcest’s discography. They have developed a really interesting and eclectic series of albums that are all different in their own unique ways. With the impending release of their new album “Spiritual Instinct”, this is a perfect time than ever to introduce you to the hidden, beautiful metallic world of Alcest.

I am going to split my reviews into two distinctive eras of Alcest. To begin Alcest began its journey with an EP simply called “Le Secret” followed by “Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde” and then capped off with the seminal album “Écailles de Lune”. This era of Alcest was very diverse; there was a lot of experimentation happening earlier in Neige’s career and I think the first half of his discography had so many different and unique dynamics happening.

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Le Secret 10/10

When Neige first described his experiences as a child visiting the “Otherworld” “Le Secret” was the album where we see Neige’s at his rawest and most vulnerable. This two song EP effectively invoked images of dreamlike worlds where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred. The music had a hypnotic and serene type of energy through every note and vocal choice. There is a strong feeling of nostalgia and memory with the musical arrangements and it really puts your mind into an otherworldly atmosphere. When I first heard this album, I was floored at how good it was for an EP, especially with it being Neige’s first album running with the shoegaze and black metal formula. Even to this day I give “Le Secret” a spin and I am still blown away at how simply gorgeous the album is. Best Songs: All of Them!

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Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde 7/10

When “Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde” was released, I never heard any metal album like it before. I would even say it is not a pure metal album at all. There were some riffs and blast beats that are sprinkled throughout the album, but the bulk of the music was driven by shoegazing music. I was hearing more My Bloody Valentine or Cocteau Twins compared to Darkthrone or Burzum. This is what really intrigued me when I first heard “Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde” it’s a unique, fresh and very a different take on metal. The thing with this is album is it starts very strong then it loses my interest. The first four to five tracks put me into such a blissful mood because of how beautiful/evocative the music was. Then as the album progresses the tracks got weaker. The one thing to keep in mind is Neige had to write this album in order to build this metal/shoegaze hybrid into some amazing future records, while building a new genre of metal called “blackgaze” along the way. Best Songs: Printemps émeraude, Souvenirs d’un autre monde, and Les Iris

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Écailles de Lune 9/10

“Écailles de lune” was the first album that introduced me to Alcest. Still in my eyes, this is the best album out of their discography. The beauty in this album is beyond words and the images and feelings conveyed in this album have always resonated so deeply with me. I spent many nights driving around during full moon nights and have “Écailles de lune” blasting from my car speakers. It puts so many images in my head and really brings out a lot of clarity. When my mind is foggy or I am, feeling down I would listen to this album to help me get out of my funk. Every time I hear “Écailles de lune” it helped with my mental health, and gave me a new perspective of my existence in this world. Regardless of the lyrics being in French you know exactly what Neige is trying to convey in this album. The musicianship is warm, introspective, and very dreamlike. The vocals are more ethereal compared to punchy/upfront, and the screams/rasps heard in Neige’s vocals chills you to the bone. It is the perfect album of moods and emotions. There is no room in this album for dry technical work; the album purely thrives on the nostalgic thoughts and feelings we all experience as human beings. Best Songs: Ecailles de lune I, Ecailles de Lune II and Sur l’océan couleur de fer

Here concludes my reviews of the first half of Alcest’s discography from 2007 to 2010 there was a beautiful monster stirring in France at this time. In addition, as this monster rose from the depths a genuine tidal wave of blackgaze bands emerged and yet still Neige and company were way ahead of the pack for quality and consistency from 2012 until 2016.

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Bandcamp: https://alcest.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official

Official Page: http://www.alcest-music.com/

A Conversation with Jori Apedaile of Eneferens

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Eneferens is an up and coming one-man metal project out of Minnesota, the brainchild behind the band is Jori Apedaile. The best way I can describe his music as a fan is beautiful, resonating, and very introspective in nature. Jori just released his new album “The Bleakness of Our Constant” that came out earlier in November it is a fantastic album full of great ideas and very relatable lyrics/imagery. He took some time to do an interview with me about the new album and the origins/motivation behind Eneferens. I learned a lot about who Jori is and what motivates him to create such beautiful and sorrowful music.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, firstly can you give our readers an idea of the concept and origin story behind Eneferens?

 The project started in the winter of 2015. I had quit all of the bands I was in previously to move to a different city, and inspiration for a new sound emerged with the change in my surroundings. The name Eneferens came to me in a dream one night, and I dissected the root words to form a definition: To carry within one’s self. That resonated deeply with what I was trying to do, and things developed from there.”

What is your creative process in writing your music? Are you more spontaneous or meticulous in putting your ideas together?

 It’s definitely a balance of both. I often start writing a song with something completely out of the blue, but I often have a strong sensibility and can map out where the song needs to go. Other times I surprise myself. I make a strong point to not repeat myself or develop too many songwriting habits, and some of the experimentation trying to steer clear from that has been fairly successful.

When I am I reading your lyrics there is such a sense of melancholy, and themes of love lost how do you conceptualize your lyrics to make them so simply profound?

 Lyrics are by far the most difficult part of the writing process for me because the music already says so much. That’s a very tough question to answer, because I essentially just ponder a lot, and dig deep into what I’m feeling and just hope that something of value will come out.”

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Photo By: Todd Farnham

Nature also plays a part in your themes and imagery why are these metaphors so important to the image of Eneferens?

 The approach to the whole project is to create beautiful and dynamic music. Nature is by far the most beautiful and dynamic thing, so it very easily translates in the music that I make.”

Specifically in “The Bleakness of Our Constant” what made you come up with this title for you newest output?

“Coming up with the title took me a very long time. It was difficult for me to find a name to bring these tracks together because they are all pretty different from one another. I revisited my lyrics and the very last line of Weight of the Mind’s Periapt jumped out at me: The Bleakness Of Our Constant. That was it. To me, the title represents continuing on in a trajectory that is uncertain, can be bleak and difficult, but there is always that stubborn determination to keep going in hopes that things will get better.”

I noticed the sigils on the album artwork what is the significance behind them?

“The sigil is essentially the earth and the sky joined by a very frail thin line. It represents a very delicate sense of balance. Balance is very important in the creation of my music, so I think it is a fitting image to accompany this new record.”

Which bands/artists are you most influenced by and why? Secondly what acts are you currently listening to at this moment?

“I am all over the map. Regardless of what genre an artist is, the ones that influence me the most are those that perfectly convey emotions that I can strongly resonate with. Some of the strong influences that can be found in Eneferens are early Opeth, Alcest, Katatonia (all of their discography), Rapture, and Kauan. Some artists that have emotionally inspired me but don’t necessarily translate in my sound are The National, Neuman, Hundred Waters, Sufjan Stevens, and London Grammar. My music wouldn’t be the same without them even though they’re far from metal. I’ve been listening to a wide variety of music lately: Fleurety, Lantlos, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, mid-discography Ulver, Camel, the list goes on.”

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Photo By: Jori Apedaile

It seems like the reception has been quite positive for Eneferens, how do you feel about this?

 I am very grateful for how well things are being received. It’s very validating, and it means a lot to hear that people are connecting to the music on an emotional level.”

There are so many new, interesting and compelling acts in the metal scene these days. Do you think the metal scene has seen a renaissance?

 No, not necessarily. I think things have progressed fairly naturally in the sense that so much has been done before already and that forces bands to either come up with something very unique, or try to do the same thing but better than the last band. It is an exciting time for metal though because some real creativity is emerging in order to stand out.”

After researching, I noticed you do your live shows by yourself how has that been and do you see yourself adding live members to Eneferens in the future?

 Playing live by myself has been very empowering and it has been received well. I did a northwest U.S. tour earlier this year and a common comment was that they were impressed how big the sound was for just one person. I would eventually like to put together a full live band to make the experience more captivating. We will see what happens in the future.”

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Photo By: Jori Apedaile

If you could describe Enenferens to someone who may not be familiar with your music how would you best describe it?

It’s a combination of many of my influences- black metal, doom, shoegaze, folk. As cheesy as it is, I sometimes call it “beautiful metal” because that’s really what it is. Strong melodies, dissonance when necessary, plenty of atmosphere and a very delicate balance of light and dark.”

Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers?

“Never fear to be different! The best things of all are always one of a kind. Cheers.”

Bandcamp: https://eneferens.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eneferens/

 

A Conversation with Dis Pater of Midnight Odyssey

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Midnight Odyssey is a one man musical entity out Australia, I can best describe the music as epic, sprawling, pensive and spiritual sounding. I was so interested  in the immersive music of Midnight Odyssey that I wanted to interview the man behind the project Dis Pater. He more than graciously answered a series of questions about what made him conceive this timeless and memorable aural journey to the stars . I learned a lot about his creative process and the symbolism behind the music. I hope after you read this interview you will take a chance and listen to his latest endeavor “Silhouette of Stars” which is a compilation of unreleased tracks from different  Midnight Odyssey eras.

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Photo by Ales Gillies and Francesco Gemelli

Could you tell us about the origin stories of Midnight Odyssey and Death Comes Crawling?

“Midnight Odyssey was a concept I had started back around 1999, when I began writing ‘black metal’ music, although it was only on an acoustic guitar. Soon I had saved up to buy an electric guitar and keyboard and soon was able to make rough recordings. I even experimented with a bit of synth music around 2003 but it was quite crude. I spent many years just writing stuff for my own amusement until I thought I might try and put something out to the public in 2007. That’s really when Midnight Odyssey truly began.”

From prior interviews I have read you came up with the moniker of Dis Pater as a symbol of the Roman god of Death. Why is the concept and symbolism of Death so important to the creation of Midnight Odyssey/Death Comes Crawling?

“For me death is the one certainty in life. It is one of a few things that we all have in common, it spans generations, eons, species, even things that by definition don’t live can still die. It is something that relates to everyone, most of us have experienced it, a lot of us fear it.”

As I listen to your projects I get such a sense of vastness, I am reminded of Big Sky Country in the US as I hear your music. Geographically does Australia hold a major influence in your creativity?

“I think the many different forms of geography in Australia, even close to where I live, does play a big part in my writing. I guess in my mind when I write about a forest I’m probably thinking about European forests, but it is the Australian rainforest that would be physically influencing what I write and relate to. But in many ways, things like caves, mountains, waterfalls, even just the sky itself are all contributing factors to me, so again, it’s all from my viewpoint here in Australia.”

There is so much symbolism of space, time, and mortality throughout all your music. Why are these ideas metaphorically significant to your creative process?

“I think these are the key factors of existence. I don’t like to write music that is tied to a time specific moment, so there are no reference to things like phones, tvs, movies, cars, guns, etc. It’s something that doesn’t change even as technology changes. Space and time will affect us and have affected us since the beginning, and will continue to affect us right up until the end. The past for me is the most important, because humanity never really changes, everything we need to know has already happened in one way or another.”

Being a one man band I think there is a lot of freedom found in this format, have you ever thought of adding others to help you develop your vision/themes (specifically in Midnight Odyssey)?

“No I’ve never really considered it for my metal projects. Guest musicians sure, but to turn it into a band is something I’m only considering with Death Comes Crawling. For me Midnight Odyssey would probably ruined if it were on a stage. I don’t think of it as music where people head bang or fist pump the air, where stage lights flash and people applause or banter. It’s really not what Midnight Odyssey is about, it’s as far removed from humanity as it possibly can be.”

You mentioned you were looking into band mates for Death Comes Crawling is there a thought of doing this band live?

“Quite possibly yes. It wouldn’t take much in terms of other people at all, but for me the real issue is time, as I’m very busy with personal and work life. It’s something that I would want to focus on 100%, not kind of stumble my way into it. I think too the style of music is far more worthy of a live setting than anything else I’ve done.”

While hearing your albums there is a huge dark wave vibe going on with the vocals and music of Midnight Odyssey in some moments (even in The Crevices Below) which in turn made you create Death Comes Crawling, what do you like most about dark wave music and why is this style so significant in your albums?

“Well I almost simultaneously got into that music at the same time as metal. For me the two went hand in hand, they were darker in tone, they were about more meaningful things, like death, more emotional and just generally weren’t popular forms of music. It was never about being a guitar god for me, it was creating something through sound that represented what I was feeling, engaging the darker more sinister thoughts within me and finding an avenue to bring those thoughts out. These concepts aren’t unique to metal by any means, and dark wave and other styles like classical music create just the same unique experiences.”

What are some bands/musicians you have been listening to lately? And do you recommend any other dark wave acts that our readers should look into?

“I’ve been listening a lot to the Ancient Records releases, and also the recent Mare and One Tail, One Head. For dark wave, well, I think the best of the most recent bands have been Drab Majesty!”

Also researching prior interviews I noticed you are heavily influenced by Dead Can Dance, I can see their influence in your music what about them stands out most to you? And are there any other acts that have the same significance in your creative process?

“Dead Can Dance embody something that is otherworldly. It is hypnotic, it is mystical and it transports you as the listener into another age. They use ancient instruments as well as new, and Lisa Gerrard’s voice to me is the epitome of beauty and danger. Similarly, Arcana are another that followed that path of sound and who have influenced just as much, particularly for their more dark medieval sound and are perhaps my favourite of all the other neoclassical bands that came out during the 90s and after. But a lot of the old Cold Meat Industry stuff like Ildfrost, Mortiis, and Raison d’être are up there as well.”

 

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What are your thoughts and feelings of the current metal scene? I have noticed more and more creative bands come through on the regular. Do you think the scene is in a good place right now?

“I think the metal scene is healthy, but there are just too many bands. I think maybe it is a little too mainstream, well at least black metal is creeping into popular society more and more. It’s become appealing to casual audiences and I think that is where a lot of problems will happen. But otherwise, I don’t think metal has anything to be worried about. The only thing is over the next ten years when a lot of the older bands will have gone, either through members dying or just breaking up because they are too old, there has to be bands to come in and fill the void.”

Specifically how has the metal scene been in Australia? Has your projects been getting a lot of support locally?

“The metal scene is okay. I don’t have a lot to do with it.  There is some support in Australia for me, but I think my bigger audiences are in Europe and the States. It’s quite diverse, in the fact that I can go to three gigs and see mostly three different crowds of people who I haven’t seen before. But I’m not really into keeping up appearances as such. There are those that I like and though we may not see each other often, we remain supportive of each other’s works and outputs.”

Have you ever got a chance to visit the United States? Are there any specific states or areas you would like to experience to help you develop your ideas and themes of your projects?

“I’ve never visited the United States and to be honest, I think the only place I would travel to specifically to develop any ideas as such would be the volcanoes in Hawaii, as that is something we don’t have in Australia. Everything else would be purely holiday.”

Are you currently working on any new material for Midnight Odyssey or Death Comes Crawling?

“I am working on quite a few things related to Midnight Odyssey at the moment, but it is too early to go into detail about that. I haven’t really got anything else started for Death Comes Crawling just yet, as the bonus track on the CD that is soon to be released was the last thing I had worked on.”

What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of your music?

“Well I read a lot of ancient and medieval history books, and latin and greek literature and poetry. It  feeds the lyrical and conceptual side of Midnight Odyssey quite well. Most of my spare time is taken up with music and collecting really.”

And finally do you have any parting words for our readers and how would best describe your music to someone who may not be familiar with your work?

“Thank you for taking the time to read this interview, and I hope you can make the time to listen to some of my output. I’d suggest headphones, at night, alone, looking up towards the stars and planets.”

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

Bandcamp: https://i-voidhangerrecords.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/midnightodyssey/

Official Page: https://midnightodysseyofficial.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dis_pater_official/

A Review of Eneferens’s: “The Bleakness of Our Constant”

 

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I have spent a seemingly long time trying to figure out my place in this world, so much has happened in my life and I started seeing myself getting lost in indifference. The world buzzed by while I was stuck in a nucleus of numbness, and loss of self. I know I could always turn to metal to help through these movements in life. But lately I have started to feel indifferent about the music I have been listening to lately. The music didn’t move me as much as it used to do. And then when I thought there was no turning back for me I found a solo black/doom metal project called Eneferens.

The brainchild behind this project is Jori Apedaile out of Minneapolis, MN. I was first introduced to Jori’s mindset when I heard him talk on Jason Walton’s podcast “I Hate Music” his taste in music reflected my own tastes and when I learned more of his solo-project Eneferens. I heard a track off his album “In the Hours Beneath” and I had this illumination that this is a project I needed to dive into more. I purchased both his albums “In the Hours Beneath” and the “The Inward Cold” and spent a good chunk of time really being floored by the emotions, thoughts and feelings found in the music. There were feelings of anger, regret, indifference, mortality, nature and most importantly a resonating sense of love lost and love ignored. Every single one of these elements in these albums fit me and the struggles I have been dealing with for a couple years now. As I got lost in the music and looking into my inward self I had a chat with Jori and he mentioned that he was working on a new album and it will be coming out soon. This album ended up being his newest opus “The Bleakness of Our Constant” and this album came out at the right time for me.

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I have been dealing with deaths in my family, boredom at my job, searching for love, and being constantly reminded that the person I care deeply for has no idea how much I do care. I have found myself in a place that is just darkness, and loss that is both unfamiliar and confounding. My thoughts were all jumbled up like a jigsaw puzzle without corner pieces. I could not find rationale or reasoning behind these thoughts in my head. Then, like a sudden thunderstorm “The Bleakness of Our Constant” came out and as soon as I heard the first guitar chords in “Leave” I got lost once again in the brilliance of Enferens. Every song hit every feeling and thought I had about this current moment in my life.

The thoughts of loss, and wishing for something that cannot be while longing it to be. I can picture in my head while hearing tracks like “Awake” and “Weight of the Mind’s Periapt” a woman of beauty that is positive, energetic and just seems like the right fit even though you cannot put your finger on why you feel this way about her. Though instead of her there by your side she is in the distance, aloof and hazy. You are trying to make her aware but because of second thoughts, and your own insecurities she will never know how you truly felt about her. “The Bleakness of Our Constant” really hits home on these thoughts, images and feelings. If you have ever been in this type of situation this album will really help you understand how to navigate it and find closure even if it seems so far away.

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Listening to a “The Bleakness of Our Constant” can be painful but profound. Being reminded of past failures and the guilt surrounding it helps you grow like it did for me. I am still in a daze most nights and days and as I piece together these threads in my life I hope to be whole again. The music, vocals, lyrics and imagery in “The Bleakness of Our Constant” hits highs and lows as well as darkness and light. It is an album that gives imagery of misty woods, old houses, mourning lovers, unrequited romance and the sadness found in being ignored. This is a very personal, vulnerable and thought provoking album and as soon as you complete it in its entirety you will come to find out that you are not alone in these feelings. I highly suggest you give not only “The Bleakness of Our Constant” a listen but pay a visit to Enferens’s other brilliant albums “The Inward Cold” and “In the Hours Beneath”. As you get lost in these beautiful albums you will start to find a way out of the darkness through the cold light of the stars above.

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Rating 9/10

Bandcamp: https://eneferens.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eneferens/

A Review of Ulver’s Album “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”

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One of my first forays into the black metal genre was Ulver’s trilogy from the 90s. I was first introduced to Ulver because of my love for nature-inspired black metal. “Bergttat”, “Kvledssanger” and “Nattens Madrigal” blew me away with stunning black metal and folk music. Also these albums were revolutionary in the progress of black metal. I was so excited to find this band that I wanted to hear more. Since those albums Ulver always changed up their style from intriguing (Perdition City) to boring (any of their electronic albums). I kind of stopped listening to them after Perdition City. Then I was reading one of my friend’s posts on Facebook and he gave his top albums for 2017 and to my surprise what came first on that list was Ulver’s new album “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”. So I listened to the album and was utterly floored by the music in it. I have been diving more into synthpop/new wave music and to see Ulver go in this direction was intriguing.

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After multiple listens the more the album grew on me. There is some excellent stuff in “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” and it once again made Ulver accessible to me. There is still some weird and fascinating moments in the album that harken back to their electronic days, but instead of boring electronics it was interesting electronics instead. The best way to describe the music in this album is driving in a haze after a rainy night recollecting the highs and lows of life. It is a relaxing, introspective and morose album. The overarching highlight to me is the vocals of Garm, I have always respected Garm’s vocal style over the years and really missed hearing him in a bunch of Ulver’s newer albums. The tones, style and imagery he conveys in his vocals really makes “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” stand out to me. His vocals are versatile and really compliment the synth sounds and beats found in the songs. These is sense of darkness, beauty and longing all put into one package.

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I was even more impressed with the electronic and synth work in this album. There is warmth and coldness abound in “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”. I feel like I am listening to a movie reminiscing about the nostalgia and history of the 80s. The album’s lyrical content is very intriguing and thought provoking, Kristoffer Rygg seamlessly blends imagery and information about two different historical contexts and makes it into his own version of history. What really makes the lyrics interesting is how he takes these seamlessly random moments in history and compares them to the darkness and emotions of the human condition. I feel this album is especially relevant to the current events of today in a wide variety of ways. This disillusionment is real for us as humans these days.

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To conclude I consider this to be a heck of an album that could really tap into a wide variety of music lovers. I think Ulver’s has bridged the gap of obscurity to relevance. I feel this album could touch anyone who loves and appreciates music. There is something you can always relate to in “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” be it the lyrics, imagery, vocals or music. There is an undeniable catchiness to this album and it will continue to get consistent listens if you appreciate music that is dark as well as pop-driven. Ulver has crafted an album that has turned heads but also unlocked the potential they could still go for in future albums.

Rating: 9/10

Ulver Official Page: http://jester-records.com/ulver/ulver.html

Bandcamp: https://ulver.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ulverofficial/

Imperium Dekadenz “Dis Manibvs”

dismanibvs

I have spent a ton of time trying to find new things to listen to. I love all of the albums I have in some way or another but I just needed to hear something new and unique. I heard about the band Imperium Dekadenz from one of my friend’s and started listening to some songs by them. After hearing their music with much greater attention to detail I was immediately staggered by how good these guys are. Hailing from Germany Imperium Dekadenz arrived through the fogs and mists of the black woods and have created an epic album called “Dis Manibvs” that came out in August of 2016.

The best way I can describe the overall vibe of the album is sorrowful, ancient and triumphant. The songs seemingly blend into one another like a tapestry of stars and planets. The vocals remind me of yearnings for times of old and final breaths of stars dying into the black of space. There is a cosmic, polytheistic and natural energy when every note is played. There is strong feeling of melancholy in the way the instruments harmonize and crescendo. There are multiple things that standout in “Dis Manibvs” one of them standing out above all others is the drumming of Vespasian. They are powerful, emotional and thunderous like the heavens, blast beats sound like oaks growing and expanding in the rain, and the cymbal crashes remind me of bolts of lightning turning the night sky white. There is a real feeling of the gods speaking when you hear some tracks of “Dis Manibvs” and whatever they are saying is being conjured through Imperium Dekadenz.

imperium-band

I can say when I hear this album my mind goes into a different place entirely, all the negativity and pain of life disappears and I feel like I am lost on a battlefield after Ragnarok. I see corpses around me, blood in the grass, mud and destruction everywhere. But I am not looking at the ground but the sky above. I can see stars clear and bright, clouds passing through the moon and treetops. I can see the dull light of dawn on the horizon and the ghosts of the dead wandering aimless among the piles of the dead. I know even after the brutality and violence of the battle that I lived and the gods had plans for me hidden from my view. I could only find the answers by moving forward and leaving the death behind me. My eyes scan to the east as I see the sun rise and notice glimmers of light as the sun shines over the vast raging river cutting through hills and valleys, a place to be cleansed of the blood and filth of the night before. These are the images and feelings “Dis Manibvs” evokes when listened to and it stays with you long after.

The songs that stand out most on this album are “Still I Rise” a triumphant, hopeful song about letting the past rot and being only aware of the present and seeing the future in a gauze of ether. The guitars are incredibly bombastic and immediately invoke these feelings and it just stays with you as a fond memory of the past you do not want to lose. The next song that is incredible is “Dis Manibvs” a slow, doomy black metal track which cascades like waterfalls and a steady warm rain. There is a sense of longing in this song, it is almost depressive in nature but it nonetheless is a song that can help with feelings of guilt and grief. The final song that stands out is “Volcano” it reminds me thoroughly of an old Emperor song it sounds like chaos melded with calm and develops images of a civilization on the brink of collapse through utter natural destruction. There is a sense of closure in this song, after the eruption and screams of thousands there is silence and it permeates through everything and leaves you utterly speechless in where the album will go next.

Imperium Dekadenz - Ragnarök 2014

Captured by Dvergir Photography

When the album ends the feelings, senses and thoughts stay with you like a vivid dream. You see yourself floating aimlessly in the infinite sky and see the god’s beckoning you to paradise. You find yourself at peace after the destructively beautiful sounds and images of “Dis Manibvs” and just want to play it again and again. The story Vespasian and Horaz crafted with such care, diligence and passion is something that will remain in your memory long after listening. An album that allows you to always hear new things and experience new visions is an album worth listening to. Be blown away by the utter perfection of this album and let it stick with you for the rest of your days.

Rating 9/10

Bandcamp: https://imperiumdekadenz.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImperiumDekadenz/

Homepage: http://www.imperium-dekadenz.de/

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