Has it really been 6 years since 2012’s Meliora was released? Admittedly I only discovered it in 2104, but still. Ye gods! Meliora was a hugely distinctive and individual release, one that made a strong impression with me and that I’ve enjoyed exploring and getting to know over the years.
After so much time it seems that the band’s complex style is intact, but has also been refined and honed, with a different emphasis on this latest album. The music on this release is atmospheric and involved, combing elements of post-metal, doom, and sludge into progressive metal that’s expressive and full of dark emotional resonance.
Hypnotically entrancing and with a droning quality to parts of the music, this is an album full of weight and substance, regardless of whether it’s being conventionally heavy or not. Truth be told, this is actually an unconventional album, (and band), in many respects, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
With an apocalyptic vibe and layers of monolithic atmosphere, this music is an absorbing and compelling trip into rarely explored waters, offering strange vistas for even seasoned explores of expansive soundscapes.
I always liked the band’s use of opposites in their material. As there was on Meliora, on Abandon of the Self there’s a sublime juxtaposition of human warmth and inhuman mechanisation in the band’s music. Unlike Meliora, however, this latest release is more skewed toward the former aspect rather than the latter. This is at least partially down to the warm, more well-rounded production that allows the album to breathe easily in its own skin, but also because it’s generally a more varied and organic sounding collection of songs than the music of Meliora. The band’s singer also has a wider range and more highly developed delivery here too.
Abandon of the Self is a multifaceted, textured, rich, and well-realised album. As much as I loved Meliora, I’m going to tentatively say that this newest album is even better. Due to the sheer amount of times that I’ve listened to the band’s former album, however, it’s hard to accurately compare, but Abandon of the Self really is something special.
I’m extremely happy that Eryn Non Dae have returned; stronger than ever, and with a sprawling new album of captivating music.