Crépuscule d’Hiver – Par-Delà Noireglaces et Brumes-Sinistres (Review)

Crépuscule d'Hiver - Par-Delà Noireglaces et Brumes-SinistresThis is the debut album from French one-man black metal act Crépuscule d’Hiver.

Par-Delà Noireglaces et Brumes-Sinistres contains 69 minutes of music that combines atmospheric black metal with dungeon synth, creating an engaging journey into medieval times for the listener to become immersed in.

This is an album largely rooted in the old-school style, taking its cues from the 90s era of atmospheric keyboard-driven black metal. The music does well overall to make the songs feel like they belong to the artist behind Crépuscule d’Hiver, rather than merely copying past masterpieces. Some modern elements can be heard here and there too, and the album works well flowing from one engaging track to the next.

The music is epic in nature and scale, delivering an atmospheric grandeur that I confess makes me feel quite nostalgic for black metal’s younger days. This sort of keyboard-heavy style has not been so common in recent times, and even when a band has adopted this approach, it hasn’t always been effective, (with some notable exceptions). So let me say this – Par-Delà Noireglaces et Brumes-Sinistres is very effective at what it does. The lengthy tracks strike the right tone between blackened bite, mystical atmosphere, and dungeon synth enhancement; well-written and delivered, this may be a long listen , but it’s a rewarding one.

Speaking of delivery, everything here is well-performed, and the artist behind the band knows his material and audience well. Helping him out on the songs are a range of guests, providing services in the areas of extra instruments, vocals, and choirs. These are sparingly used, but deployed to good effect. We also get the drummer of In Cauda Venenum providing drums and bass, both of which are well-performed, but with the latter in particular being notable as you can actually hear its contribution.

I really like this. There’s a lot to discover and explore on Par-Delà Noireglaces et Brumes-Sinistres, and it requires a decent time investment to really do this. It’s worth it though, as Crépuscule d’Hiver’s music is a high quality and richly satisfying slice of medieval-themed black metal that’s easy to enjoy.

Very highly recommended.

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