This is the sixth album from Australian one-man black metal act Midnight Odyssey.
The second part in a trilogy, (the first part being 2019’s exceptional Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains), Biolume Part 2 – The Golden Orb contains a massive 102 minutes of material.
On his latest release the artist behind this colossal work has delved deeper into his epic heavy metal and doom influences. The music’s atmospheric and ambient black metal roots are still apparent, but are ultimately bent to the will of the new songs; majestic, epic, and full of bright grandeur.
As always, the music of Midnight Odyssey drips with emotion; it’s positively stuffed with the stuff. Alongside the emotive range we’ve come to expect from this artist though, there’s a new slant to the music this time. These additional influences have manifested as the appearance of Viking-esque aspects to the new songs, almost like a cross between Midnight Odyssey, Bathory, Summoning, and, to a lesser extent, Atlantean Kodex.
These tracks are very well-crafted, by a true master of his art. The long songs are awash with synths and textured guitars, building rich atmosphere with ease. Horns are used quite often, adding their bold presence to the songs. Sometimes the music adopts a militaristic marching feel, which meshes with the Viking elements very well. At others it’s achingly emotive and resplendent with so much atmospheric depth you can get lost in it. Medieval influences can also be felt, and monastic chants sometimes work their way out of the depths of the multifaceted music.
Highlights are many and varied. A strong vocal refrain, a layered atmosphere, a piercing melody, a choral interlude, a fist-pumping riff…there’s a lot here to enjoy, and in diverse ways.
The artist gives what’s probably his best vocal performance to date. His clean singing is strong and powerful, as befits the music, and is possessed with a passion that’s remarkably affecting. He also manages to fit in some screams and growls where appropriate too.
In an artist that has never been short of ambition or talent, in some ways Biolume Part 2 – The Golden Orb is his most ambitious and well-realised album yet. This is an epic metal album that radiates emotion and personality. Midnight Odyssey makes most other bands seem flat and stale by comparison. This is an utterly essential listen and I can’t recommend this enough.