Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion (Review)

Ethereal Shroud - TrisagionThis is the second album from UK solo atmospheric black metal band Ethereal Shroud.

Now this is my kind of album. The album boasts three colossal songs, with a total duration of 64 minutes; Trisagion is a dark odyssey that’s well-worth embarking on. Despite being essentially a solo work from a creative perspective, there are a number of other musicians on the album that help to flesh out the artist’s vision, providing bass, viola, drums, and female vocals, (the latter on the 28-minute opener Chasmal Fires).

I can’t resist setting the scene with a snippet of the promo blurb – “…weaving between the death/doom and funeral doom passages of Mourning Beloveth and Bell Witch and the grandiose, massive black metal of Wolves in the Throne Room and Summoning…” – how could I not check out a band that’s described like this? As per this description, Ethereal Shroud’s music is a compelling mixture of grandiose black metal and atmospheric doom. Symphonic elements appear too, tastefully adding their touches to the emotive layers that the music is composed of.

The music uses emotion very well, crafting deep feeling and rich atmosphere from the heartfelt core of the songs. A curious mix of despairing melancholy and optimistic hope can be heard across the album. The light and dark shades that infest this work are skilfully woven around the emotive musical structures, creating vast soundscapes of blackened immensity that are multifaceted and involved.

The music’s scope and breadth has a cinematic quality to it, and it can be startlingly beautiful in places. Harsh aggression and furious anger can give way to thoughtful introspection quite naturally, transitioning in such a way that the listener’s mood flows along with the music, captivated by its masterful use of sound. Although this is certainly music that you can describe as epic, it’s epic in an emotive and intimate way that’s uncommonly found in black metal. It’s very clear that this is music with great meaning to the artist behind the band, and I’m very pleased to say that this has translated to the music well. I’m pretty sure that Trisagion is going to come to have great meaning for many other people too. The album is, quite simply, that good.

The only downside? Apparently this is Ethereal Shroud’s last album.

Regardless, Trisagion is an exceptional work. As an expressive piece of atmospheric black metal it is a masterpiece of feeling and emotion. Don’t miss out on this; the artist behind Ethereal Shroud has produced something very special here.

Essential listening.

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