This is the third album from Vitriolic Sage, a one-man black metal band from China.
Brought to us by the artist behind the exceptional Ὁπλίτης (Hoplites), 梦路 contains 43 minutes of modern black metal. 梦路 combines elements of the dissonant, atmospheric, depressive, and post-black metal styles into songs that blur the boundaries easily and effortlessly.
Full of razorblade riffs and vicious blast beats, the music is harsh and unforgiving beneath its glittering exterior. However, this is softened somewhat by the rich atmosphere that the music also creates, which is immersive and affecting throughout. The artist’s skill with melody is remarkable. Weaving tight, bright bands of emotive colour around the thick blackened core, Vitriolic Sage’s music knows exactly what it wants to say and how to say it.
An exacting and absorbing blend of fury and beauty, 梦路 is an album of dynamic highs and melancholic lows. Despite its dissonant edge, 梦路 is expansive and allowed to breathe through its melodic and atmospheric components, both of which are integral to the success of the songs.
梦路 rarely puts a foot wrong, (with the obvious exception of the last minute of crying on Enfance en Fange, which ruins the end to a great song), and offers the listener a mostly quality experience throughout.
A recommended listen for fans of the black metal underground.
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