Monthly Overview – the Best of November 2019

What an unreasonably strong month for metal releases November was! Be assured, this list could have been much, much bigger. Let’s see what made the cut… Continue reading

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains (Review)

Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean ChainsMidnight Odyssey is an Australian one-man black metal band and this is his third album.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I almost didn’t want to review or even listen to this album. Why? Because the band’s last album – 2015’s immense Shards of Silver Fade – was so hideously good that I couldn’t imagine being anything but disappointed with Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains. After all, Shards of Silver Fade claimed the coveted top spot in my end of year list for 2015, so this new one had a lot to live up to.

Anyway, enough preamble. Time to judge Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains on its own merits, of which there are many. Apparently this is the first in a trilogy of albums. I can’t wait to hear the next one already. Continue reading

Astral Winter – Forest of Silence (Review)

Astral WinterThis is the third album from Astral Winter, an Australian one-man black metal band.

2013’s Perdition was quite a treat; a heavily atmospheric ambient/neo-classical release that’s enjoyed a lot of airtime in this household.

It’s now time for Forest of Silence, and Continue reading

Astral Path – An Oath to the Void (Review)

Astral PathAstral Path are an atmospheric Black Metal band from Canada. This is their début album.

This is the kind of modern, expansive Black Metal that so many bands seem to do so well these days. If you’re a fan of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Chaos Moon, Midnight Odyssey, Krallice, Mare Cognitum, Deafheaven and their ilk, then you should also like this.

Astral Path’s music combines this type of stargazing, cosmic Black Metal with ambient soundscapes to create atmospheric Black Metal that seems to roll out of the speakers in a pool of spectral fog. Continue reading

Midnight Odyssey – Shards of Silver Fade (Review)

Midnight OdysseyMidnight Odyssey is an Australian one-man Black Metal band and this is his second album.

Well, what an epic release this is. Eight tracks, lasting a colossal 143 minutes. Shards of Silver Fade demands a big investment of your time. Is it worth it? You’re damn right it is.

Midnight Odyssey has a Black Metal base that has been expanded to include Ambient, Darkwave, Funeral Doom and Post-Black Metal, resulting in the weighty collection of tracks here.

In many ways it’s difficult to review a release such as this. It would be far better for you to just accept the fact that this is an album you need to get and go and get it. Once done, make a night-time trip to the top of some local hill or mountain, put on your headphones, gaze at the night sky and get lost in Midnight Odyssey’s transcendental, elemental, cosmic embrace.

In lieu of this, however, a darkened room will suffice for now; just zone out and concentrate on nothing but the music.

Anyway, if you have yet to hear them then my feeble prose will have to do. This is not a band to dip into for a quick fix of whatever you fancy, this is a band to pay attention to and take notice of.

These songs combine spacious Progressive Ambient/Doom with ancient Blackened moods that sound like they were old before metal was even invented. The combination of Darkwave, Doom and Black Metal is one that works incredibly well and sounds flawlessly delivered.

Grand orchestral passages sweep across the heavens and invoke feelings of loss and grandeur, frequently at the same time. This is highly emotive music but probably not in the way that you might think. Moving, is probably a better description. This is music that’s moving.

The vocals don’t let the side down either, with croaking Black Metal rasps sharing the stage with charismatic cleans that seem imbued with some form of long-lost wisdom.

An intriguing, ambitious and ultimately victorious merging of Burzum and Vinterriket; Shards of Silver Fade is easily up to the task of fitting in with such hallowed company.

If I haven’t made this clear by now, Shards of Silver Fade is a must listen. It’s a long one, of course, but well worth it. I suggest you start now.