Let’s explore these melancholic and atmospheric ballads by a cold, sad day of winter. For this is the best way to describe the overall feel of the album. Expect a lot of emotions and music that sounds simply beautiful.
How can we describe this beautiful music? It’s a mix of depressive black metal, post metal and folk ballads. It has a basis made of heavy drums and guitars, over which more melodic guitars keep soaring, then followed by subdued but emotionally-charged grunts and occasional wordless humming. The lyrics are about night and winter, pain and sorrow, and pessimistic observations about human nature.
Indeed, emotional pain is the main lyrical theme on this album. However, it’s expressed in such a sincere way that it doesn’t feel forced, and the lyrics tend to be a little more detailed or nuanced than just “I’m sad and everything is bad”. Sing For The Damage We’ve Done is both about a ruined relationship and the damage that humans have done to the environment and to each other. I’m All About The Dusk is about enjoying the night, and it’s the only song that can be considered to have a joyful tone, as joyful as this album can get.
Despite their overall melancholic tone, each song has a different melody or mood to it, and is good in its own way. Sing has one of the most memorable riffs of the album, has a nice vocal performance and it sounds both desperate and angry at a ruined life. Us Against December Skies and Three Empty Words sound more angry and defiant, while still keeping the band’s interesting mix of music genres. And Oceans Between Us sounds more mellow.
In addition to its raw emotional expression, this album sounds very good. The songs are long, but there isn’t a single minute wasted. Because the music is so well played and the emotion feels so authentic, this album remains compelling, moving and enjoyable through and through.
This album can be compared to other black metal-inspired albums I have already reviewed, for examples albums by Enslaved and Sólstafir, with their mix of growls and clean vocals, black metal and folk ballads, and very emotional lyrics. So I would highly recommend it to fans of these albums. Others will probably be charmed by at least one of those very emotionally honest songs with creative and well-played music.
Read also interview HERE.
Release date: February 19, 2021
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