Saturday, May 9, 2015

Midnight Odyssey : " Shards of Sliver Fade"

Another one man band from I, Voidhanger Records. Austrailian Dis Pater's darkwave past is obvious as the album opens up with clean singing set against a minimal synth backing. It's not until almost eight minutes into the twenty minute song that something metallic begins to stir and then it's distorted noise. This is more atmospheric than it is black metal. The actual metal doesn't occur until over fourteen minutes into it and I am not sure if it's enough of a pay off to justify the lead in. The main problem is the mix  the synths over power the very thin static drenched guitar more often than not. It's like I'm in some guys room who is playing synth then there is a black metal band playing next door. Pater doesn't make you wait as long on "Hunter of the Celestial Sea". This is mid paced, which I can appreciate the lack of blast beats, too many black metal bands have become overly reliant upon them. The long songs do get on my nerves. He does catch onto a more majestic riff that is easier on the ears around ten minutes in and sounds like the direction this project works best in. The clean vocals also appear at the end of the song so he gets credit for not using them in a formulaic manner.

The more Vangelis side returns on " Son of Phoebus" which only drags the intro out for three and a half minutes before metal elements are introduced. When I say metal here it is a loose term that some one like Alcest might fall into. I commonly find myself skipping ahead on this album to try and find the meat of the matter. On a "Ghost in the Gleaming Stars" this doesn't come about until seven minutes in the clean vocals which are well sung tend to dominate not only this song, but most of the album.  The second twenty minute song" Asleep is the Fire" takes on a distant drone. The clean vocals take a more chanted approach. The more ominous pound and the growled vocals put this song above the others. "Starlight Oblivion" gives you four minutes of darkwave droning, before kicking into something more akin to black metal, though the baritone vocals coast over this with throaty growls trading off.

The melodrama is heavier than the metal on "Darker Skies Once Radiant" with six of the song's fifteen minutes embracing the metal. By the time it get's to the closer "Shards of Sliver Fade"  I find the song fading in the back ground with it's drone , the vocals are the only distinctive element, I like this guy's voice and I am interested in checking out some of his other projects. I am not sure he has really come into his own in regards to black metal though this does have potential.There are some shoe gaze like sections in the closing moments and if this had better production value some of the more sonic qualities might have proved to be more powerful. I like where he is going with this so I'll give it an 8.5.

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