"II:Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness"

By Octopi Mills

When I investigated into this project I found that the name or some themes were Tolkien inspired....I cannot find a common spring with the said inspiration by listening to this album at all, but that doesn't matter.

The sound is long and winding, like the birth of some strange nebula or a saga through cosmic strangeness; like a flying star bleeding into the atmosphere. Strings and vocals are black metal inclined and the keyboards, synths, or whatever the effects folks use these days are all blended together in a very atmospheric fashion. Lo and behold, the man from Vinterriket, Christoph Ziegler, is the man behind the keyboards. This certainly adds a cosmic, wintry, epic feel to the Californian musician playing the other instruments, and the two come together as strange, otherworldly bed-fellows from a glance, but somehow work together as if they are in the same room and manage to sound like they are at least communicating from different dimensions.

 It is difficult to pin point individual songs as the album seems to run as a long stretch of similar structures; melancholic in a way one might feel when looking at a nebula and wondering what the hell is going on out there and wondering if all life is but a hologram or a great lie told by an idiot. There is a detached feeling that might be described as mechanical or even prone to being akin to thoughts of certain marine life or amphibians. The black metal styled vocals take it even more away from the human arena, mixing a strange set of mammal and science fiction feelings with a feeling of things relating to astronomical significance; a feeling of staring into the abstract concepts of thoughts like one might feel when contemplating a black hole or other dimensional visions. There are some really interesting moments in the music and vocals at times that come on like waves of celestial terror and near beauty; destructive things that wash over the brains. This happens near the ending of "Cast Their Ashes to the North Wind." And often a  human or natural element grounds the work as it blasts off and tears through the protective belts of our imaginings.

 One can nearly compare it to the atmosphere one might hear in Paysage D'hiver, but this is useless as it is merely atmospheric to begin with. There is a strong ambient theme that is space-like and couples well with black metal style, nearly out running it at times. By approaching the end it feels like one has been on an overwhelming and exhausting journey, and this is the only feeling I can feel as unbearable as the thing runs on and one might need to detach from the voyage. "Fire Born from the Seer's Light" is an incredible title that shows the fellows thinking things somewhere lyrically, as gelatinous as things have so become by that time. "Ignis Fatuus" lies at the end like some fire from a weird star that brings strange dread  to the mysteries of creation, and is a fitting "end" to the madness that the music brings after long exposure from icy winds and light synapses caused by the mind trying to dream. I will have to try and remember to check this out again and I'll cap off the review by saying it is worth looking into this if you enjoy any of the things I have mentioned.Not your everyday black metal here.