A DIADEM OF DEAD STARS “Emerald Sunsets”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This is quite a lovely piece of music. It’s a one man project from Greece, courtesy of a guy called The Pilgrim, who is a veteran of a number of Greek projects that I quite honestly have never heard of. “Emerald Sunsets” is a collection of digital-only songs that have been released over the last several years, here collected on vinyl, CD and cassette formats for the first time.

The sound here is rooted in black metal, but a kind of black metal with all the darkness and evil leached out of it. It’s obvious The Pilgrim is a nature lover and is wistful for days of long ago. First track “A Furrow of Woes” is the oldest and the most overtly black metal. A blazing fast blur that somehow seems calm and hazy and comforting. A DIADEM OF DEAD STARS is not the first or only band to try this “pastoral” black metal but they are one of the more successful ones. There are vocals here, but not typical ones. They often are spoken dialogues in Greek or medieval folk singing. “And Swallows Flew Away From This Land” and “The Light That Burns” are not as fast as the opening song but still metallic. The Pilgrim seems to be traveling further into the past with each song, until the album ends with “Green Pastures”. Full of twittering birdsong and monkish medieval chants, this is pure Dark Ages balladry, a song that could have come from hundreds of years ago, if not longer. Not metal in the least, I find it a profoundly beautiful and soothing track.

If you can hear the echoes of ages past in the pastoral black metal that A DIADEM OF DEAD STARS specializes in, you’re the target audience for this moving little piece of musical art.