Friday, November 14, 2014

Review of Empyrium's Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays..

Empyrium's third full-length and is actually an Acoustic Folk type album with its roots coming from narcotic, nocturnal, necrophobic alike (or whatever you may understand from these words). Before exploring it, this particular album usually very much compared to Ulver's Kveldssanger (released in 1996) which you can say that, it is some sort of inevitable because of the similar theme carried by both bands, 'Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays' released in 1999 and I personally feel this album have a calm sound as compared to Ulver, although both bands had tried to combine the perfect sort of melancholy elements. It really carries to precisely give a feeling of a bucolic, tranquil pastoral mood, the dark lyrical theme have the context of countryside, story of ghosts; the moors, beacons , the meadows and everything that can create the atmosphere of something that's called doomy-gloomy (gothic). Delightfully composed enchanting classical guitar blends a realistic feeling, the choir combination with flutes creates a soothing/depressive effect.

The album is mainly by the husband-wife duo - Ulf Theodor Schwadorf & Nadine Mölter, while Thomas Helm appeared as a guest vocalist. Albeit the most consistent things in this album is the guitar along with natural effects, the use of flute, the choir and lastly the lyrical theme.
Here, Helm is the man that I can give a complement; he had poured his natural emotions in the album through his vocals, another thing that I feel is there is something that Marcus is lacking, I didn't feel the emotions that esoteric thing in his vocals (though he has a baritone range in vocals- what else I can say?), “The Shepard and the Maiden Ghost” if you see it is full of lyrics but actually the whole song is whispered. If I don't talk about 'Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays' - the intro, than it would be bad for me. A nicely composed instrumental, one of favourite since times ago, the breeze and blowing wind creates the effect of lullaby.

The standouts on this release are the last two songs. “Many Moons Ago” which a  recitation of the story of a man who has seen the ghost of a girl.(OMG! Creepy! but not horrible!). “When Shadows Grow Longer” is a remake of a previous Empyrium song, but done much better. Helm and Stock are able to harmonize nicely.
At last, this is a strong acoustic album, as a fan of acoustic stuff this is like a treat for me. The album could have made more better but still it gives you something great to listen when you are thinking about the hazy moor, whispering laments. This is mourn.

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