Posted by Nick Skog on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Under: Album Reviews
From: Transcending Obscurity Webzine
Published: August 2, 2014
Windbruch from Russia has released a sublime album. At first it seemed too simple and in parts saccharine for my taste. But the CD wouldn’t come out of the player because the music always seemed apt for my mood. I couldn’t get over the beautiful opening intro song The Dance of Liquid Fire and often had it tied up in a loop. The next song was another hurdle for me, simply because it was strongly reminiscent of the gorgeous Hisstonend, also from the same country. It weaves music comparable to Agalloch circa ‘Pale Folklore’ with the riffing of Hisstonend – that strong, meaningful riffing and its impact. Unlike Hisstonend, the vocals are active here but never being too prominent. That works because it allows the music to breathe more effectively, its clean and inspiring riffing in particular and also the thin but ever-so-palpable atmosphere. Too often the fragile melodies are burdened under music that’s unsuitably heavy just for the sake of meeting an aesthetic level. The songs are fluctuating in their expression but they are all beautiful and arranged very well to leave you engrossed. If the music weren’t so beautiful in its expression, it’d be like a tool of Satan enrapturing you helpless and paralysed. I didn’t think I’d end up loving this piece of music that otherwise would be too mild and atmospheric in a Post-Metal way for my liking. Allow me to elaborate.
The songs are like memories, the good ones, seamless floating through the prism of your mind. It feels light, it feels good. It’s perhaps too accessible but we’re past that now. It creates a mood of its own and it’s infectious. Neswa-Pawuk is way too smooth – the sound of the music is almost felt on your face like a breeze. Flashback to my Lake has a distinct Post-Metal feel but it’s something that will render you speechless. For the closer, it’s just a breathtaking albeit short piece. The album is full of stuff like this, some long, some short, periods of time-bound happiness or expression. The music ebbs and flows but gently, charmingly. The vocals are modified to suit the music, in this case even adopting low, almost whispered tones. The music is not one-dimensional which happens to be its biggest strength. It’s not trying to be diverse for the sake of it, but it’s certainly not rigid. That would get boring. Even the aforementioned bands stick too much to their sound for their own good perhaps, but this one is just masterful. I’m going to try and introduce others, perhaps non-metalheads to this music to gauge the impact this kind of mesmerizing music leaves. Life is like that. Everyone, including you, the reader, deserves an introduction, a sharing of something meaningful if you will. This album is untouched almost by the tragedies of life – like a child’s joy or feelings. It’s almost unfair. Yet there’s that inherent bittersweet touch that arises from the soulful melodies as if it’s a norm on this place. Perhaps there’s a better place for us to be.
Indeed then, ‘No Stars, Only Full Dark’ is one of the remarkable and surprising highlights of this year. While people like that sort of thing, I’d like to believe good music is timeless. This is remindful even of the Pink Floyd albums and at the same time Alcest, with subdued emotions. Yet it’s Black Metal, atmospheric in its expression but without the drama. I envy the fact that the music is so clear in its intent – how can life be so simple? That’s the charm. This one is a stunner, a slow grower, one that will haunt you at night.
Reviewed by: Kunal Choksi
In : Album Reviews
Tags: windbruch no stars only full dark rodion silentium! atmospheric black metal post black metal ambient black metal soundtrack