Album Review :~ Empire of the Moon - Έκλειψις

The geographical shift in the propagation of black metal has changed drastically over the past three decades. The French and Germans also steadily outputting hundreds out worthy purveyors. Black metal redefined as an exploration of endless skies and elusive eternity, rather than a bitter squint into the abyss. When the second wave of black metal exploded in the early ’90s, black metal bands were popping up around every part of the world and a lot of talented bands slipped under the radar of the general populous. Greece is currently spewing forth the most interesting mix of blackened acts. Athens, Greece has become one of the veritable hotbeds in the metal world, producing countless acts within all of the subgenres, especially black metal. Greece itself is known for producing black metal acts with an aptitude for dark atmospheres and a mild pompous flair, known by most as Hellenic black metal. During black metal’s most creatively fertile period in the early 90s, a few Greek musicians forged an alternative musical path noticeably different from that of their Nordic peers. Empire Of The Moon is a hallowed name not just in the circles of Hellenic black metal but in the global covens of black metal fanatics as well.

Empire Of The Moon embarks on a perilous quest to restore the glory of Hellenic metal with their sophomore album on this year entitled "Έκλειψις" consists of tasteful riffs, artistic vision, rhythm with the sound of triremes traversing the Mediterranean via Iron Bonehead Productions with 38:42 min running time. This trio continues this trend in a dark atmosphere, complete with simple but effective riffs providing the backbone to the occult atmosphere’s keyboards and open strums, uniquely meditative. While some excellent band attempting to sell their flavor of the month band to potential listeners, there are some that simply exist outside of pre-existing molds and take a few years to realize their full potential and thusly grasp the imaginations of many who are fortunate enough to witness their evolve talent. Empire of the Moon has ended the trilogy with a bang. Mixing black metal with occultism,  necromancy,  spirituality was always their forte. The new album is filled with more unearthly, astounding, critical acclaimed, heavy, claustrophobic misery, enigmatic melodies to show just how pathetic the human black metal scene is when compared to superior beings from the distant stars. This new album is consists of 7 tracks. Basically, Empire of the Moon was formed in 1996. Greek group married the ritualistic fury of esoteric, occult black metal with a creeping dose of mystical, ominous, sinister madness. The atmosphere and tightly plotted albums were based on mystical, occult, incantation while still employing their own take on black metal. Now I’m straight diving to the point about this new album.

New album whole compositions are an unsettling piece of sinister euphoria and unearthly ambiance. Empire of the Moon delivers an enjoyable album of Hellenic black metal with magick, occultism, necromancy, spirituality and mysticism accouterments. when at first I’ve checked out their first released track off this album from then I  was clinched that I have to check this whole for sure material and this would be my top listed of this year. Each and every member are excellent musicians. Appreciate their unsurpassed quality, ability, and skill. All of their tremendous effort portrayed in this album in a radiant way with excellent diligence and nailed it. After a multiple listen their latest studio effort infused me with their Unrelenting, overarching, chromatic, multi-layered, majestic, occult, esoteric black metal musical style and ritualistic atmospheric vibe just blew me away. Their musical style has a hypnotic effect and especially more atmospheric kind of black metal but at the same time, the vocals and other parts of the riffing are straight forward furious simultaneously. 

This whole album reflects the grand diversity of sound brought together on this album. Empire of the Moon delivers a distinctly experimental, atmospherically evil, vivid, horrifying form of black metal. Playing the type of scathing, otherworldly black metal. It is really not easy to describe their complex musical style. Empire of the Moon creates a constantly shapeshifting maelstrom. Black Metal with unconventional influences enjoys indeed tend quite popular. A natural synthesis of dissonant sounds and disparate styles all combined in one bold, enlightened display of unbound creativity. Despite the often fast, furious and heavy form of black metal assaults laced with dark eerie, gloomy and occult, arcane, ritualistic atmosphere with a lots of segments of slower,mid-paced tempo too where Empire of the Moon combines atmospheric, mysterious, introspective passages with cavernous drum thrashes, melodic guitars, previously mentioned all aspects enriched this album that is very powerful, strong and excellent all at the same time along with a good balance of black metal music, melody and brutality with strangulated, filthy, thick, evil riffs work and those effective rasps simultaneously borrow blackened, gloomy, sinister vibe. "Έκλειψις" fueled by an immediately magnetic riff and an equally gripping, bubbling bassline, the song is vibrant and fiery. The kind of music that swells the heart even as it rips with fury and speaking of fury, the song eventually ignites in a conflagration of seething riffs and blasting percussion, only then to segue into yet further bounding and barbarous variations, becoming even darker and predatory by the end. I highly appreciate and embrace this album because of its distinct style. 

well, this album-opening track “Arrival” starts with sonic assailment, the obtuse, grotesque, atmospheric sound followed by a dense swarm of pestilential riffing, rasping vocals supplemented with mystical chanting abound, with guitars playing high pitched tremolo in front of a drum machine and a sometimes perceptible bass guitar providing support. Suddenly quasi opener track "Imperium Tridentis" turns into an onslaught of tremulous, dark eerie, savage, and a wall of blast beating, spectacular, jolting thunder of attacking drums laced with aggression, deliberate cadence and easily the song throws open the gates to black chaos. The duo-tonal whirlwind of guitar noise laced with aggression, deliberate cadence and progression seasonings supporting the likewise crooning, almost moaning deeply in the throat, high-pitched, vocals drown a bit in the almost unhuman-like furiously fast though muffled drumming with ripping and snorting bass. R.W.Draconium's growls, and there’s also a morphing of the sensations conveyed by the music as the song progresses, with the seething riffs reaching heights of incendiary ecstasy and the melody turning from grim and ominous to elevating and inspirational. "Έκλειψις”  commences chronologically invigorating. "Έκλειψις" perversely brims with an illuminating light, devouring the cosmic light of life and scurrying through the sort of black metal whose radiance is so obsidian as to consume energy as austerely as it expends it. Each musician has exuded tremendous, cohesive effort on this album with excellent diligence and nailed it. At this moment which is eternal yet transitory, new and pure energy grows within the womb of chaos, and which ignites the source of a new aeon, a flame needless of air to exist. Empire of the Moon really does the trick for the atmosphere is the overall murky, mysterious, Juxtapositions of darkness and light, misty sound that comes from the music. A new true god that breeds its new self, purified and sanctified in chaos without an end nor a beginning. I highly cite and embrace this album.

This album is filled with a slew of cadence, apocalyptic, squalid, ominous, hellish, melodic, crawling, powerful riffs work. In each track breathtaking, morbidly delicious, scalding, macabre, soaring riffs, bass lineups matched in a good manner with hellish, devilish chords and horror sounds are rightly used as an additional uncanny harmonic layer. As well bass line up is whopping, intense, strong, rumbling, slithering. Drumming, the percussion line up is bleak, frantic, solid, clattering and powerful. The guitars are solely focused on creating a grandiose atmosphere but predominantly rely on walls of sound and swerving rhythms. In each track morbidly delicious, macabre, soaring, dark eerie, ghastly riffs, bass lineups matched in a good manner. This whole albums sound delivers a dissonant, grim feeling, sinister, melancholic, gruesome black metal with raw emotion and pure energy. 

 “Έκλειψις”  endures beauty of black metal. This album indulges strong songwriting and brilliant musicianship. The lyrical segment cover magick,  occultism,  necromancy,  spirituality and mysticism themes, lending a somewhat more esoteric and philosophical aesthetic to the entire mysticism. Vocals large, inhuman voice that does well for Empire of the Moon. Vocals howling scream, hoarse, deep rasps, deep lung-burning roars, an immense voice emerged on this album in a good manner and intertwined perfectly with their utterly spellbinding, obtuse, mysterious, fully blistering, grandiose black metal, a distant musical style with a lot of melodic, atmospheric riffs accompaniment and embedded perfectly. Their sound, the musicianship is absolute prime, with every song unleashing a seething torrent of scalding dissonance and insidious melody, scorching distortion, and barbaric, blasphemous invective, all of which combine to produce an overarching atmosphere of creeping, crippling dread. Overall you will get sinister, gloomy, desolate, mysterious ambient from this whole album. It remains compelling hypnosis of the full moon by way of otherworldly synth-flourished and rapaciously paced black metal that’d shatter the past and welcome cold oblivion on an Earth blind to its sun. I really worship this band.

Each song has energy, fluency. Stand out tracks are all of them and showcased a compositional maturity that far outshines the rest of the album. Every song, every hellish, skin-stripping riff, and vile vocal incantation is delivered with the righteous fury and unwavering conviction of the true believer. The vision of the album artwork is pretty neat, solid, atrocious, grisly, indelible, gorgeously hideous. The production gives the music a powerful clarity, the blood-rushing drum propulsion and vibrant bass performance producing a non-stop surge of adrenaline. Overall “Έκλειψις” whole album is Spectacular, engrossing, significant, rich and goes all the way through with a relentless rage from the starting point. "Έκλειψις" is surely the apotheosis of everything. "Έκλειψις" is an elite black metal sophistication in their music without sacrificing the feral, ugly core of the style. This album sounds so authentic and a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end. "Έκλειψις"  is a deep and winding journey throughout the mysterious and stifling occult. Indeed this album is such a true gem of this year. The production is absolutely impeccable, capable of handling both the massive atmospheric and gargantuan heft. Outstanding another one release of this year so far. “Έκλειψις” is shattering culmination in black metal evolution. Empire of the Moon can effectively capture a pristine essence of transcendent abandon, disenchanted delirium, or perhaps even a very inhuman strain of mystical experience. The Hellenic bruisers still possess all the necessary skills and hard-won experience to put younger, newcomer challengers in their place.  With " Έκλειψις", Empire of the Moon writes another chapter in their book of successive masterpieces that features broad, sweeping strokes of melodicism and indigenous influence. This "Έκλειψις" is a daunting collection of dues owed to these long-hidden specters of mystic Greek black metal who’ve been endlessly hailed in deep occult prayer for their teenaged cloister of enlightenment. This is astral projection through a viscous dense black cosmic ocean. Empire Of The Moon plays the black metal game mighty fine the traces of outside influences and beautifully blends melancholy with sinister intent, providing the album with a stellar closer. If you looking for something different, epic this album will take you on a sophisticated and weighty black metal journey into another universe where music has the power to transcend the spoken word.

My Rating – 4.9/5   Review done by - Souvik Basu. Published on 18/01/2020

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