Empyrium - The Turn Of The Tides review
|Album:||The Turn Of The Tides|
|Release date:||July 2014|
02. Dead Winter Ways
03. In The Gutter Of This Spring
04. The Days Before The Fall
05. We Are Alone
06. With The Current Into Grey
07. The Turn Of The Tides
Have you ever waited at the shore and listened to the waves rolling in? There's something predictable in the familiarity of it, as you become accustomed to the sound of the movement of the water toward you and then away again. This is The Turn Of The Tides.
This music is composed to be cyclical. Recurrent. Replicating. Playing at the familiarity established through repetition of movement. It's designed to make the listener recognise and appreciate this pattern, and generate an appropriate atmosphere around the motive; it's a sound inspired by natural environs in which the waves of the sea double back on themselves, a natural effect inspiring a natural evolution of the band's style. The neoclassical swell to Empyrium's neofolk is no longer darkwave. Wave will suffice, as the instrumentation imitates tidal flow with the continual effect of an advancing and receding, "to-and-fro" projection in melodic and atmospheric progression. In this endeavour it is certainly successful.
The element of folk music to this record is reserved, and held onto and relinquished as highlighting at chosen moments, as well in regulated dispersion in the rhythms, rather than creating the underlying basis as a prevalent aspect of its sound. Much the same can be said of the use of elements of the band's much earlier style in the recollection of their dark folk metal roots, manifested most clearly in tremolo and the heavier press of metallic guitar tones. Remnants of black metal borrowings continue to inspire their song writing processes, but only minimally taking form and place within the music of The Turn Of The Tides. Any black metal tones are certainly residual, and largely swept up in the neoclassical waves and the crystal clarity of both the instrumentation and solemnly operatic vocal arrangements, used at their most expressive in moments such as the climactic fade-out to "In The Gutter Of This Spring."
The production serves its purpose well, the record resonating with power and an effectively filled reverb. The drumming and percussion applies the rhythms of folk music, and placed within the acoustic arrangements and vocal work, it's designed to give connection and voice to the album's movements. Even in the absence of drums in pieces such as the closing title track, the sense of rhythm is maintained and the album is finalised with a very real presentation of the sound that is such an inspirational motive behind what preceded it; waves.
In essence this release sees the duo of Stock and Helm make a welcome return from their lengthy studio silence. The music is flowing, atmospheric and, above all, a fresh continuation of the Empyrium sound. The Turn Of The Tides will be familiarly immersive to fans of their style, yet effectively differentiated from their repertoire.
||Written on 03.08.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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