Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 2 - The Golden Orb review

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Band: Midnight Odyssey
Album: Biolume Part 2 - The Golden Orb
Release date: March 2021

01. Dawn-Bringer
02. The Saffron Flame
03. Golden Orb
04. Rise Of Thunder
05. Aurora Burning
06. The Unconquered Star
07. Below Horizon
08. The Chains Become Mine (Helios Invictus)
09. When The Fires Cool

The 100 minute runtime of this album leaves a lot of ground for Midnight Odyssey to cover.

Runtime is one of the most important aspects of my listening experience, since I literally have to allocate time from my listening schedule to a certain album based on its runtime, especially since I prefer not to skip any tracks. A lot of times I had issues with albums being too long for their own good, and honestly most of them have no reason being longer than 40 minutes. But I also like it when an album's runtime gets a little bit challenging. I made cases for Paysage d'Hiver and Neptunian Maximalism and Elysian Blaze almost purely because the >2h runtime made the album feel like a rite of passage. Midnight Odyssey is no stranger to long albums, with Funerals From The Astral Sphere's 120 minutes and Shards Of Silver Fade's 140.

Midnight Odyssey is basically made to be expansive. Their discography since 2019 has certainly set itself apart from the first leg of cosmic releases. You may notice that the album I'm reviewing is "Part 2". Here's our review of Part 1. That had already heralded a bit of change in Midnight Odyssey's sound, but even more surprising was them abandoning the black metal for a purely space ambient sound for two releases in 2020, each of them around an hour long. Biolume Part 1 itself was a bit on the "shorter" side, at 70 minutes. But Biolume Part 2's 100 minutes sets things right in that regard. But what doesn't sit right with me is that 100 minutes is still short enough not to reach the monumental lengths of previous releases or the other long rite of passage releases I mentioned, whereas a complete Biolume would've blown those out of the water, even if probably few people would've had the patience to listen to it. And it might also have to do with the fact that there's apparently a third one coming to complete the trilogy. Oh boy!

So Biolume Part 2 is in an uncomfortable spot. It is a Part 2, so you cannot comfortably listen to it without feeling like you also have to listen to Part 1, but it's also a longer than usual album, but also not that long to have a charm. But I'm sort of glad that Dis Pater decided to go down this path, not only because it leaves me to review this album, but also because Part 2 approaches some sounds in a way that wouldn't fit as neatly on Part 1. Both of them were a lot warmer by "cosmic black metal" standards, but Part 2 covers a lot of ground from neofolk, to Bathory-ish epic metal to space ambient to Scald-ish doom. Hell, overall this one feels a bit more like a doom metal album, or an ambient album, than a black metal one. It's all and neither.

The Golden Orb is a lot warmer than its predecessor, with its chants and clean vocals that hammer in that epic sunlight feeling. There's a sense of grandeur that works hand in hand with the album's extended runtime, often sounding like an even slower and more cosmic version of epic doom metal, which does lead to some surprisingly effective traditional riffing on Dis Pater's side. I won't go into detail about each track's stylings and which borders more on doom, black or ambient, but The Golden Orb's flow makes the 100 minutes run by a lot faster than it would seem, even if that still makes it feel longer than the average album. But it's a very ambitious affair if it wasn't already obvious, and it achieved most of what it tried to do in capturing that "bathed in mythologic sunlight" feeling. And yet, even with all this ground covered, it still feels like The Golden Orb is stretched a bit too thin.

But then again, you don't get to have a reputation for long album without stretching too thin at times. The ambiance here is unique enough that I feel more compelled to relisten to this than a lot of other shorter albums.


Written on 29.03.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 46 users
30.03.2021 - 21:07
Silent Creeper
Senile Veteran
Very appealing album but it often feels that really awesome parts are just too few and far between or as the review accurately describes: it is "stretched a bit too thin" as a whole.
30.03.2021 - 21:46

Stretched too thin describes this project perfectly. Some cool ideas taken way too far.

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