Wednesday, November 21, 2018 15:03

Posts Tagged ‘Drowning The Light’

DROWNING THE LIGHT / VAMPYRIC BLOOD – DROWNING IN THE VAMPYRIC SACRAMENT OF THE IMMORTALS LP (Darker Than Black Records / Dark Adversary Productions)

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Drowning The Light Vampyric BloodWhile I’m not exactly fanatical about gothic, romantic, vampyric and / or melodic Black Metal, there are a few exceptional bands producing this kind of music, including these two and Black Funeral.

Drowning In The Vampyric Sacrament Of The Immortals’ is a wonderful split album, featuring over 40 minutes of mid-to-fast-paced melodic, sorrowful, raw-ish but accessible blood-sucking Black Metal.

My copy has a glitch at the end of ‘The Hunt (Sustenance)’ which prevents that track from finishing – a real frustrating experience which I’ve contacted the label in a desperate bid to hopefully resolve. I’m assuming I’ve just been unfortunate and that this problem isn’t applicable across all 300 copies (yes, another low-limitation release, which diminishes the chance of scoring a replacement…).

An insert would have been welcome, too, but the lack of one isn’t as disappointing as the aforementioned broken-record-repeating-itself-ad-nauseam issue. A great album, undoubtedly, and one I’d readily grant full marks to but, from a personal perspective, it’s impossible to look past the fact that my copy isn’t working.

DROWNING THE LIGHT – FROM THE ABYSS 2LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, August 19th, 2016

DTL - From The AbyssHaving bought all twelve previous Drowning The Light full-lengths – as well as quite a few of the countless splits, EPs and demos – I have been deeply disappointed by the so-called music on offer on ‘From The Abyss’. The Aussies have gone for a more melodic, epic, effeminate and accessible sound this time around and the records reek of grandeur and pomposity.

This is far removed from the Drowning The Light I fell in love with and, in the let-down stakes – ranks right up there with recent less-raw, sell-out departures from Satanic Warmaster, Watain and Nefandus. And Burzum and Graveland. It’s doubtful that there are many of you sitting on the fence at this stage regarding whether or not to purchase this album, seeing as it was released six months ago – but, for what it’s worth, ‘From The Abyss’ is a real shocker that should be avoided at all costs.

Might be good for listening to whilst looking at butterflies dancing around outside in the garden, but otherwise this album is just pure irritating. And the warbling on the liner notes along the lines of ‘we are Black Metal and fuck the unconverted non-believers in the pathetic world’ is pretty embarrassing when the music is this lush, camp and easy-listening. Candy floss.

Evilometer: 000/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – DIABOLICAL WINTER SPELLS 10″ EP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Drowning The Light - Diabolical Winter SpellsAnother 10” from Drowning The Light and another really great listen. Recorded over four winters, ‘Diabolical Winter Spells’ contains five songs and clocks in at around 22 minutes (including the time it takes to flip the record over…). Obviously, being just a demo or an EP or whatever you want to call it, this record isn’t going to change your life. But it’s still worth having.

Anybody who enjoys high-quality raw, atmospheric Black Metal should enjoy this (i.e. everybody reading this??? If you don’t, seriously, fuck off!). If not sure whether or not you should part with a few quid, check out the songs on YouTube or something.

I can’t think of a single reason why I should utter any more on the matter (apart, perhaps, from the observation that the last song, ‘Now With Hearts Of Frost We Chant, To Ignite The Flame Of The Old’ is right up there with DTL’s best).

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – LOST KINGDOMS OF A DARK AGE 10″ EP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Drowning The Light - Lost Kingdoms Of A Dark AgeThis 10” EP surfaced a couple of months back and contains four tracks (three songs plus an instrumental intro) with a total running time of 21 minutes. I think it only set me back €9, so no complaints on that front. ‘Lost Kingdoms Of A Dark Age’ captures Drowning The Light at their brilliant best and will certainly entertain you and leave you yearning for more.

I find that all of DTL’s releases are of a consistently high standard and can’t remember – off the top of my head – having been disappointed by any of their previous work. Even though EPs are more appetisers than main courses and are therefore hardly essential, I would still recommend this record to anybody who likes the band or who appreciates quality Black Metal in general.

There you have it: short and sweet.

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – OCEANS OF ETERNITY (Dark Adversary Productions)

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Generally speaking, Drowning The Light do not release bad albums. So it’s no surprise that their twelfth full-length – which was unleashed in 2011 – was something of a cracker. It’s taken me a while to get around to reviewing this; that’s because (I am a lazy bastard and) I was waiting for the vinyl edition, which hasn’t yet surfaced … so I’ve purchased the CD (which is really neat).

The music on ‘Oceans Of Eternity’ seems denser and more oppressive than a lot of DTL’s latter releases but I don’t have any problem with that. The vocals at times are difficult to discern as they’re almost buried in the mix, but the murkiness works well and lends a real underground vibe to proceedings, which is always welcome.

There’s not as much melody here as I was expecting, but the (keyboard) instrumental ‘Drifting Away In A Sea of Sorrow (Part II)’ provides some scant respite. Mostly, the offerings are chaotic, ferocious and feverish, with some lovely dark poetry bringing true pathos to the journey and helping the listener cope with the impenetrable (and often overwhelming) doom.

A challenging and inaccessible album – but all the better for it.

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – DROWNED (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Upon first listen, I was disappointed by the bad sound that dogs this album. So much so that I was initially tempted to write a negative-ish review. That would have been an injustice. Drowning The Light has benefited from a much cleaner production on more-recent releases and I suppose I had become accustomed to the more-polished, easier-digested incarnation of the Aussie act. But this is just as good in its own way, if not better.

You have to bear in mind that ‘Drowned’ is an excavation of DTL’s self-released, debut album from eight years ago. As such, it marks a landmark moment in time. Certain allowances have to be made. If it was reworked or remastered, that simply wouldn’t cut it. You have to take the rough with the smooth. So what we have here is an even rawer, more lo-fi collection of tunes than usual, almost of demo quality.

The sound is kind of muddied and the mix is pretty much all over the place. But, at the end of the day, it’s underground Black Metal we’re talking about and I’m sure Azgorh put this together on a shoestring. Beneath the murky haze, there’s some very imaginative, inventive and inspirational BM to be found, depressive in a way – but not in a bad way. If you’re already a fan of the ‘band’ or if you appreciate kinda-shitty-sounding Black Metal, you will hardly regret acquiring ‘Drowned’.

If you’re not on familiar terms with DTL yet (as you should be), perhaps it would be more prudent to check out ‘To The End Of Time’ or ‘An Alignment Of Dead Stars’ first.

Evilometer: 444/666

CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS / DROWNING THE LIGHT – MOONFLARES LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Don’t know what’s got into the water in New South Wales but Drowning The Light seem to have gone into some kind of crazy creative overdrive. This split album is their third release already in 2011 and their EIGHTEENTH since 2008. They released four full-lengths during the course of 2009 alone but, in fairness, have only unleashed one album since then, focusing more on splits and EPs. Still, I’d wager we’re due a new LP fairly shortly!

While it’s always a positive thing when such a worthy ‘band’ (Azgorh is the only permanent member) is so productive, the inevitable downside is that fans can become frustrated as they struggle to keep pace. Especially collectors like myself. I am royally pissed that I missed ‘The Serpents Reign’ and ‘The Masters Empire’ on vinyl and I’m still waiting patiently for the magnificent ‘An Alignment Of Dead Stars’ to emerge on black wax format. Collecting those frequent 10” EPs is a costly exercise, too … but, fuck it, I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s all about the music at the end of the day and DTL have no weakness in that regard.

To my ear, the four tracks on here are comparable to the material on ‘A Pact With Madness’. It’s typical Drowning The Light really – emotional, depressing, uplifting, spiritual, sombre, sorrowful Black Metal. Joined on these tunes by Blackheart and Wraith, Azgorh pays homage to the majesty of the moon, the woodlands, his mortality. He embraces death. He spills his heart out onto the record. There’s a deep romance evident in his work but it’s by no means cringe-worthy.

The highlight of four excellent songs on Side Two is the heartbreaking ‘Silver So Cold On My Eyelids’ – a BM epitaph that showcases DTL at their most powerful. If you’re not familiar with Drowning The Light and you fancy some mid-paced, sorrowful Black Metal that sounds like it was recorded in the darkest forest with rivers rushing by, reflecting the pale glare of a naked moon, then you should check them out. They’re a consistently impressive act.

Three offerings from Circle Of Ouroborus comprise Side One of this record and – honestly – I have no idea what to make of them. Suffice to say, it’s as far removed from standard Black Metal as you’re ever going to get on an Obscure Abhorrence release. For me, the jury’s out on these experimental Finns. The music ticks a lot of boxes; it’s unusual, daring, thought-provoking and oh-so-different. I would dismiss them instantly but for the fact that one of the two members (the guy who performs all the music) is also in Prevalent Resistance and Vordr. This has me thinking the restraint, panache and general strangeness on show here is very, very deliberate. Perhaps I’m just not getting it…

Ultimately, I don’t particularly like the Circle Of Ouroborus contributions but I am reluctant to write them off. ‘Walk Through Me’ is more goth than BM and ‘The Frozen Flare’ reminds me more of The Damned than Darkthrone, while ‘Trial Of Collision’ – the pick of the three – had me thinking of Into The Woods and Solefald and even Joy Division. Despite my muted reservations, it serves as an interesting counterpoint / companion piece to Drowning The Light on the flipside and – all it all – ‘Moonflares’ is a record that’s worth having in your collection. An inlay with band photos and an insert containing all the lyrics complete a nice package.

Evilometer: 444/666