Monday 1 June 2020

Empire Of The Moon - Eclipse

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 10 Jan 2020


1. Arrival
2. Imperium Tridentis
3. Per Aspera ad Lunae - I. The Resonance Within
4. Per Aspera ad Lunae - II. Two Queens Appear
5. Per Aspera ad Lunae - III. Descending
6. Devi Maha Devi
7. Per Aspera ad Lunae IV. Son Of Fire

This feels like such a strange release to be reviewing when it's baking hot and glorious outside. That said, maybe it isn't so strange after all as the heat is slightly oppressive. This is the newest album from Greek black metal band Empire Of The Moon. Released by Iron Bonehead Productions in January, Eclipse is the second full-length offering from the band since their inception in 1996 and their first release in six years.

These are very dark times and tensions are high amongst many. Tension is a good descriptor for the feeling thats created by Eclipse opener ‘Arrival’. It builds in volume and majesty before giving way to ‘Imperium Tridentis’ and it’s ravaging tempo, shrieked vocals and blasting percussion. Initially, the guitars are slightly buried amongst it all but they come to life later on and instrumentally, everything comes alive. Even the Jets that were just flying overheard failed to dampen it.

‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae - i. The Resonance Within’ is a doomier affair, with a slower tempo during instrumental sections and verses alike. It’s a texture that works so well when applied to Empire Of The Moon’s music. As this album progresses, it gets harder to plant Empire Of The Moon into one sub-genre. They go from fast to slow to scathing and then symphonic on ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae - ii. Two Queens Appear’ and make it all sound effortless while doing so. 

It’s surprising how much momentum is gained through this record. ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae - iii. Descending’ heralds the beginning of a trio of lengthy songs, but goes by in a flash. Once again, choral symphonies sit alongside heavy yet catchy music. There’s nothing that can be compared to this and considering it’s classed as black metal in a broad sense, it’s very well written and confidently delivered (I’m not bashing other black metal here).

Penultimate song ‘Devi Maha Devi’ is more orthodox in approach but it’s filled with dread and evil. The multi-vocal approach makes it sound like insanity is taking over, but Empire Of The Moon drag you back from the brink just in time, through the use of upbeat tempos and simple but effective riffing. The album’s closer ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae - iv. Son Of Fire’ is the perfect way to end, as it gathers up all of the band’s qualities and brings them together perfectly. Use this as a time for reflection and introspection before you go back into the crazy world that exists outside of your home. 

Eclipse is another album that proves that extreme music doesn’t have to mean extreme listening. It’s a beautiful body of music and art. 

You can stream Eclipse below:-

Vinyl, CD and Digital copies can be purchased via Iron Bonehead Productions below:-

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