Empyrium
Weiland


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
December 9th, 2008 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Empyrium is one of those bands which are sort of in a league of their own. Not in a sense that they are far and away better than any other band, but in the sense that their music is something which is almost impossible to describe with perfect accuracy. Their sound transitioned from their early recordings, which were a mash of folk/symphonic/black/doom metal, to their later albums which were more of a folk/darkwave ambient sound. Both styles certainly had their advantages, and Empyrium found a way to play each one with painstaking instrumentation and songwriting ability. On their final album Weiland, Empyrium manages to create an almost perfect blend of dark folk and ambient, and it turns out to be a perfect reflection of the kind of music this band has the talent to write.

Weiland is an album which feeds off songwriting, and that is evident from the very beginning. The very first track “Kein Hirtenfeuer Glimmt Mehr” kicks things off with an extremely folk-oriented flute melody, but it comes across as very melancholic and sad, a tone which carries through every song on Weiland. These folk melodies combine with impressive acoustic work to create this atmosphere of a very calm sadness, a mood which is difficult to understand in full until it is heard. Not every track is just ambient instrumentation, either; the songs during the first half of the album contain a wide array of vocal styles from two separate vocalists, Markus Stock and Thomas Helm. Helm adds in what may be one of the most recognizable aspects of the album, the deep, almost operatic, baroque vocals which are both unique and impeccably delivered. Couple these with the whispers and occasional scream by Stock and you have an impressive vocal department which delivers a fantastic performance on an album which isn’t even focused on vocals at all.

Weiland clocks in at just under an hour, but it seems much longer than that. Each song is very slow, each note seems like an eternity. However, this is all just part of what Empyrium wanted to do with their farewell album. There are songs which range from the impressive, 14 minute “Waldpoesie” which contain virtually everything this band has to offer, to the more specialized two minute affair which is “Am Wasserfall”, which contains nothing more than the sound of water and the faint whispered vocals of Markus Stock. Weiland is an album which fans of a large variety of genres can appreciate, simply because it is a perfect example of how a large variety of elements, from classical piano to darkwave ambience to folk-style flutes to baroque vocals, can work in a way which inspires conformity in the albums overall sound, but stark individuality in each specific instrument. If you have never heard of Empyrium, I highly suggest starting with Weiland, not only because it’s accessible and Empyrium’s best work, but also because it is just plain quality.



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user ratings (147)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A quick write-up, but I find the shorter length fitting for an album such as this. Band rules, album is amazing.

Crimson
December 9th 2008


1935 Comments


Just a note. Me and crysis are NOT the same person, the fact that he has done a short review the same time as I've started is purely coincidental.

BallsToTheWall
December 9th 2008


44805 Comments


I wrote a short review on the 6th. What the hell is going on here? This isn't really short though compared to me and Crimson's last. Good work. I have an album which is pretty cool but oong. Vocals are pretty meh though.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Essence
December 9th 2008


3595 Comments


You two have:
Similar names
Similar tastes
Similar writing styles
A similar love for the album Crimson (and Dan Swano in general)
And about the same reviewing rate
DOPPLEGANGERS

edit: Also, I am getting this. Good review!This Message Edited On 12.09.08

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You two have:
Similar names
Similar tastes
Similar writing styles
A similar love for the album Crimson (and Dan Swano in general)
And about the same reviewing rate
DOPPLEGANGERS

Dude me and Crimson are definitely not the same person. I actually dislike Swano in general. Sorry we have the same tastes? I'm from New Hampshire... no clue where he is from. I also joined almost a year before him.

Thanks for the comments though hahaThis Message Edited On 12.09.08

Crimson
December 9th 2008


1935 Comments


I actually dislike Swano in general.

you and me are gonna have a fight to the death right now.

Essence
December 9th 2008


3595 Comments


MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

Hawks
December 9th 2008


35838 Comments


I still need to check this out. Songs of Moors and Misty Fields rules so I'm kind of expecting this to rule too.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Keep in mind though that this album is completely different than Songs Of Moors and Misty Fields... completely different.

Hawks
December 9th 2008


35838 Comments


Yeah, but I'm still expecting greatness lol.

rasputin
December 9th 2008


14555 Comments


Album is good but definitely not a 4.5
Short reviews are the bomb.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're the new thing, everyone is doing them...This Message Edited On 12.09.08

BallsToTheWall
December 9th 2008


44805 Comments


If I didn't have to spam an essay for 2000 words tonight, I'd post a random short review as well. Damn college to hell.

Hawks
December 9th 2008


35838 Comments


Thank god I'm still in high school.

SCREAM!
December 9th 2008


10376 Comments


Thank The Almighty One-Eyed I'm still in high school
METALLIZED

Digging: Svartidau?i - Flesh Cathedral

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If I didn't have to spam an essay for 2000 words tonight

Meh that's like 8 pages, not too bad.

rasputin
December 9th 2008


14555 Comments



They're the new thing, everyone is doing them...

I know, I've been doing them for months.

BallsToTheWall
December 9th 2008


44805 Comments


8 pages, not bad? ha. Regardless, I bull shitted 1300 words which I'll turn in tomorrow. Fuck 8 pages, that's like a Harry Potter novel. Blasphemy....This Message Edited On 12.09.08

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2008


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was an English minor so 8 pages really isn't that bad to me anymore haha

Either way, just write about how you passed out on the stairs or something, that will draw some lolzThis Message Edited On 12.09.08

BallsToTheWall
December 9th 2008


44805 Comments


Considering I wear my spartan cape/helmet every test day, and bring up my Spartan conquest every M, W, and F, I mind as well. Good call blue.



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