Review Summary: 5 Votes? Really? Read on, please.
Peccatum is one of those bands that fly under the radar of most listeners. Their unique style of melding genres, however, deserves some attention and deserves some praise. I first became aware of their existence by browsing Sputnik one day. I listened to Lost in Reverie
and was blown away. For several days I only listened to that album. A few months later, I listened to the rest of their albums and was impressed that they were all solid albums, albeit much more raw. The great thing about 'Lost in Reverie' is that while it is not repetitive, it is consistent in overall feel and sound. With the earlier release, however, they were all over the place in terms of songwriting. That is not to say that they were bad, but they were still getting an idea of how they wanted to sound.
But that is what you are reading to know about, isn’t it? How they sound. There are many ways to describe their style of music. The most accurate would be “Industrial tinged Avant-Garde Black Metal with symphonic and gothic influences”. As stupid as it sounds, that really describes it best. But for simplicity sake, Progressive Metal suits it just fine. The band has two vocalists, Ihsahn (yes, the same guy from Emperor) and his wife, Ihriel. Ihsahn, of course, provides most, if not all, of the growling through the whole album, as well as singing opposite of his wife. Ihriel brings the music a whole lot of gothic influence. She sings in quite an operatic manner and her voice is quite beautiful. The contrast between her voice and Ihsahn's works very well with the music, making it even more dynamic.
Now I am not one for a lot of synth use; it very regularly gets on my nerves. While Amor Fat
i is covered in it, the balance between the actual instruments and the synth is so well executed that it all seems to blend together seamlessly; the way synth should be. Both lyrically and instrumentally, they do not bring anything new, insightful, or complicated to the table, but it all just sounds so good together. Rather than relying on technical abilities to carry the album, the atmosphere that is created is better than if they did choose to take the technical side of music. I suppose that what I mean by this is that the bleak, depressing, but yet also beautiful feeling of the album is what makes it great.
Compared in hindsight to their next album,Lost in Reverie
, it is a lesser album, but not by much. Not because the content isn’t executed well, but because it just does not achieve the creative genius shown on later albums. So if you took one thing away from reading this, it should be that Peccatum are quite different from the normal black metal that you are used to. Amor Fati
is an excellent piece of musicianship and emotion and it hints at the masterpiece that they could, and did, achieve.