Mysteriarch, a black metal band from the reaches of North Carolina, come with their second release, Mournful Embrace of Aeons. This album sees the band stepping up from their last release into new boundaries, incorporating more atmosphere and better production to make the new album a much more grand endeavor and a enjoyable experience to anyone luck enough to listen to it.
First of, the vocals, they have improved greatly from the last album, sounding fuller and much more aggressive, but not only that, but they have more atmosphere to them as well, they contribute to the songs more than on the last album, giving the songs an edge as well as making them sound bigger. The effect is to draw the listener in to the album more. An echo like effect is also employed some times, an example been on (Paragon of the Forsaken Vulture)
where this is employed perfectly to give a sense of grandeur and mysticism to the song.
The instrumentation, this to has taken a step up, the technicality of the guitars and drums leans to more constructed songs that flow better and show of the skills of the members. The riffing on the guitars is well done and is exciting to listen to, there's not a moment on this album when it is boring, the constant changes and flowing nature of the composition keep the listener rapt. This is not something that can be said about many albums, but this is one of the few.
The symphonic element is perfectly employed here, giving a bolder sound to the album when employed and a mystic edge to it, used throughout the album it a wonderful addition and unlike other bands that employ symphonic elements, it doesn't control the songs, pushing to the forefront (like can happen to others, Cradle and Dimmu come to mind here) but stays in the background contributing nicely to the songs.
Whats bad about the album then? Id have to start nitpicking properly to write a paragraph here as this is a very good album. Id have to say that sometimes, the vocals on songs can become a little samey, whilst varying in style from song to song, they don't tend to vary within the song much, though I wouldn't call this a huge problem.
Overall, Mournful Embrace sees the band improve on their already well constructed formula and release a damn good symphonic album, with great flowing songs and wonderful atmosphere throughout would be a wonderful addition to any fan of symphonic black metal.