Review Summary: The misty moors of your travels stretch on and on…
In a world of over-populated, genre-twisting black metal, there’s always acts that build upon the foundations and provide something worthy of multiple listens. Granted, it’s not thinking too far out of the box (if at all), but for what it’s worth, this anonymous act without label or known working location makes the most of a sound that treats the listeners’ mind to a host of emotions. Absolution|Emptiness
is a promising debut built directly from the shadows, working off a base of simplicity this depressive black metal act highlights some of funeral doom’s best attributes and blends them into a showcase of swelling chords and underlying despair. Helping personify the grandeur around such a release is the fact that Ethereal Shroud’s music can stay completely ambiguous, making it relatable to any situation or ‘feeling’ a listener wants to build on – as long as you can appreciate the darker side of life.
shows a melancholic display of (mostly) instrumental compositions. In fact, where the vocals do surface they hold a rather minimalistic feel, adding to the atmospheric traits found throughout the entire of this forty minute debut rather than pulling the limelight directly into their distinctly dark patterns. At times, the album floats into tranquil atmospherics and clean tones. It’s almost Alcest like on the album’s title track, where the clean tones override the simple black metal aesthetics. Sure, a name drop like this could contend directly with the quality levels of such a piece, but as it stands the mention is not without its merits.
Take the album’s opening track for example: “Depressed Blood, Fertilize the Soil” doesn’t leave much to show a revolutionary act; rather it builds the atmosphere and sets a tone for the record as a whole. It’s bleak, melancholic and not without its own hurdles. For those unfamiliar with the genre, the long-ish track times come with the territory. Five tracks spanning forty minutes with an average run time of eight minutes (although track times will often exceed that average) gives listeners a lot to take in with little time for reprieve.
These days it seems that this music formula is becoming all the more popular, where on paper they sound almost the same. Ethereal Shroud takes the ‘norm’ of today’s metal and finds a sound that’s not completely unique, but stands by itself. Overall, the underlying despair found throughout Absolution|Emptiness
makes a break from the usual pretty or overly technical metal presence found in today’s scene. It’s fresh, but not unique- but that’s perfectly okay, we don’t need to be reinventing the wheel at every turn.