This album is superior to everything else.
It spans many genres from classical to industrial to black metal to fusion. The most similar band I can think of is probably Ulver, but Peccatum is truly original.
The opening track gives you Ishan on keys with a some of the most excellent atmosphere setting I have ever heard. The sound of flies, strings and shrill synths are perfect. Ihriel's excellent vocals begin to hover about after the classical piano comes in. The piano is beautiful. It makes me think of a movie soundtrack. She has a strange sort of quavery voice but it is very enjoyable and fits. And then, the industrial sections hit you in the face. They sound like a machine or factory pumping away with drums that seem to trip over themselves and very deep piano and a buzzy bass. Ishan's singing also fits very well. The bizzare change in setting is amazing as both have immense atmosphere and are complete polar opposites. The classical sections give a sense of sadness or longing while the industrial sections are a disoriented confusion. This is a manic masterpiece of a song.
You are then tossed into a very different sort of song. Almost fusion with an acoustic guitar, speeding jazz drums and a bass line that you could find in a Gordian Knot song. Ihriel's vocals are back again with equal fitting. The electronics here are tastefully thrown in and really enhance the song. This song makes it clear that the editing was as much a part of this album as was the songwriting. The "metal" section still has the very clear sounds of fusion but with some sort of middle easern flair to it. It seems that Peccatum have decided that when there is metal, Ishan will sing and when there is not, the gentler female vocals will take over. This is not to say Ishan has a bad voice. In fact, I quite like it. He does not use his harsh vocals from the days of Emperor or Thou Shalt Suffer. There is evid3ence of black metal in this song but it is clear that Ishan had bigger plans than releasing another black metal album or even an album based upon black metal.
Parasite My Heart. Warms up with electronics and feedback and then a scream into what sounds like it could be a very, very awesome black metal song. Synths, pounding drums, a great guitar riff, harsh vocals, everything. And then, a very classical piano sounding section with distant vocals from Ihriel. Very moody, movie music. Before the song ends, it launches into the metal once more, before coming back to the quieter, more moody section. Excellent song.
Veils of Blue begins with a jazzy/R&B/techno sound of a piano loop, aphone ring, electronic blips and a poppy drums track. The vocals are those of Ishan who sort of groans them out. The bass is back on this track. This song fits nicely with In the Bodiless Heart. There is an industrial/black metal sounding crossover section. It is truly superb.
Black Star, the third track on the album begins with a haunting and sad guitar riff, joined by a bass pedal, electronics and distant echoed vocals. I believe the female vocals here are not Ihriel's but a guest's - Einar Solberg. There is a male singing here too which could be Ishan or his brother in law, Lord PZ who handled the drums on earlier albums but was replaced by Knut Aalefjær. This song truly delves into black metal. Even the harsh vocals and tremelo picked guitars with cymbal heavy drums. But it is not your standard black metal fare. It is broken up by electronic pops and hisses, almost like a remix of the song. And then, back into peace. Dynamic is an important part of this album, most likely because it can be used to enhance the sense of atmosphere and emotion, all of which are done artfully and exceptionally well.
Stillness, what a name. Begins with a chugging, factory industrial section with a slow, haunting guitar on top. It just thumps along, scarily, without ever exploding. The electronics add to the feeling that this is a machine. The song never quite loses it's robotic feel, but at times the edges are dulled and melody prevails. Then at others, the jarring dischord of chaos jumps out and rips out your eardrums. This song truly keeps the same mood throughout unlilke the rest.
A classical piano slowly plays to accompany Ihriel. Strings and synths join in. This sounds likes an epilouge as I suppose it is meant to be at the end of an album. This song never touches metal but builds to a near symphonic caucophony. It is beautiful.
This album is a must buy. As in right the *** now. It spans so many genres and is never too intense. The production is perfect and the songwriting superb.