Shylmagoghnar
Transience


4.0
excellent

Review

by Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (116 Reviews)
July 22nd, 2018 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wonderful deceit.

Holland’s most entertaining band name to pronounce is back in full force. Shylmagoghnar, the multifaceted group in question, made quite the first impression in 2014 with their debut. Not only was Emergence an impressive and staggering piece of work, but the gentlemen behind it still respond to comments on the album’s YouTube page. This has naturally facilitated a strong relationship with the fanbase, which is all but certain to grow and flourish for as long as the band remain committed. And judging by the results found on the ironically titled Transience, commitment will be the least of anyone’s concern; Transience is grand, sprawling and packed to the brim with substance--so much so that it can quickly feel daunting due to the sheer volume of it all.

By volume, I don’t mean how loud or sonically explosive the album is, but rather the very concept of listening to it from start to finish. At 72 minutes, Transience basically looks at its already boastful predecessor and sardonically asks, “what are you, a prelude"” While we’re on the topic of volume, one thing Transience doesn’t aspire to is the aforementioned “loudness” that Emergence carried in high supply. There’s a slight yet distinct dialing back of Emergence’s consistent ferocity, exchanged for an even more contemplative direction. Guitars are less pronounced than before, scaled down so other parts of the music (like the vocals) can come out just a bit more. It’s like turning on a TV for the first time, changing the picture mode from its default “Vivid” setting to one of the more neutral settings and making some adjustments from there. Things don’t pop nearly as much, but you’ll be able to pick out more subtleties than before. Furthermore, other than the escalation found in “The Dawn of Motion,” (just one of the instrumental tracks), the album is reluctant to make an overt spectacle, and even then, one would be hard-pressed to call it a one-and-done moment. To be clear, this is ultimately a marginal shift, but a palpable one, especially considering the listening experience Shylmagoghnar wish to foster.

Let’s take a moment to discuss the album’s length a bit further, since pacing should be of utmost importance with an album of this scale. This is an area that Transience does stumble about in spots, namely its middle act. Curiously, the shorter tracks tend to slow the album down more than those that crack the double-digit mark. The title track dramatically opens the flood gates up while its most immediate successors cause the tide to recede into a choppy pattern, all before “No Child of Man Could Follow” beckons the turbulent weather return, making its presence abundantly clear, even after it’s truly passed. Simply put, Shylmagoghnar are most within their element when going big, which is the ultimate impression they leave you with. The final three tracks stack up as a 35-minute collection that will leave even the most voracious metalheads fuller than an American on Thanksgiving. It is undoubtedly the album’s defining stretch, and will also be the main reason people return, hoping to dig just a bit further with every listen. “Journey Through the Fog,” for instance, comes in with a gloriously ominous intro that lowers our guard just enough to make the ensuing torrent of riffs and growls something we can fully embrace. Yet this is also balanced with a choice collection of melodies and transitions that naturally slow things down at just the right moment, pulling us in even further with atmosphere matched only by tact.

By the time Transience thrusts its final song on us, it’s easy to feel completely overtaken. For the first one, two and even dozen listens, it can feel preposterously overindulgent. And yet, there’s an appealing, ever-growing strength to what we’re being subjected to, sparking the desire to delve back in just one more time. Eventually, that which previously overwhelmed begins to feel natural, resulting in that rare sensation where you don’t want to listen to the album as if it was your first go, because to do so would leave you deaf to the finer details that only become clear with time and exposure. It’s what makes the 13-minute instrumental behemoth that is “Life” become a track of wonder and longed-for familiarity, rather than the untamed beast it initially comes off as. This is the ultimate experience Shylmagoghnar offer to their most dedicated listeners, one that rewards patience with overflowing pleasure.



Recent reviews by this author
Amorphis Queen of TimeDimmu Borgir Eonian
Kamelot The Shadow TheorySonata Arctica The Ninth Hour
Noorvik NoorvikFifth Density Dominion of the Sun
user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Finally.

Dewinged
July 22nd 2018


11077 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Massive album. Great review Xeno m/



And tx bgillesp for the heads up.

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle - On Dark Horses

Elynna
July 22nd 2018


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great things take time, solid review! So far this is my favorite metal album of the year

Digging: Riverside - Wasteland

bgillesp
July 22nd 2018


5862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. I'm stuck on the 4-4.5 border but it definitely is a good one

Ponton
Emeritus
July 22nd 2018


6358 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Wish i liked this. I like a lot of melodeath in general.



I'll give it another shot though, nice review.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I was somewhat indifferent to it the first couple times. It was definitely a grower though. If you haven't heard Emergence, that might be easier to get into.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 22nd 2018


6358 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, maybe. The vocals are pretty black-metally which is a big turnoff for me i guess. There are only like two black metal albums in existence that i enjoy at all these days.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Black metal is one of those genres I need to limit how much I listen to because the more bands I hear, the more they begin to blend together. That said, I dig black metal elements in non-black metal genres. And most of the bands Spotify recommends to me have terrible vocals, so stuff like this, by comparison, is top tier in that department.

Toondude10
July 23rd 2018


13113 Comments


*reads band name*

yep, that's a black metal band alright

Digging: Hands Like Houses - -Anon.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's a three-way of melodeath, black and progressive.

AaroN911
July 23rd 2018


2161 Comments


Great review! I can't wait to actually dive into this album

Digging: $uicideboy$ - I Want To Die In New Orleans

BlindHouse
July 23rd 2018


141 Comments


The instrumental tracks have this weird folky feel that for me doesn't match with the rest of the album. Looking forward to the final 3-track run though.

SomeGuyDude
July 23rd 2018


362 Comments


I always just figured it was "shill-muh-GOG-nar."

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@BlindHouse: Interesting. I'm normally receptive to folk elements, but I really didn't that here. Maybe I'm just used to the more overt examples.



@SomeGuyDude: Same. I feel like I should be better at pronunciation, but I also find myself double-checking dictionaries more times than I'm comfortable admitting.

BlindHouse
July 24th 2018


141 Comments


Perhaps 'folky' is the wrong word, but there was something about the melodies on those tracks that didn't work for me and felt slightly cheesy. Overall I'm not into this album as much as you, but I'd probably pick and choose 4 or 5 tracks off here to come back to.

Dimorphic
July 25th 2018


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review, good album. Doesn't have the same constant impact as Emergence though. It's like every ingredient is here for a couple of great chefs to create a gourmet meal, but they leave out the salt - it just seems like it's missing something.

frozencarl
July 26th 2018


437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think i saw the band post on fb or youtube that one of the guys has a chronic illness that prevents him from going out much? and he just focuses all his time on this or something. it was in response to someone asking about touring, so not sure if legit or not

Elynna
July 26th 2018


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The part that starts at 3:30 in Life is pure ecstasy

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2018


1347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So I messaged these guys on Facebook with a link to my review, and not only did they respond, but they offered some great insight into the making of this album as well as how they're glad to see a little honest criticism from a fan (the album length, more specifically).



Things like this really make me respect and appreciate these guys even more. Both first-hand and second-hand I've seen them be receptive to fans and critics, and they handle themselves so sincerely. Major props.

Toondude10
July 26th 2018


13113 Comments


that's pretty cool, always nice to see a band give a good shoutout to fan reviews and such



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy