Wounds of Recollection
You Were A Garden of Empyrean Light


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (287 Reviews)
August 11th, 2019 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: mise-en-scène

The climes to which atmospheric black metal place themselves within these days have [in part] become watered down. That’s not an issue of intention, but rather an inflection that is caused by the somewhat polarizing of a genre as a whole. A quick look on the interwebs will showcase any number of Bandcamp newcomers and fan favourites with varying levels of both success and enjoyability. Wounds Of Recollection however falls into a category of enjoyable but not largely memorable atmospheric black metal. The Atlanta based, one-manned project insights simple uplifting Appalachian inspired black metal with slight ‘post’ leanings by building on the very foundations of atmosphere, stereotype and occasional minimal nuance. You Were A Garden Of Empyrean Light’s formula allows for ample Deafheaven comparisons, but doesn’t stray to far from the paths already forged by the act’s peers. Instead, Wounds Of Recollection paints a landscape, one that doesn’t quite identify with the listener.

You Were A Garden Of Empyrean Light sets its scene early as graceful notes dance across melancholy during the introduction of “Fog Over Appalachia”. But the album isn’t as beautiful as a whole as some of the fleeting moments throughout. My usual hesitancy to one-man black metal projects normally comes from the album’s mixing and recording. Speaking broadly, there’s generally one flaw that prevents these types of records from reaching the upper echelons of the genre (I say generally to account for those sparse few who manage to surpass the expectations… a cop out I know) but in Wounds Of Recollection’s case the imbalance of the album’s more aesthetically black metal sections simply miss, often sounding muffled or far off. It’s in these moments that You Were A Garden… falls short of the achievement mentioned above. It’s not something that ‘kills’ this record’s listenability, the atmospheric melancholy and gracing cleans more than make up for it. But in regards to the genre’s typical blasts, double bass (which is the biggest offender here) and tremolo patterns, the overall production is remiss. It’s a shame, as the listener is left underwhelmed instead of enthralled by some rather uplifting music.

“Violence In The River” fits the positivity of the album all too well. Light tones enter calmly, promoting an atmosphere drenched in musical well-being. The tempo increases, and so does the atmosphere, but as the track stretches into graceful minimalism the listener becomes drenched in an audible portrait of greens and greys. This is where Wounds Of Recollection bring simple notes and the Appalachian wilderness together.

Wounds Of Recollection do manage to set a scene of beauty and relaxed black metal, even if it is marred by the processes of its making. Largely, You Were A Garden… finds itself tasking our need for casual listening, failing to achieve on some pretty obvious potential in their quasi-Deafheaven soundscapes. At forty-nine minutes, You Were A Garden… is far from an unwelcome listen. The album’s five tracks have enough variance within them to make this particular journey comfortable, but that’s largely where the buck stops. There’s honestly nothing too negative to note here other than the record’s castration by its recording, but neither does this Atlanta based solo project have anything memorable to add to a crowded scene this year.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listen here: https://woundsofrecollection.bandcamp.com/album/you-were-a-garden-of-empyrean-light-2

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


14507 Comments


Today I learnt the word climes

Digging: Dead Can Dance - Aion

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Neato man : )

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ditto, never heard of it. And the rest of the review was a nice ride, liked the insight you offered on what might be holding this back. Self-recording and producing can definitely have pitfalls, though it seems this pays off at times.



I believe you rec'd this to me, but a 3.0 doesn't look very tantalizing lol

Digging: The Offering - Home

zaruyache
August 11th 2019


21209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is sunbather redux and is v good

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I believe you rec'd this to me, but a 3.0 doesn't look very tantalizing lol




I did, it's on your latest list I believe, but when I did do the deed I had this rated in the realms of a 4 and put off reviewing this so long to give you ample chance to make up your own mind without indirectly steering it with another's opinion. If it helps my 3's are rated harder than others.



That aside, I still think this is worth your attention even in some part. The atmo black metal (and black metal this year) has largely been outstanding and this simply pales in comparison to most of the releases I've touched on this year.

zaruyache
August 11th 2019


21209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nah this is pretty secure among the pack imo. Tons of solid 7/10s this year

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There are indeed, but as well as 7's there's a few 9's and 9.5's also. Such a good year for the black metal fan

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man this genre confuses me, this one clicked but others don't.

DungeonBoy
August 12th 2019


6398 Comments


good review. I don't mind fake drums when they don't sound so much like fake drums, and unfortunately this is very much the latter, but at the same time not every one man black metal project consists of a proficient black metal drummer with the capacity to properly record and mix and entire kit. But this type of post-rock over top blast-beats that has recently been labeled atmospheric black metal is not my cup of tea. Good day.

Digging: Guild Of Lore - Storm Haven

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What kind of appeal did this have for you Mars? What made this 'click' better?



@Dungeon. Understandable reasoning. But there are a few one man acts making head way. One of which includes Can Bardd which also had mixing issues on the debut. I'm hoping things will get better from here honestly.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tried to explain in my list thread. Though the more I think about it, I think it also helped this wasn't quite as gazey as some other post-black metal can be, and it spent good time focusing on ambiance and transitioning in and out of those periods well.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tried to explain in my list thread.




My bad, didn't visit there first. Been a hell of a week at work - some things are just slipping my mind.



and it spent good time focusing on ambiance and transitioning in and out of those periods well.




All the better sections of the album I found as well.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Part of my gripe with acts like Saor is that they do well with those folksy elements, but they either launch out of them predictably or handle them in a haphazard way that makes them jarring. Hell, I might even prefer a Saor album completely devoted to folk.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think if Saor went the Winterfylleth route I'd be walking around with a chubb for a couple of years.

zaruyache
August 13th 2019


21209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

neo folk Saor would b v nice ngl.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 14th 2019


9879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very much agrees

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2019


25741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is v good

Digging: Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect - Order of the Rose Cross

zaruyache
August 15th 2019


21209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

so much win yes. I feel like the instrumental tracks were their attempt at fixing that stuff from Sunbather :p



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