Ethereal Shroud
Trisagion


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
November 30th, 2021 | 490 replies


Release Date: 12/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Coming to terms

Being comfortable in your own skin is an undersold human right. In an era where you have lip service being paid to acceptance and inclusion, it doesn’t take much to see the reality of this hyper-connected social environment we live in that perpetually picks apart anyone who is different or who dares to really show themselves. Some take to spirituality to find themselves, committing to “the work” of inner discovery and uncovering true meaning and passion, and it is in this vein that Trisagion takes its root. Indeed, Trisagion in a religious sense is an Orthodox hymn in three parts, and here Ethereal Shroud choose via three tracks of atmospheric black/doom metal to continue this “work” of coming to terms with oneself and your place in the world.

While this is without question a deeply personal and self-reflective record of its mastermind Joseph Hawker, it is easy for anyone to connect with the pure exhaustion and anger that fuels the album’s lyrical undercurrents. Delivered alongside massive, far-reaching soundscapes laced with equal parts rawness and melody, Trisagion is awe-inspiring in its scope. Opener “Chasmal Fires” flows like an album in and of itself, crafting an initial swell with harp, viola, synths, and eventually pounding drums that then unleashes a tidal wave of swift, heavy black metal that forms the track’s backbone, taking flight and morphing between the album’s wide array of genre influences. A large part of the success of Ethereal Shroud’s songwriting is the constant variation – screeching black metal sits alongside angelic female cleans on “Chasmal Fires”, while crushing, doomy chords swallow the carefree melody that introduces “Astral Mariner”. The inspiration and sheer effort translates directly from the lyrics to the songwriting, and the maturation from They Became the Falling Ash is almost unbelievable; a testament to the strength of Trisagion, since Ethereal Shroud’s debut was not exactly a weak effort.

This is far from a depressing record, though, and while it is true that the album derives itself from the aforementioned blend of weariness and rage, it separates itself from its peers by pressing onward and looking beyond that. It has long been the crux of black metal atmosphere to wallow in self-hatred and loneliness, but Trisagion is a window into a brighter world; a future where one may not piece together their place in life, but where one can be comfortable living as you. “Discarnate”, being the album’s most direct, punchiest track borrows a lot from melodic death metal as it dispatches riff after riff to drive this point home. We are one, you are nothing it so poignantly bellows, as the thundering drums envelop the tremolo-picked melody, adding an as-yet-unseen dimension to Ethereal Shroud’s more careful, winding mantra.

Ranging from aggressive and unyielding to introspective and deep, Trisagion is an embodiment of “the work”, and proves that such a concept extends beyond religious soul-seeking. Its three hymns come together to form an ambitious, daunting 64-minute masterpiece that demands your attention with its songwriting prowess while simultaneously speaking to your inner psyche with its evocative lyrical content. It is rare to witness such sincerity in a genre like black metal that tends to amplify extremes and highlight vitriolic personalities, but Ethereal Shroud ooze nothing but genuity. It offers substance that transcends the music, and while you will perpetually find yourself wanting to go back to the masterful pacing and riffs of “Discarnate” or the endless variation within “Chasmal Fires” you will walk away remembering moreso how the album makes you think and feel. Such praise, which Trisagion easily garners, is shared by precious few other works in the genre.



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user ratings (195)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
November 30th 2021


17560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Truly brilliant, if I were still staff I'd rate 4.7. If you like black metal this is a must-listen.



This will be streaming in full on the Black Metal Promotions YouTube channel on Dec 2.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The fucking timing, when I just pop the promo, bump the previous album's thread and here's mr. Kyle Ward with a rev from the heavens above (or the pits of hell).



Gonna read now, good shit man.

Digging: Tomb of Annihilation - End of Time

Crysis
Emeritus
November 30th 2021


17560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're going to be blown away, I've been digesting this for a month or two and it is a masterwork. And that's not just because we all know Noctus, this is a legit banger.

DarkNoctus
November 30th 2021


11805 Comments


i'm speechless

thank you so, so much

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm still halfway Chasmal Fires and this is already, and easily, my favorite Atmo BM album of the year.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

It’s alive!!! Joe babe can I get the most recent version? : ) need to make sure.

Digging: Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion

DarkNoctus
November 30th 2021


11805 Comments


of course - i'll hit you up on fb

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2021


3284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HYPEEEEEE



Very excited to hear this!

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Joe: legend.

Sowing
Moderator
November 30th 2021


40056 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh gosh this is gonna be the one isn't it...that December release that always happens and makes people regret finishing their 2021 lists.



Great review and equally great to see you around Crysis.

Digging: Domestic Terminal - I Could See Midnight Sky

Crysis
Emeritus
November 30th 2021


17560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah if you're making a best of 2021 list hold the phone

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

The sneaky promo for those select few has helped a bit. Just got to go over the revised versions tonight for clarity’s sake. It’s been a tough year for list building; the cutoff threshold are my 4.1 ratings and I feel for all the 4’s that missed the cut.

TheSpirit
November 30th 2021


29003 Comments


Kyle zaddy it’s good to see you posting



I wanna listen to this so bad!

Digging: Sallow Moth - Failure to Find

DarkNoctus
November 30th 2021


11805 Comments


not as much as i want to let you all listen to it haha

few more days!

Crysis
Emeritus
November 30th 2021


17560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just realized that 3 days ago was my 15 year sputnik anniversary holy shit

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album already hitting BNM before its release. Legen... wait for it...

DarkNoctus
November 30th 2021


11805 Comments


i only just noticed that, holy fucking shit

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Gettem Dewi : )

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nobody's moving that from there now lol



Preemptive rating though, still gotta get to the last track but I doubt it's gonna change my mind about this being absolutely great stuff.

Gyromania
November 30th 2021


33459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only heard the Spotify track but that alone was enough to award this the best sputnik-user album



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