Review Summary: There’s epics, and then there’s Midnight Odyssey
The Midnight Odyssey project, helmed by Australian desert recluse/mastermind Dis Pater is back, with the final instalment of the “Biolume” trilogy of albums. Part 3 “A Fullmoon Madness” is finally here and true to expectations, it seeks to explore the far reaches of the black metal cosmos.
Suffice to say Part 1 of the “Biolume” trilogy “In Tartarean Chains” was an unheralded masterpiece of atmospheric black metal with all the hallmarks of sonic evil and intrigue that keeps black metal fresh and innovative. “Biolume” Part 2 “The Golden Orb” was an equally smouldering monolith and has led to this Part 3, the final chapter.
“A Fullmoon Madness” starts with being freed from the Tartarean Chains and embarking on a new quest with a grand cinematic launch. “As Darkness Dims the Fire” has an extended introduction as is expected in a triple LP release. The build-up lends to an epic soundtrack, the first of many in this recording.
The music is principally heavy synths over tremolo picking guitars and alien drumming. What stands it apart from like recordings is the trademark melodies, which is what makes Midnight Odyssey the incredible black metal machine they are renown for. Put simply, no-one does these eerie melodies better.
Critics of this release might point to its 2 hour length but runtime is irrelevant if quantity is not at the expense of quality.
What’s more important is the art in the compositions. There’s brooding when necessary, urgency when necessary. Ambience in parts proportionate to blast beats in a piece where variety is not uneven to consistency. On this point, the album is remarkably consistent over the runtime and continually provides highlights, regardless of the order of track listening.
Like the cosmos, “A Fullmoon Madness” is not meant to be fully understood. The concept detail escapes me but I listen to this style not for the lyrical content but for the atmosphere created here by the multitude of instruments drawn upon, the heavy synths used and the clean and harsh vocals, all brought together by an immaculate mix. The atmosphere subsequently is palpable and is the embodiment of a black metal sci-fi feature film. “A Fullmoon Madness” proves to be an intelligent and inspired work evoking luminaries Limbonic Art and Summoning and peers Paysage d’Hiver and Esoctrilihum.
The title track is but one of the stellar songs on offer and in terms of the peaks of the album, I point towards “The Horned Goddess” which is intoxicating, the following “Witching Eyes” which needles through space and the massive "In The Lunar Maelstrom".
Dis Pater has outdone himself here and produced an imposing 2 hours of symphonic black metal with melodic doom sewn in that stands heads and shoulders above other like projects and if you enjoy synths in metal, this is a must listen.