DIRGE – ‘Lost Empyrean’   1 comment

Released on 14th December 2018, DIRGE’s aptly 7 track 7th album, ‘Lost Empyrean’ is their 1st production in 4 years. A paean to the angst of life’s trials and tribulations and the tenacity born out of them, it’s been 2 1/2 years in the making. Formed as a backdrop to the interconnections between astral and spiritual bodies, fate and the mediocrity of life, ‘LE’ is an all-consuming experience, characterised by the dichotomy of simultaneously opposing musical forces. Launched through Debemur Morti productions, ‘LE’ has been compared with early Baroness, Pelican and Isis, Neurosis and the current format of Killing Joke.

Wingless Multitudes – Crushingly heavy doom laden riff intro’s. A dark, macabre melody follows. Well timed, suitably morbid atmospherics pour through it, saturating the track with gloom. Fairly gory vocals, with a real depth of emphasis. Consistent in its monotony and unchanging tone and rhythm. The funereal pitch grows louder, towards the end, complemented by a distant funeral bell. Does what it says on the tin.

Hosea – Deeper and even darker, in its suffocatingly blackened intro, the doom is what this is all about. A prevailing sense of chloroform induced overwhelm consumes you. Suffering and despair comes through the vocals clearly, conveying a sense of poignant hopelessness, drowning your soul. Keening greyness personified.

Algid Troy – Colourless tunnels of depression intro. Almost booming with blackness, willing the light to emerge. The level of dull lifelessness conveyed is verging on genius. Pouring what appears to be a lifetime’s despair and despondency into a sound, beginning to replicate Pink Floyd, at their darkest, it actually combines prog, with doom, sludge and something approaching funereal metal. It’s quite a skill and may not be what you’d term enjoyable, but it’s certainly emotive.

The Burden Of Almost – Opening with a sound of distant bombs and storms overhead, there’s a stronger, braver note entering the vocals now. Still, that cacophonous accompaniment evokes deafening images. It’s almost edging towards a meditation on misery. Something speaking of long experience. The dark night of the soul emanates through it, so blatantly as to be nearing painful. The perseverance evident throughout those clanging instrumentals is extraordinary. Leaving a near mystical sense of entrancement, as it ends, the mesmerising quality is unexpectedly profound.

Lost Empyrean – Footsteps crunching into gravel intro and a powerful morosity follows. Thudding, thunderously, through the floor, the doom factor predominates. There’s a steely nature to the format here. Growing louder in volume and insistence, there seems to be an urgency in its message and tone. As a title track, this may not deviate much from the rest, but it’s just as powerful, in its flattened effect.

A Sea Of Light – A gradual intro, if anything, it’s even greyer and doomier. Crushing, piteously, through the floor, drudgery floods it. Repeatedly dashed hopes and consequent loss of faith screams through this. Dulling and darkening your mood, along with it, this’ll have you desperate for relief. Again, that percussive symbolism of cacophonous overwhelm hits, as you feel the sound drag you down. Yet, the final vocal brings just a hint of light and hope…

Sarracenia – A banging crash of an intro speaks volumes about the level of doom and gloom that’s now been reached. A level of introspective dismal depression that’s off the scale. Vague, jungle noises fill the minute space left by the overpowering darkness and despond. A gradually lightening sound may symbolise a chink of light entering, amidst the gloomy atmosphere. Ending on that note, it’s quite a relief from the downbeat mood.

Overall – It goes without saying that ‘Lost Empyrean’ isn’t something to listen to, for mood lifting purposes. However, it’s equally pertinent that it’s unlikely to enhance an already chipper frame of mind. Having said that, what it does succeed at is emphatically emphasising emotions empathically, in a way which could prove soothing, for similarly negative experiences. The stark symbolism inherent within its impressively consistent momentum is perhaps its biggest strength and in spite of its mood lowering properties, the performance and delivery of such is accomplished, without doubt, as is its musicianship, for which, it deserves points alone.

8/10 ********

For fans of doom, sludge, death and prog.



Posted November 16, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

One response to “DIRGE – ‘Lost Empyrean’

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