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Firmament – The Aetheric Pathy

Firmament
The Aetheric Pathy
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 May 2022, 7:22 AM

From their Bandcamp page, “night is inevitably falling over the land and the gradually darkening sky reveals its shining stars. The glance of shivering green lights and a slight yet cold breeze leave you spellbound by natures beauty. Your nocturnal journey is about to begin and so you set your way through the vast wintry forests that lay ahead. The narrow and dangerous pathway leads you to bald hills and steep mountains of a long-forgotten land that is to be rediscovered.” The album contains nine tracks.

“Nightfall” opens the album. It begins with clean, pretty tones along with a note of sadness. The vocals are horrid, but the music is mesmerizing. Delicate and charming melodies rise above the filth. “I Am the Northern Mountains” opens with more alluring tones amidst the muck of harsh Black Metal vocals. J.K. builds these very pretty melodies which linger on the palate. “Echoes from the Forests of Old” is another charmer that begins with a landscape of beauty. The sun rises and all the colors of nature are revealed. Despite the angry tones in the vocals, all you can see for miles are green pastures, colorful flowers, and forest animals scurrying about their morning business. Clean, solemn vocals point to a difficult journey that must be undertaken.

“Wandering the Swan Road” marks a turning point in the journey, for the swan road is beautiful but also fraught with peril. Gingerly you step forward as the skies turn to dusk. You need to be careful, or the swan road will keep you there forever, winding back and forth but leading to the same place. “Underneath a Veil of Stars” beings with atmospheric tones. The beauty of the stars is that they will always be there, and if you study them, they can be a guide to where you want to go. A calm peacefulness comes over you, as you take in the enormity of the universe above. The powerful music furthers these feelings. “Midnight Transcendence” is about that magical time that occurs as the clock passes 12. What you see you may not be able to recount, as your memory is wiped clean in the morning.

“Spiritual Pilgrimage” is the recognition of the meaning of the journey, though it is not easily revealed. Close your eyes and drift into partial sleep, and the context and significance of your travels might just come to light. “Guardian of the Damned” begins with more solemn and charming tones. Though the title of the song suggests something nefarious and evil, your soul transcends. “The Ætheric Pathy” closes the album, as well as your journey. You step off the path and into the light of day, half-wondering if the transformation you just went through was even real at all. You feel cleansed in the light, and decide that the journey was indeed real, and head back to your home to retreat in quiet contemplation.

Although the songs sound quite similar in the end, they don’t take away those beautiful melodies. J.K. builds them in layers, one on top of the other, and each exploring its own path while the song retains central themes. My only criticism is the production…if it were clearer, you could hear the beauty more. This was a transformative album in many ways.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Nightfall
2. I Am the Northern Mountains
3. Echoes from the Forests of Old
4. Wandering the Swan Road
5. Underneath a Veil of Stars
6. Midnight Transcendence
7. Spiritual Pilgrimage
8. Guardian of the Damned
9. The Ætheric Pathy
Lineup:
J.K. – All Instruments
Record Label: Naturmacht Productions
     


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