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I Am The Night – While the Gods Are Sleeping

I Am The Night
While the Gods Are Sleeping
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 May 2022, 3:20 PM

Rising from the deep valleys of Kymi in southernmost Finland, I AM THE NIGHT is Black Metal rooted in the classic early 90’s tradition, where walls of guitars and synthesizers raise the forces of darkness in a battle against the heavens and burning angels light up the night sky. The band’s debut full length album, with cover art by scene legend Necrolord, bears the title “While The Gods Are Sleeping” and shall be released on May 6th, 2022. The record was birthed during the heaviest blizzard Finland had seen in years in the winter of 2021, with the band holed up at the Soundspiral Audio studio during the height of the pandemic. “This album, in a way, is both the thing that should not be and something we should have made flesh many moons ago already”, comments Markus Vanhala, and continues: “It is a passage back in time that dark forest of our minds through which we spent our youth traversing.” The album contains eight tracks.

The title track leads off the album. The traditional thick riff opens the album with some ominous tones. The Gods are stirring. Harsh vocals come in for just a bit as the track transitions to “Hear Me O’ Unmaker.” It is cold, dark, and sterile, with a wall of guitar and drums. The vigor in both the vocals and the guitars is noted. Keyboards are added in support, and they help the track gain some dynamism. You can feel the cries of the subject echo through the mountains. “HERE ME!!!” he screams.

“Dawnbearer” hears the blistering pace continue. The vocals are done two-fold with a lower voice for accentuation. The guitars create a harrowing landscape, while the drums crash away like a stack of plates scattered across the room. “Ode to the Nightsky” begins with a four-chord pattern of black clouds. As it transitions, a bombastic landscape enters along with supporting keyboards. The night sky is churning with foul winds and deep thunder. “I Am the Night” begins with a slower, more calculated pace, and a straightforward riff. The pace quickens with frightening tones, and then drops back. The waxing and waning create a scarier experience when the sound is full on.

“The Owl” features another harrowing sound. The subject stumbles through a dark forest with eyes fixed on him. He sees the shadowy figure of a large owl with red eyes staring down on him, and by the time he realizes it, escape is futile, as the owl descends on him with formidable speed…his shrieks a distant memory.  “Among the Unseen Ones” features backing keys more prominently, along with backing vocals. The core of the song is still fierce and biting but the backing elements bring another dimension to the music. The closing spoken words are haunting and will stick with you long after the song ends.

 “Holocaust of the Angels” closes the album. This powerful and foreboding instrumental carries with it obliteration of all that is holy in the world. Angels fall from above, mortally wounded, as all of the souls exit Heaven, headed down. What I like most about the album is the band’s commitment to the early sound of Black Metal, but also adding in modern elements. The essence of the band’s foundation comes through clearly. The added elements of keyboards and the other subtle complexities brings the album into the 21st century. I have no doubt that both Black Metal purists and the younger generation of fans will find this album to be excellent.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. While the Gods Are Sleeping…
2. Hear Me O' Unmaker
3. Dawnbearer
4. Ode to the Nightsky
5. I Am the Night
6. The Owl
7. Among the Unseen Ones
8. Holocaust of the Angels
Lineup:
Janne Markkanen – Bass
Waltteri Väyrynen – Drums
Markus Vanhala – Guitars, Keyboards
Okko Solanterä – Vocals
Record Label: Svart Records
     


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