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Midnight Odyssey - Stars of Silver Fade

Midnight Odyssey
Stars of Silver Fade
by H.P. Buttcraft at 19 August 2015, 10:35 PM

Since 2008, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY, the one-man Ambient Black Metal band from Brisbane, Australia, has been steadily recording and distributing albums on a consistent basis. The “Stars of Silver Fade” LP follows up a split they released with the band SPIRE earlier this year. Dis Pater formerly belonged to other projects like TEMPESTUOUS FALL and CREVICES BELOW but has no plans to resurrect either of these projects and is working full-time with MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY, a transcendent Black Metal band filled with its brand of cosmic atmosphere and electronically-produced storytelling.

Dis Pater seems to be in his own world when he makes the music for MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY. I really think this allows him to ignore the control of his own vocals on tracks like “Of Frozen Wastelands” and “Asleep Is the Fire”. I found “Stars of Silver Fade” to be extremely, utterly exhausting to get through. This double LP is almost two and a half hours long. The shortest track, “A Ghost of Gleaming Stars”, is just one second shy of being fourteen minutes long. Every single track on “Stars of Silver Fade” is a trial for your tolerance and endurance.

I am all for artists writing long, epic compositions and songs that take your on these long journeys that have highs and lows. But when you have a 20 minute-long song like the second disc’s opening track “Asleep Is the Fire” that is oversaturated with synthesizers and is hardly even classified as Metal, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY are demanding way too much investment from your audience. It comes off as overblown and, frankly, pretentious.

Since the melodies are so drawn out that criticizing their longevity is irrelevant. But when you examine the production of “Stars of Silver Fade”, you can see more strengths than weaknesses. Some of the songs like “Of Frozen Wastelands,” are arranged obsessively, like introducing the percussion at the 14th minute mark, but mastered in such a way where some of the track layers sound washed out with reverb and echo. Sometimes, the slow, droning keys can emulate something that you might hear on a SIGUR ROS album. The guitars are fuzzed out but processed and bright, like something you’d hear from NINE INCH NAILS.

Although I was not won over by the music of MIDNIGHT ODYESSEY, I still hear striking similarities to one of my favorite ambient metal bands, SUMMONING. Both of these artists decide to make music that is certainly heavy but is also so dream-like and alien, I wouldn’t classify it as “Metal”. But unlike the music of SUMMONING, where it continues to layer new instruments and riffs and then shuffle up the order of those layers, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY is oversaturated with ambience that nothing really moves forwards or backwards. You can seriously go about your business without any major changes happening to the music that would deplete the listening experience.

I am all for long song lengths but it took a serious effort to get into this record. I had no real distinct picture or emotion playing out in my head other than exhaustion. Listening to metal shouldn’t have to make you tired! It shouldn’t have to be a job! I feel like listening to MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY’s “Stars of Silver Fade” was too much labor rather than leisure and that doesn’t fill me with great joy.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disc One
1. Of Frozen Wastelands
2. Hunter of the Celestial Sea
3. Son of Phoebus
4. A Ghost in Gleaming Stars
Disc Two
1. Asleep Is the Fire
2. Starlight Oblivion
3. Darker Skies Once Radiant
4. Shards of Silver Fade
Lineup:
Dis Pater - All Instruments
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records
     


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