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Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains

Midnight Odyssey
Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains
by Gary Hernandez at 03 November 2019, 2:24 PM

On November 1, 2019, MIDNIGHT ODESSEY released their third full-length album, “Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains.” The band is Dis Pater. Dis has been producing Ambient Black Metal under the MIDNIGHT ODESSEY moniker since 2008 with the first demo, “The Forest Mourners.” The band hails from Brisbane, Australia where everything can kill you . . . except the Ambient Black Metal. Ambient Black Metal only heals. To which there was much guffawing, but as a genre Ambient Black Metal is highly cerebral and even spiritual, so I stand by my assertion.

The album comes in at over seventy minutes long. Like most recordings of this ilk, you need to be committed for a full listening. The ideal setting would probably an isolation tank. Actually that might be dangerous. I can only imagine the mindscape that would come out of that. Hmm. Anyway, promotional materials indicate this is the first installment in what will be a trilogy examining “themes of banishment and exile, of fallen gods and resentment, of sacrifice and despair. A representation of things that have been taken from us, and the desire to return to a previous embodiment or form.” Unlike some Ambient Black Metal, Dis introduces traditional instruments — guitars, bass, drums — layered over, under, through the expected synthesizers and hyper-dimensional vocals. The result is a rich, cold atmosphere that sounds like nihilism and a grim acceptance of emptiness. Yep, I got all that out of muted guitars; hypnotic, repetitious melodies; gray, nuanced synthesizers; alternating choral and rasping vocals; and one massive echo chamber to rule them all. Believe it or not, bundle this up into one tidy package and it makes one hell of an album.

Picking out best tracks is difficult. You either take the album in as a whole or you don’t take it all. If you put a razor-sharp ice shard to my neck and demanded I make a choice, I would make a random selection and you wouldn’t know any better.  But if you insist: “Biolume,” “A Storm Before A Fiery Dawn,” and “Forever Silenced.” Only one of those was randomly selected. On the down side, I probably could have done without “Pillars in the Sky” or could have done with about a three minute version instead of the full eight and a half minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed this album, but I can’t say I’ll listen to it every day — you have to be in a mood for this type of music and have the mental space and over an hour of time. I guess you could always just throw it on in the background while you make spaghetti, or go for a run, or crunch spreadsheets at work. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I will listen to this album every day. I recommend you do the same.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Hidden in Tartarus
2. Forever Silenced
3. Biolume
4. A Storm Before a Fiery Dawn
5. Of Golden Age Descended
6. When Titans Fall
7. Pillars in the Sky 
Dis Pater – All instruments, vocals
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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