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Onirism - Cosmic Dream

Cosmic Dream
by Kyle Harding at 16 August 2016, 9:24 AM

In a wild turn of events, I’ve decided to start one of my reviews on a personal note.

I love space and science fiction. And with that love, for me, also comes a love of dark, ambient, Atmospheric metal that can, surprisingly, come in many forms. I’ve heard ambient Progressive Metal, ambient Death Metal, ambient Deathcore, and now… I’ve been given the task to review some Black Metal with that touch of ambience. When I took a look at ONIRISM and read about their style, I knew what I was in for. I tossed on “Cosmic Dream” and just let the magic happen.

ONIRISM is a 1-man project by Antoine Guibert, who hails from Nantes, France. Since starting ONIRISM in 2014, he’s already produced a RAVENTHRONE cover and an EP known as “The Well of Stars”. And now, it’s Antoine’s time to shine with his first full-length release, “Cosmic Dream”. And it’s a doozey.

Not only did Antoine record the guitars, bass, drums, vocals, synths, and orchestration programming, but he also mixed and mastered everything on his own; an impressive feat to say the least! And to top it off, this is a totally independent project! Antoine is proving himself to be a jack-of-all-trades, or a musician of many talents, to say the least. To this effort alone, I have to tip my hat to the man.

Cosmic Dream” opens with an instrumental track, “Purple Sky”, which features a slow intro of ambient gusts and white noise as stringed instruments and tribal drums begin to fade in. This is the album’s primer and sets the canvas’ tone perfectly. A splash of color appears as we’re suddenly thrown into “Beginning of a New Era”. The guitar makes its entrance and is backed by trumpets, opening with a bit of an epic feel. The guitar then breaks into fast tremolo riffing in time with standard Black Metal blast beats. Guibert’s high, tight, and gritty vocals ring out in the back and echo as if in a cavernous void. I expected a “spacey” opus, and I got just that from the get-go.

We move on to another (mostly) instrumental, “Ephemeral World I”, the first of 2 parts and features an array of more unconventional instruments, outlandish strings, percussions, winds, and even the added touch of a choir, expanding into that grandiose sound. At the very end, Antoine blasts his screams before we’re carried on into the heavier “Ephemeral World II”. It comprises of some doomy chords while the ghostly choir sings from behind. The music grows larger- taking up more space on Guibert’s canvas, until it finally explodes with brutal drums.

The instruments come into full circle with “The Curse of Ahriman”, a more up-tempo song wrought with orchestration, yet includes fiery guitar work and execution of the whole drum kit. The 2 strings from different worlds do battle in the black void, as the violins begin to pierce the wall of sound furiously and burn with a passion as hot as the stars. This track might have the best relationship between the live and programmed instruments.

However, my favorite track on the album is “Weavers of Time”, which just so happens to be the longest as well, clocking in at just over 10 minutes. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for more extensive recordings. The guitar’s tone changes a little to sound somewhat hollower while staying overdriven, adding more to the surface area the instrument encompasses. The solo about 2/3 of the way through is gold, jumping back and forth from melodious long notes to speedy, technical arpeggios, and swirls around in the night sky above.

I have to hand it to Antoine Guibert for taking on such a daunting task on his own. The whole process took him over a year and a half, but its release marks the beginning of great things in his career as a musician. On his own, he was able to make this album sound like it was crafted by at least a dozen people. The stage production and budget to play this 100% live would be astonishing.

My only real issue with “Cosmic Dream” is that it can be repetitive at times; emphasizing more on prolonged, programmed instruments rather than focusing on what more could be done with the tools given to the master. The overall sound has been mastered and the statement was made from the beginning, but the artist needs to know where to go from there. This is definitely one of those albums that’s better enjoyed as a whole rather than individual songs, which is never always a bad thing, but I still like one to jump around just a bit more. The production was a little rough at times as well, but that’s fairly excusable. Nevertheless, “Cosmic Dream” came out quite fresh and powerful.

All I can say is that I’m excited to see what the future holds for ONIRISM and Antoine Guibert. This album is not only an achievement, but a launching pad to push Antoine further into the stars and see what this kind of uncharted territory holds for him.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Purple Sky (Introduction)
2. Beginning of a New Era
3. From the End to the Origins
4. Ephemeral World I
5. Ephemeral World II
6. At the Heart of the Desert for the Eternity (Introduction)
7. The Curse of Ahriman
8. The Old Man
9. Darkness
10. Weavers of Time
11. Baneful Glows in the Night Sky (Introduction)
12. Cosmic Dream
Antoine Guibert – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synth, Programmed Orchestration, Mixing, and Mastering
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 10 July 2020

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