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Rising Sunset - De Mysterium Tenebris

Rising Sunset
De Mysterium Tenebris
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 16 June 2020, 1:58 PM

RISING SUNSET is a Gothic/Symphonic extreme metal band from Malta.  “De Mysterium Tenebris,” is their third full length album; they also have an EP under their belt. Band founder Carlo Calamatta put the band together in 2001.  Both black and death metal are represented here but there is also a lot of melody, not just with the strings, but also in the guitars themselves. There is a lot of different elements going on in this album and its over an hour long run time. DIMMU BORGIR and CRADLE OF FILTH are the obvious bands that come to mind when I listen to this album.  I also hear some BAL-SAGOTH, although they are no where near as corny as them thankfully.

There is a lot of flare and energy to these songs and I found them a lot more focused than expected, considering all the different elements going on within.  It could be argued that the album is too long by about ten minutes, therefore some of the songs needing to be trimmed but there isn’t one bad track on the album.  The bass is especially a standout, very melodic and doesn’t mind straying away from the guitars.  The keyboards are well done too, providing an epic yet sorrow tinged Gothic atmosphere without being overwhelming to the rest of the song.  There are moments of pure beauty contained within as well.  When the keyboards and bass are the only instruments in play, the music settles into this serene texture that just goes over so well within the songs.  When the metal distortion washes over it and the double bass kicks in, that beauty is melded with just the right amount of extreme  metal to make all the aspects work well together.

Storm Over The Citadel,” is the opening track.  Opera vocals and arcane whispers begin the song as the background fills with rumbling guitar and bass.  As they come into the forefront, the keyboards join the mixture and the whole song expands to a very open Gothic pasture. The interplay between the riffs and the drums gallops the song along into one of those beautiful passages I mentioned in my review earlier.  The death and black metal growls/screams add a dangerous and caustic layer over  it all, resulting in a song that has a lot going on but never fills overwhelming.

That is also the essence of the album: it flows well from one moment to the next.  Clearly, this band is comfortable within this genre and really know how each member works together. “Serpent of Eden,” begins with ominous tones before ramping up to full speed—this track is much faster in places than the opener and showcases their willingness to change things up but also the ability to pull it off.  The faster, more intense parts don’t take away from the Gothic atmosphere at all. I especially liked the movement around the 2:07 mark where the rhythm guitar, bass, and drums come together as one to drop the hammer while the lead guitars go on a rather melodic journey.

Over halfway thru, the album still maintains its quality.  “Rise of the Behemoth's Agony,” is an exciting track with a huge sound.  If I was going to play this album for anyone, this would probably the the song I would choose.  The two different vocal styles play off each other and the riffs go from chunky to melodic with ease while the symphonics make the whole song rather theatrical. The title track, “De Mysterium Tenebris,” has a whirlwind start in the first few seconds with sudden, violent bursts and calming serenity dueling it out.  The band pulls out all the stops with this track, throwing in every element that makes them work in the first place.  The last two and half minutes are frantic and bombastic, one hell of way to end a title track which is how it should be done.

The album ends on the sweeping “Fate of the Tribulation,” which is very encompassing with a good pair of headphones.  The choir is a nice touch and accents the keys and the melodic portion of the guitars.  The song ends in a rising crescendo of all the instruments coming together as one living force, perfectly ending the album. The band’s sound may not be very innovative but it is memorable and that is all that matters in the end.  The song writing is great, each performance adds in the needed dimensions to help form the overall musical picture and the vocals are pleasure to listen to.  Despite some length issues, what more could you want in a Gothic metal album?   I enjoyed my time with it for sure and any fans of the aforementioned bands and especially Gothic metal should pick this up.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Storm Over The Citadel
2. Gluttons of the Pre-Diluvian
3. Serpents of Eden
4. The Book of Enoch
5. Rise of the Behemoth’s Agony
6. The Harlot Riding the Beast
7. De Mysterium Tenebris
8. Abode of the Living Dead
9. Fate of the Tribulation
Carlo Calamatta – Guitars, Death Growls, Drum Composition
Joseph Camilleri – Rhythm Guitars, Black Metal Growls
Clifford Smith – Bass
Ian Spiteri - Keyboards
Record Label: WormHoleDeath


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