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Band Name Dark Fortress (GER-1)
Album Name Ylem
Type Album
Data de aparición 25 Enero 2010
Labels Century Media
Enregistrado en Woodshed Studio
Estilo MusicalMelodic Black
Miembros poseen este álbum162


 As the World Keels Over
 Satan Bled
 The Valley

 Sycamore Trees (Angelo Badalamenti Cover)

Total playing time: 01:14:21

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Crónica @ hack

05 Marzo 2010
There's been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding Ylem, in Europe, but I find the hype to be largely overblown. Dark Fortress are a melodic black metal band, from Landshut, Germany. Which is located about 38 miles northwest of Munich, in Bavaria. This is the 6th album from this 6-piece band. They feature 2 guitarists and a keyboard player, aside from the line ups that most bands have.

The name Ylem means a condensed state of matter, or a primordial state of matter from which all of the elements were allegedly derived. I suppose that it was meant to imply the compositional material of unseen beings like ghosts and angels, judging by the album lyrics and the ghostly face that is depicted on the album art. It was recorded at Woodshed studio, owned by lead guitarist Santura. Santura mixed, mastered, and produced this album. He also wrote most of the music. Vocalist Morean wrote all of the lyrics for this album. This album continues their tradition of diversified song structures and haunting guitar melodies.

The opening track, Ylem, starts off with a glittery guitar lead, accompanied by melodic music from the rhythm section. Then the tempo speeds up with very little musical change, then reverts to the slower tempo. The lyrics are about a magical spell that transforms all earthly life into its original spiritual state, devoid of time, and space. As The World Keels Over is about great changes that come to the earth, without the sun. It rocks at a slow tempo with intervals of a medium tempo, as if it were leading up to an element of shock. But it doesn't work like that, because we are led with boredom, and looking for a kick ass climax that doesn't materialize. This song is over 6 minutes of dull atmospheric music. The 3rd track is called Osiris, who was an Egyptian god of the afterlife. The lyrics are about the invocation of Osiris. The guitar rhythms sound sharper than they do on the previous songs, with a creepier atmosphere, and more boring interludes. But it reverts back to that same catchy and heavy melody. There is some keyboard playing in the background, to add to the slow and grim atmosphere. This song is over 7 minutes long. It's been drawn out about 2 or 3 minutes longer than it should have been, in my opinion.

Silence is a chaotic song, that thrashes at a medium tempo, and again with slower interludes as if it were to add some grim suspense. The lyrics are about how everything on earth has become dead. Evenfall starts with a twisted sounding guitar hook . Then the rhythm section joins in with with a bizarre melody. The song alternates between the 2 presentations. Then there is a modern, yet slow melody that comes in the middle of the song and goes on throughout the duration of the track. The lyrics are about the immortal remembrance of mortal witchery. Redivider rocks at a slow tempo with a slightly bizarre melody. It builds up the melodrama to a creepier atmosphere, with an almost hateful mood. It continues this trend for a 7 minute song of dull drudgery. The lyrics are about the stench of the dead, with vague references to the occult. The 7th track is called Satan Bled, the twisted lyrics of this track replace Christ with Satan, in the story of the crucifixion. Finally, we've come across a song that rocks at a fast tempo. The style reminds me of Horna, but only like their mediocre songs. The lead guitar uses a foot distortion pedal in the 2nd half of this song, like what is used in the Alice In Chains song, Rain When I Die. But it doesn't sound nearly as good as that. Hirundineans starts with slow and bizarre guitar leads, then thrashes at a medium tempo. The lyrics of this song sharply ridicule and denounce religion. Anyhow, the last 3 tracks of this album carry on with the same trend. Long songs played at a slow to medium tempo and bland songwriting represented by a boring musical performance.

Their previous album, Eidolon, rocked more aggressively and had much less suspenseful filler to lead up to the awesome guitar solos. This album is over 70 minutes of suspenseful filler with very weak guitar solos, and even those are far and few between. This album sounds like they've tried to capitalize on the atmospheric moments of Eidolon and stretched them out. This comes across as a very flat album, like a bottle of soda, with no fizz to it. Since it's obvious that they wanted to do an atmospheric album, why couldn't they have written better music for the keyboards? They could have done something like Dimmu Borgir or Vesania, with the keyboard music. The drum playing sounds mediocre, they also could have written better music for the drums. Was it because they thought that they didn't want to subdue the music from the 2 guitarists? The guitar playing on this album is a joke compared to their performances on both Eidolon and Profane Genocidal Creations. I know that it takes some time of listening for some albums to grow on you, but I've listened to this album at least 20 times in the past 3 weeks, and I'm still disappointed with this one.

2 Commntarios

1 Like

razvandani - 06 Marzo 2010: Once again it is obvious that music is a matter of taste. My rating for this album is 20, despite the criticism from the review. I find it quite powerful and strong.
samMETALHEAD - 03 Agosto 2010: Nice review man :)...would have been nice if you wrote some lines about the ending track "wraith"..the most atmospheric outro I have ever heard...mixed with brilliant lyrics...I dont care about the criticism of "wraith", but to me DF surely gets you into the music..and that what matters!
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Crónica @ samMETALHEAD

28 Septiembre 2010
"Ylem" is the term used to define the state of elements before the the Big Bang, i.e. it refers to the primordial matter from which all elements were created. This is the concept of the German black metallers Dark Fortress' latest album "Ylem". Like the previous album "Eidolon", this one is also vocalist Morean's brainchild, making it quite the odd-one in the mainstream black metal scene.

"Ylem" features 11 tracks. The album kicks off with the title track of the same name. It is quite atmospheric, portraying a grimness that lasts till the end of the song. The songs are all mid-tempo & full of ambiance, making it an unconventional black metal album. The guitars are heavily tuned-down, the distortions are good & some brilliant riffs can be heard. Seraph's did quite a commendable job with his drumming, maintaining the rhythm throughout. Morean's vocals are have a dark & ominous appeal which coincides with the album's atmosphere perfectly. Keyboards can hardly be heard distinctly, but Paymon does a brilliant job in controlling the ambiance.

"Ylem" has multiple stand-out tracks that include "As the World Keels Overs", "Osiris" & "Wraith". "As the World Keels Over" is slow but more atmospheric, containing some brilliant melodic yet creepy riffs. "Osiris" features some extraordinary drumming towards the beginning but gets monotonous later on. "Wraith" is the outro track & the most controversial. It is bound to create differences among the fans. It is a heavily doom-influenced track featuring Morean's clean vocals, which surprisingly suits the song & its atmosphere. For me, its an 8-min masterpiece. Morean's lyrical abilities are beyond criticism as "Wraith"'s lyrics are guaranteed to send some chills down your spine.

"Doomed to linger, a wraith in a withered world,
You will never sleep again.
Lifeless eyes, forever haunted by the void,
Gaze upon the tomb of man."

The recording is polished as each instrument can be heard distinctly, even the bass guitar. With the release of their sixth album, Dark Fortress's sound as well as their musical maturity has drastically developed. "Ylem" may not be a "must have" album, but it is certainly worth a listen, because certain songs are bound to make a mark on your memory.

2 Commntarios

0 Like

sulabhmetalfreak - 29 Septiembre 2010: hey i listened the whole album n i think that u shud hav atleast given it 16-17/20.some songs are just mindblowing like osiris,silence,as the world keels over,evenfall.'silece' has got the guitar riffs similar to the sound of sitar in india which really caught my attention.wraith was also great n as u said it really sent chills down my spine.'osiris' was 1 of the best.'as the world keels over' has got a great starting.in all i liked this album and it was worth the download...\m/
samMETALHEAD - 29 Septiembre 2010: Opinions differ man :)..that's why we are humans. I found the album quite monotonous..specially the songs like osiris & silence, they start off well..but kinda becomes quite predictable after few minutes into the track.
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