Black Clouds Gathering

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Nom du groupe Vallendusk
Nom de l'album Black Clouds Gathering
Type Album
Date de parution Mars 2013
Style MusicalBlack Atmosphérique
Membres possèdant cet album13


1. Fragments of Life 09:28
2. Shades of Grey 09:06
3. To Wander and Beyond 08:00
4. Into the Mist 08:49
5. Among the Giants 09:28
6. Realms of the Elder 09:45
7. Land of the Lurking Twilight 13:05
Total playing time 1:07:01

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Chronique @ Satanicarchangel

24 Juin 2013

An astounding album of emotionally charged Black Metal

2013 has been a real mixed bag thus far in the metal world, with some truly phenomenal albums being released this year whilst some utterly atrocious ones have unfortunately graced my eyes. Unfortunately the great albums are few and far between with the amount of albums that make receiving fellatio from an alligator seem appealing are overwhelming. 2013 so far has been disappointing to me, with the exception of Vesper by Entropia nothing has really stood out to me in anyway, nothing has excited me to the point that I could slam the term “classic” on. Black Clouds Gathering however deviates from the usual boring crap being released this year by actually releasing something entertaining. Whereas most albums I’ve heard this year were ambitious yet ultimately achieving nothing, Black Clouds Gathering is ambitious and succeeds. This album doesn’t reek of the aura of a “try hard” and it’s not pretentious, rather it’s excellent, beautiful and atmospherically powerful Black Metal from a country that isn’t well known for its metal scene, let alone its Black Metal one. Despite being from Indonesia, Vallendusk has a very Cascadian vibe to the music, sounding like the love child of Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room yet far more upbeat than them two bands. With clear influences ranging from the Cascadian scene to the Blackgaze scene of France, Black Clouds Gathering is an ambitious and ultimately fantastic record that could perhaps beat out Vesper for the title of Black Metal album of 2013.

Seemingly apart from most Atmospheric Black Metal bands, Vallendusk creates a sound that can only be described as lush and sunny rather than depressive and dark. Although the song lengths are akin to most of the atmospheric horde, Vallendusk are a stand out in the scene by operating on a faster and more upbeat territory with clear folk and Post Metal influences. Despite the song lengths, the songs don’t function on the basis of repeating several minor chord riffs, the songs are varied and diverse with excellent guitar work and without a focus on minimalism. Black Clouds Gathering is excellent in creating a powerful atmosphere, thankfully forgoing the use of Black Metal’s standard tropes; Black Clouds Gathering manages to stand out in a scene that is often susceptible to stagnation.

Hitting me completely by surprise, Black Clouds Gathering is an absolutely phenomenal mix of Folk, Post Rock and atmospheric and melodic Black Metal. The atmosphere lacks any hint of underlying darkness and is instead far more bright and beautiful, the sound is similar to the band Petrychor, being both pure Black Metal yet also being light and airy with some phenomenal outside elements. Whereas most bands tagged as “Blackgaze” usually function more on the Shoegaze and Post Rock sound whilst leaving little room for Black Metal (bands like Alcest and Sleeping Peonies instantly come to mind), Vallendusk on the other hand have all the aspects that stylistically define Black Metal yet also containing a hefty amount of influences from non metal genres and an atmosphere that is wondrously light. It cannot be denied that Vallendusk are able to craft some of the most majestic metal ever, the songs are wonderfully warm and heartfelt. Lacking any sense of Black Metal’s typical coldness, Black Clouds Gathering is a far brighter and uplifting musical journey.

What really drives this album forward is the guitar work, ranging from grandiose melodies to calmer acoustic interludes, Black Clouds Gathering is never short of excellent guitar work. The guitars stand in the fore front creating a sound that is upbeat and victorious whilst at times having a subdued depressive wall of sound. The many emotions portrayed through the guitar front adds to this albums brilliance and ingenuity. Despite the sheer excellence of the guitars they never overpower any of the other aspects, leaving room for the phenomenal drum work and vocals to shine through. Vallendusk run a tight ship on Black Clouds Gathering with every aspect working perfectly in unison to create one of the, if not the best metal albums released in 2013. Vallendusk have crafted songs building climaxes interwoven with acoustic interludes and Post Rock passages for astounding effect,

Black Clouds Gathering is an album that seems foremost concerned with losing the listener in the sheer scope and grandiose of the music. The music is hypnotic and ethereal, easy to get lost within and always entertaining. Although the sheer scope and length of the album may overwhelm some listeners, the grandiose and epic nature is enough to convert skeptics. Despite the length there are no sections that ever feel overdone and stretched out, there’s certainly enough variation in each song to ensure it remains interesting and endearing. Vallendusk never break form or waver throughout Black Clouds Gathering, they remain whole fully consistent, never faltering in the quality of the music. It is easy to lose oneself in the atmosphere of Black Clouds Gathering.

Overall Vallendusk have crafted an astounding and grandiose piece of work with Black Clouds Gathering. Fans of harsher and more brutal music will be turned off from this album but for those of us interested in a more deep and thoughtful approach then Black Clouds Gathering is well worth checking out.

3 Commentaires

2 J'aime

Atmosfear - 01 Mai 2014: Je découvre ce groupe par pur hasard et suis estomaqué par le niveau, le feeling et les qualités d'é encore davantage par les qualités mélodiques du groupe. Si vous aimez Agalloch, Wolves in the throne room, voire Summoning et le folk mêlé au black, cet album est pour vous....en fait j'aurais aimé en écrire certains des morceaux (comme "Among the giants"), et la note ne me paraît pas usurpée même si tout n'est pas parfait. Pour un premier opus, ça monte haut, je trouve. Je le commande très vite et en reparle...!
Atmosfear - 01 Mai 2014: And thanks a lot for your review, Satanicarchangel, this band and album is awesome, I love its unique melodic sense and atmospheric overall aura ! I will order it very soon...
Bozzoh - 22 Juin 2014: Cet album est assez incroyable, le genre d'album qui vous prend aux tripes du début à la fin, le duo guitaristique se complète à la perfection sur sur une rythmique basse/batterie pour accompagner toutes ces mélodies de pure magie, on ressent la sincèrité du travail de chaque compo où chaque membre de très haut niveau est complètement pris dedans donnant le meilleur de lui-même...le revers pourrait être dans ce genre de cas que la barre est d'entrée de jeu placée si haute qu'il s'avère légitime de craindre que ce rythme soit soutenable par la suite...mais là non, aucune crainte aucune, le potentiel de nos amis Indonésiens semble si énorme qu'on ne peut que s'attendre à un nouveau "masterpiece"...
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