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.
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
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
, 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.