EMPYRIUM - Weiland

Empyrium - Weiland

12 songs
50:55 minutes
***** **
Prophecy Productions


When you're used to listening to rock music in all its forms all of the time, it's a bit hard to tune in your ears to Empyrium. The name may sound like black metal, and the band also started out as a dark metal band several years ago, but things have changed substantially over the years.

Empyrium can be considered as the project of a musician named Schwadorf, who plays the acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums and the mellotron. He's helped out by guest musicians on piano, flute, violin, viola, cello and bassoon. Doesn't that sound like classical music to you? And it comes very close to that. There are nearly no electric instruments (only some parts of bass guitar and mellotron) on Weiland, and the album is divided into three chapters: Heidestimmung, Waldpoesie and Wassergeister. Where the first chapter is having six parts that all last from one minute to more than six minutes, the second chapter is one long piece nearly a quarter hour long. The last chapter contains some shorter parts again.

The music is mostly acoustic guitars and piano, the vocals are either spoken poetry, or operatic vocals by a man named Helm. We are used already to soprano female voices in the metal genre, but male vocals like that are rather rare. Most of the album is truly great art, especially the first chapter and parts of the second, but I have the impression that Empyrium get sometimes lost between art and pretension, and at those time they are walking a very thin line between genius and arti-fartiness.

Still, this is something that most musicians can only dream of, and the compositions are for the most part very artistic. Seven points, because either this album needs to come more directly to the point in the second half, or I am just too spoiled with more than 20 years of rock'n'roll music. An interesting album which romantic goths probably will adore.

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