Fall Of Empyrean

A Life Spent Dying

Written by: PP on 02/09/2010 03:52:24

I can hardly think of a better title for Fall Of Empyrean's third album, "A Life Spent Dying". Not only does it suit their self-proclaimed emotionally wrought doom/progressive death metal sound, but it also asks a discreet question about the purpose of life. Are we all here just to slowly decay and wither away? Is that really all there is to life, human or otherwise? Philosophical pondering like that is embedded within the album, if not explicitly in the lyrical content, then implicitly in the beautiful misery of the soundscape; one that relies on depression, despair and melancholy. Yes, listening to "A Life Spent Dying" is like listening to heavy rain pour against your window, or hearing the fall storms wheezing quietly int he leaky corners of your lonely estate. Misery, sadness, and despair, Fall Of Empyrean have managed to bond all three together into a sound that personifies loss and sorrow beautifully.

The whole record is characterized by painstaking slowness and melancholy very closely aligned to another fantastic band in the genre, Saturnus. The latter's "Veronica Decides To Die" (or at least another similar album) seems to have been an enormous inspiration for Fall Of Empyrean, but yet their execution of suffering is original and, paradoxically, enjoyable in its own right. Vocalist Richard Medina probably reads Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt into his influences, given how he uses his deep growl as an instrument itself. It works beautifully as a dark contrast to the sad guitar tone that leads the soundscape together with melancholic keyboard and piano tones. It's the interplay between him and the rest of the band that makes the atmosphere sound so emotionally wrought and consuming. It works whether the instruments follow a painstaking doom metal tempo, such as on "Vast But Desolate", but also during the more crushing progressive death metal passages like the one found in "A Long Silence". There's a great balance between melody and melancholy, dosed with soft brutality to hammer home the point to the listener: a life spent dying, indeed. This one should be in heavy rotation during any of those miserable cold and stormy nights we're due to experience here in Denmark in the coming months.

Download: Vast But Desolate, Veins Split Wide
For the fans of: Saturnus, Opeth, Novembers Doom
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.05.2010

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