Twilight

Monument To Time End

Written by: AP on 18/01/2011 11:44:42

If you have come here looking for sparkling teenage fantasy vampires, then we have a review for you. The rest of you should suppress the allusion that a mind subjected to the remorseless promotion campaign of one overrated pocketbook will inevitably attempt to form upon detecting the word Twilight, and focus on the people behind this unfortunately named supergroup. Featuring Jef "Wrest" Whitehead of Leviathan, Blake "Azentrius" Judd of Nachtmystium, Neill "Imperial" Jameson of Krieg, Sanford Parker of Minsk, Aaron Turner of Isis, and Stavros Giannopolous of The Atlas Moth, Twilight's second album "Monument to Time End" is probably the stuff a extreme metal aficionado's dreams are made of.

But where the group's previous outing was simply black and depressive, the influence of the auteurs from Minsk, Isis and The Atlas Moth, who joined forces with Twilight to replace exiting members Scott "Malefic" Conner and Tim "Hildolf" Lehi of Xasthur and Draugar, respectively, has afforded the band more expanse and dynamicity. You can hear the change in sound at once, "The Cryptic Ascension" erupting with dirty sludge and acrid black metal atmosphere, but soon giving way to a rocking post-punk backbeat and an echoing shoegazer section. Not textbook black metal, this opening track suggests that "Monument to Time End" will be a kaleidoscopic journey that showcases each member's unique sensibilities and talents, and the rest of the tracks do not disappoint.

That five out of six members are apt with more than one instrument explains the enormity of sound present here - simply divulging the wealth of instrumental detail flourishing on the likes of "Fall Behind Eternity" and "8000 Years" requires days of meticulous, uninterrupted dissection. The astonishing compositional awareness is not immediate, nor is the instrumental prowess accompanying, as Twilight shun overt flamboyance and expose their collective genius through layer upon layer of snarling tremolo, sampled effects, orchestral horns and celestial ambiance instead. The key word is subtlety, the mutating soundscapes and structured, striking changes leading the music in lieu of preposterous grandeur.

Both violent and transcendent, "Monument to Time End" is the sound of six masters of the underground converging at the glacier of Eyjafjallajokull shortly before its infamous eruption, and composing the soundtrack to its awesome beauty and force: organic, billowing destruction shot through with moments of light and majesty. As such, it reminds me of the progressive master class taught by Wolves in the Throne Room - slightly less raw, but none the less awakening. Those delving into the depths of the black metal genre on a regular basis will probably muster up at least two hundred other bands that trot similar terrain, but for us with only a marginal insight into the genre, "Monument to Time End" tears the veil between the worlds and offers a magnanimous access route to its continued appreciation.

8

Download: Fall Behind Eternity, Convulsions in the Wells of Fever, Decaying Observer
For the fans of: Alter of Plagues, Leviathan, Nachtmystium, Wolves in the Throne Room
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.04.2010
Southern Lord Records

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