Penumbra - The Last Bewitchment
|I finally got my hands on The Last Bewitchment a few months ago and was thus introduced to Penumbra. What an experience! This French gothic outfit created a dramatic and fulfilling record back in 2002. I understand they have made some changes since then, but let's revisit this memorable album.
With the first notes we are whisked away into an urgent, compelling, dark symphony. Penumbra is layering bombastic classical music with metal, but avoids sounding like a copy of the symphonic albums from Tristania or Therion. This dark symphony is memorable as Penumbra's work. A hint of melodic black metal influences creep in early on and are well incorporated. The team of vocalists makes their debut in the brilliant opener "Neutral:" clean female and male vocals, death vocals and black vocals. I am most impressed with the use of the soprano; she is single-handedly fulfilling the role of the choir and stays mostly in the background. She teams up with the synth player to create a beautiful atmosphere that will draw you in closer. Most songs are dominated by the extreme vocals in front of her choral singing, but let's not forget the clean male vocals which add a delicate touch to each song.
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