Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains review



Reviewer:
8.0

15 users:
7.67
Band: Midnight Odyssey
Album: Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains
Release date: November 2019


01. Hidden In Tartarus
02. Forever Silenced
03. Biolume
04. A Storm Before A Fiery Dawn
05. Of Golden Age Descended
06. When Titans Fall
07. Pillars In The Sky


While black metal and optimism aren't exactly synonymous, Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains certainly bridges the gap.

Due to the nature of this Midnight Odyssey project, a one-man atmospheric/ambient black metal act out of Australia, the only way to properly dissect and review new material is in a vacuum. So far each album has been its own immense journey, its own detail-rich story, its own world, that comparing and contrasting would serve to be nothing more than an exercise in futility. (Just look up the total length of each album if you're unaware of the meaning of this semi-diatribe.) There are obvious over-arching patterns and trends based on soundscapes and songwriting, but conceptually speaking the origins may as well be formulated by entirely different people. With all of that pretentious buildup out of the way, we're left with this new skyscraper of a release to delve into, and every floor has its own unique area to explore.

Dream-like ambient sequences aren't exactly unheard of within the black metal scene, but the quality of their inclusion has been overwhelmingly inconsistent. Biolume ensures a positively engaging experience with its ethereal interludes and hypnotic choir-like chanting, prepping its audience for an unheralded journey through streams of downtempo electronica that bleed into the effervescent black metal lakes crafted by a mind obviously relegated to otherworldly creative realms. Some of the typified genre-specific characteristics make return appearances throughout the album's run time, such as dissonant riffing and simplistic blastbeats, but it's the lack of black metal specifics that make this release such a treat to endure. That said, if you're here for a formulaic Watain clone, you've come to the wrong place. This is an album that focuses on the historic internal struggle of mankind -- the battle of good vs evil; or, more specifically, the battle of our darkest vs our happiest thoughts. We're all chained to a tree in a dark, haunted forest, and we all strive to break free of our bonds. But not all of us manage to do so.

Extending beyond the psychological and into the aural, Midnight Odyssey brings us into the realm of atmosphere. Atmosphere is a word oft-tossed around as if descriptive in its own right, but gives readers few cues to take back with them to deconstruct while going about their own process of dismantling what they're listening to -- for better or for worse. What multi-instrumentalist Dis Pater does, however, helps eliminate that process by delivering a succinctly forthcoming bittersweet message. The simultaneously agonizing, beatific synth passages perfectly balance the otherwise backing moribund extremity, taking on a miserable yet hopeful tonal upbringing that connects your deepest angst and grandiose desires. It's music, albeit in the least obvious form, for the soul. That in itself doesn't offer much of a description beyond the aforementioned "atmospheric" tag, but it should indicate to newcomers and casual onlookers that this particular project is one that uses foreign substances to mitigate its more normalized sounds. After all, you're willingly committing to an album that spans what other bands release over a five-year tenure.

Not only is it exceedingly rare to come across a band or project that pours a spectrum-wide range of emotion into their sound, but to come across such a project that also world-builds through instrumentation takes it into almost legendary status. Though Midnight Odyssey is a live-by-the-sword/die-by-the-sword act incarnate, it isn't quite yet a perfect vessel of counteractive feelings. Because it spends so much of its time scaling back from its harsher elements, there are times that leave the listener wanting for the implied bombardment that never really comes to be. The ambient landscapes and synth-heavy backing buildups take such precedence over the "actual" music that it may dissuade its audience from exploring what else the album has to offer, as its golden era horror soundtrack-esque leads tend to cast adrift the intended poignancy and replace it with a chasm of disinterest. Finding a balance of allure and atmosphere isn't an easy task, but at least Midnight Odyssey stands above its horde of contemporaries in regards to reaching an appropriate audience. Perhaps in the future, the perfect blend will be achieved; but for now, the imbalance remains a significant detractor despite the nigh-brilliance of this little project.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 05.11.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 91 users
05.11.2019 - 10:10
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Damn that's a long review
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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05.11.2019 - 10:21
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RaduP on 05.11.2019 at 10:10

Damn that's a long review

It's a long album
----
I have no memory of this place.
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05.11.2019 - 10:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.11.2019 at 10:21

Written by RaduP on 05.11.2019 at 10:10

Damn that's a long review

It's a long album

It ain't even a double album like their other non-demo albums.
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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05.11.2019 - 10:29
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RaduP on 05.11.2019 at 10:25

It ain't even a double album like their other non-demo albums.

He's clearly getting lazy in his old age. I can appreciate that.
----
I have no memory of this place.
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05.11.2019 - 10:45
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.11.2019 at 10:29

He's clearly getting lazy in his old age. I can appreciate that.

You can appreciate it but you clearly can't relate to it.
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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05.11.2019 - 12:30
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by RaduP on 05.11.2019 at 10:10

Damn that's a long review

Same you said about iced eart concert rewiev
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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05.11.2019 - 12:52
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Bad English on 05.11.2019 at 12:30

Same you said about iced eart concert rewiev

Glad you remember that
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 13:37
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by RaduP on 05.11.2019 at 12:52

Written by Bad English on 05.11.2019 at 12:30

Same you said about iced eart concert rewiev

Glad you remember that

I have wird memory
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 15:09
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Nice review. I quite enjoy Midnight Odyssey but have always somewhat found the guy's albums to be a little too long for their own good. Kind of a chore to sit through, if you know what I mean. This one appears to be shorter than both the debut and Shards Of Silver Fade though, so maybe that feeling will change a bit with it.
----
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
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06.11.2019 - 06:16
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Apothecary on 05.11.2019 at 15:09

Nice review. I quite enjoy Midnight Odyssey but have always somewhat found the guy's albums to be a little too long for their own good. Kind of a chore to sit through, if you know what I mean. This one appears to be shorter than both the debut and Shards Of Silver Fade though, so maybe that feeling will change a bit with it.

Thanks my friend.

I would say this is definitely easier to digest in a single sitting. I have the same issue with his previous releases as I simply don't have the time to dedicate myself to them, nor do I feel obligated to finish them when I start. Some other extremely lengthy albums command that attention despite their run time, but the songwriting and overall vibe of his music doesn't quite entice me on that level. This one is the closest I've come to being fully immersed and entertained throughout.
----
I have no memory of this place.
Loading...
06.11.2019 - 15:00
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Troy Killjoy on 06.11.2019 at 06:16

This one is the closest I've come to being fully immersed and entertained throughout.

Good to know, I'll be getting to a full play through of it soon then
----
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
Loading...
11.11.2019 - 01:55
MnetalEclipse
Account deleted
I really hate how short it is and i have a suspicion that the label forced his hand on that one
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