Estatic Fear - A Sombre Dance review
|Album:||A Sombre Dance|
02. Chapter I
03. Chapter II
04. Chapter III
05. Chapter IV
06. Chapter V
07. Chapter VI
08. Chapter VII
09. Chapter VIII
10. Chapter IX
Three years after the release of their elegiac and magnificent "Omnium Obmutum" Estatic Fear returned with another album filled with intense emotions and inspiration. The name of it "A Sombre Dance" and for one more time this Austrian act managed to give a title fitting with the atmosphere of the compositions in the most ideal way. Indeed the album is "a sombre dance" while you lose yourself dancing, manoeuvring in the esotericism of melancholy and visions that come forth from tales of medieval sorrow and grief.
When the time comes to compare "A Sombre Dance" to "Somnium Obmutum", the first in terms of song structure is for sure more affected and every single passage is well-thought and well-put, showing that the band has matured a lot in these three years. The variety of the instruments participating remains wide and the instrument interpretation on "A Sombre Dance" is better, with every member of the band and guest musician pouring themselves in the final outcome. Of course the folk touch has remained and it is vivid mainly in the acoustic passages.
The compositions this time have a Haggard approach and they are less doom metal oriented, but don't think that Estatic Fear have become a Haggard rip off band, there's no way that this would happen, they just lend some elements from their sound and that's all. Another influence someone may notice is Loreena McKennitt that seems to have spread her seeds in the band as well (just listen to "Part I", if the vocal lines and structure won't remind you of Loreena McKennitt then I don't know what to say). This time the rhythm section is vivid in the sound of the band, but still it doesn't hold the ideal place in the production, but it's definitely better than on "Somnium Ombutum" and lends a more dynamic approach to the compositions. The guitar work for one more time is utterly inspired and high quality. The classical guitar passages are just fabulous and they lend the album a fragile and dreamy or melancholic feeling whereas the distorted guitar riffing makes the overall atmosphere more powerful.
The orchestral passages are highly inspired and come straight from the heart. The piano and the keyboard melodies evoke a dark and melancholic romanticism or a more vivid and intense atmosphere in the air, the flute lends its magical touch as well in the structure of the songs and every other classical instrument partaking in the overall outcome does its best to make the emotions deeper. The female operatic vocals this time are being used more and they are more affected, whereas the male vocals remain grunting, sounding in a way distorted at times, making the emotional charge more intense.
"A Sombre Dance" cannot be separated to pieces, it flows as one and its compositions have a connection the one with the other. So, the best thing you can do is relax with a bottle of good wine and let yourself lie somewhere in the dark medieval woods of melancholy. Let yourself dance "a sombre dance" and pour your soul to that beautiful yet doleful waltz...
||Written on 22.12.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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