Rating:
8.3
Dark Fortress - Ylem
22 January 2010


01. Ylem
02. As The World Keels Over
03. Osiris
04. Silence
05. Evenfall
06. Redivider
07. Satan Bled
08. Hirundineans
09. Nemesis
10. The Valley
11. Wraith
12. Sycamore Trees [bonus]


It's always nice seeing this melodic black metal combo from Germany striking back in welcome amounts of time, on 2010 it was Ylem's turn to see the light of day, the second one with Morean on vocals after the pretty strong Eidolon.

On this new attempt a darker air is distinctive, the overall atmosphere breathes something either menacing or with the essence of a pleasant nightmare, no matter how contradictive this may sound. The guitars apart from the railway or more upbeat groovy moments offer some really wonderful and inspired melodies, chords, even solos and every now and then you are able to cherish some very interesting passages that evoke a sense of distress or a more oriental vibe. Seraph behind the drumkit delivers an awesome performance with a wide variety of tempos and techniques. Very often, thanks to the very good production, you get to listen to some well-thought ideas that actually make the composition more complex and above all, they partake in the atmosphere since they add this something that will lend another air to the way it flows.

Larynx: The larynx (plural larynges), commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protecting the trachea and sound production. It manipulates pitch and volume. The larynx houses the vocal folds, which are an essential component of phonation.

Morean definitely owns a gifted one as he offers a multifaceted interpretation behind the microphone ranging from growls to grunting lines and boiling recites and I have to admit I pretty much enjoy his sardonic laughs, the ough-s and the various spit-like parts. In "Wraith" (and a bit on "Evenfall" and the bonus track as well) we also get a glimpse of melodic singing with clean, high-pitched or more hoarsing vocals which is quite interesting nevertheless! And who knows maybe we'll get to see a different face of the band in the future.

All in all, Ylem is a very good album having a lot to say in terms of inspiration, melodic aggression and atmosphere, slowing down and speeding up depending on the song, with the keyboards making their appearance without overabusing the sound of the band, after all the guitars, the drumming and the vocals work on that factor, the keyboards just enrich the overall climate. Yet, the album may tire a bit at times since along with the bonus track it reaches 74 minutes, there are only a few albums of such length that manage not to make you feel distracted by anything else since they devour you in all manners, Ylem succeeds in that only under mood conditions (it may reach 9/10).

And so as to conclude, the fans of the band won't get dissapointed, at least I think so, personally I am satisfied, Ylem is a sincere effort on behalf of Dark Fortress that definitely keeps their course above the vast sea of mediocrity.

Highlights:
-The title-track that grabs the listener from the face in the very beginning with the awesome arch riff.
-"As The World Keels Over" that works as a drug with the seducing, floating guitar melody.
-"Osiris", the marching menace.
-"Evenfall" with its epic vibe.
-"Nemesis" and its clinical atmosphere.
-"Wraith", the hallucinating gas chamber.
-"Hirundineans" and its groove.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Dark Fortress
Album: Ylem


 



Written on 03.10.2010 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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Valaskjalf - 03.10.2010 at 02:13  
Good review. Actually listened to the album again last night for the first time in a while and I must say I enjoyed it much more than I did initially. I still prefer "Eidolon" over this, but "Ylem" is perhaps a more mature and experimental album....Im just more captivated by Eidolon's groove lol
muska - 03.10.2010 at 02:34  
Listened to this a few months back for the first time. very impressed. not exactly a fan of this type of metal, buy progressive bands like Dark Fortress drag me in, will try their previous stuff. nice review
Aeox - 03.10.2010 at 10:43  
Quite enjoyed your review, because this is definitely an album near to my heart...

"Morean definitely owns a gifted one as he offers a multifaceted interpretation behind the microphone ranging from growls to grunting lines and boiling recites and I have to admit I pretty much enjoy his sardonic laughs, the ough-s and the various spit-like parts"... - I totally agree with this - brilliant voice.

"In "Wraith" (and a bit on "Evenfall" and the bonus track as well) we even get to get a glimpse of his singing with clean, high-pitched or more hoarsing vocals which is quite interesting nevertheless!" - The clean vocals on "Wraith" were done by another vocalist, a friend of the band and not Morean (just wanted to clarify that).
DerRozzengarten - 03.10.2010 at 11:33  
Written by Aeox on 03.10.2010 at 10:43

"In "Wraith" (and a bit on "Evenfall" and the bonus track as well) we even get to get a glimpse of his singing with clean, high-pitched or more hoarsing vocals which is quite interesting nevertheless!" - The clean vocals on "Wraith" were done by another vocalist, a friend of the band and not Morean (just wanted to clarify that).

Damn, i made a little change that doesn't refer to someone having done the clean vocals, it just says that there are clean vocals Thanks mate!
Merchant of Doom - 03.10.2010 at 12:01  
First the new Enslaved and now this... I'm in heaven!
DerRozzengarten - 03.10.2010 at 12:06  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.10.2010 at 12:01

First the new Enslaved and now this... I'm in heaven!

How does it feel being in heaven?
Merchant of Doom - 03.10.2010 at 12:14  
Enslaved in a Dark Fortress...
DerRozzengarten - 03.10.2010 at 12:16  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.10.2010 at 12:14

Enslaved in a Dark Fortress...

Aeox - 03.10.2010 at 12:18  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 03.10.2010 at 11:33

Written by Aeox on 03.10.2010 at 10:43

"In "Wraith" (and a bit on "Evenfall" and the bonus track as well) we even get to get a glimpse of his singing with clean, high-pitched or more hoarsing vocals which is quite interesting nevertheless!" - The clean vocals on "Wraith" were done by another vocalist, a friend of the band and not Morean (just wanted to clarify that).

Damn, i made a little change that doesn't refer to someone having done the clean vocals, it just says that there are clean vocals Thanks mate!


No problem, dude!
Ander - 03.10.2010 at 16:23  
Osiris is one gem of a Black Metal song. Kicks major ass from start to finish.

Awesome album. I'd give it a 9, personally. Still, excellent review.
Derwood - 03.10.2010 at 22:25  
This album is good. Very good. I probably would never have discovered it without this review, so cheers DerRozzengarten!
DerRozzengarten - 03.10.2010 at 22:29  
@Ander: it reaches 9 to me under circumstances cheers!

@Derwood: You' re welcome, i'm really glad you enjoy the album so much!
muska - 04.10.2010 at 13:18  
Written by Ander on 03.10.2010 at 16:23

Osiris is one gem of a Black Metal song. Kicks major ass from start to finish.

Awesome album. I'd give it a 9, personally. Still, excellent review.


As The World Keels Over just edges in front for me personally but you cant call it i proper black metal song though...
SoulScarred - 04.10.2010 at 16:31  
Great review mate, Dark Fortress is my favorite BM band so I enjoyed reading this
I woulda give this album a 9 too.
favorite songs here are Osirirs, Evenfall and Wraith
Ander - 04.10.2010 at 21:21  
Written by muska on 04.10.2010 at 13:18

Written by Ander on 03.10.2010 at 16:23

Osiris is one gem of a Black Metal song. Kicks major ass from start to finish.

Awesome album. I'd give it a 9, personally. Still, excellent review.


As The World Keels Over just edges in front for me personally but you cant call it i proper black metal song though...

True, it's more of a progressive BM song with hints of Death Metal in the groove and vocals.

It still has the spite and anger of raw Black Metal, though. Their vocalist is an absolute beast, and he really shines on Osiris.

As The Word Keels Over is awesome too, anyway!
RavenKing - 05.10.2010 at 14:26  
Don't like it at all. Really not my kind of Black Metal.
Maxx666 - 06.10.2010 at 10:58  
Nice album... love the concept of the album
Merchant of Doom - 09.10.2010 at 14:51  
It really is a beast of an album... fantastic!
Sahen - 11.10.2010 at 17:14  
Definitely one of my favorite album ever. I did enjoy Ylem's killer opening riiff and then World Keels Over but,as some people said, Osiris was probably the masterpiece of the album.

Anyway the whole album was really interesting since most of tunes are quite different from each others. Liked it more and more with every listening. ^^
Derwood - 11.10.2010 at 21:14  
This is very rapidly becoming my favourite release so far this year. "Osiris" becomes better every time I listen to it.
Olli - 13.05.2011 at 22:14  
This album is really good! I quite liked stab wounds but this is on a whole new level!

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