Penumbra - The Last Bewitchment review
|Album:||The Last Bewitchment|
02. Priestess Of My Dreams
03. The Last Bewitchment
04. Moaning On Earth
07. The Young Martyr
08. A Torrent Of Fears
09. Pie Jesu
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.
The first 3 songs are each unique but still keep us connected to the central musical theme of this album. This rush continues until the 6th song "Testament" quietly breaks us out of the epic mood for a lovely little ballad. The first 2 minutes are quiet and ambient with Medusa, the female singer, serenading us. The song slowly gains momentum though to finally leave us at the same high energy level as the rest of the album. This mood flows quite well; giving us a chance to catch our breath!
The only disappointments here are the middle tracks "Moaning on Earth" and "Insurrection" which are both a bit static and not at all memorable. They do their job in keeping with the mood and atmosphere of The Last Bewitchment but don't add anything special.
While this album may need time to grow on you it is certainly special. I feel the musician's energy through my stereo, as if Penumbra is proud to share this recording with me.
Written on 11.06.2005 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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| Jason W.
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