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Twilight - Monument To Time End

Tapehead   (41 reviews)

Posted: 04/21/2010 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

I know you can’t get much darker than black, but when the evil recesses in the pit of Black Metal’s ire draws sorrow as opposed to hellfire and demonic rage, what do you have? “Bleak metal?” “Blue metal?” With Twilight, vocalist N. Imperial’s catastrophic gurgle seems less concerned with its opportunity to frighten and more resigned to wallow in metallic melancholy.

Reformed in January of 2009 by original members Imperial, Wrest and Blake Judd, Twilight has been slapped the label of “supergroup” having merged Stavros Giannopolous (The Atlas Moth), Sanford Parker (Minsk) and Aaron Turner (ISIS) into the band’s idiom. Monument To Time End is the result, a progressive and seemingly despondent eight songs that splice together Turner’s atmospherics with the band’s otherwise impassioned assault. It’s captivating and sort of depressing to listen to, an underlying rhythm to almost every song subliminally suggesting the morose.

On the other hand, the adeptness with which this band crafts its melodies and gathers its haunts is entrancing. With song lengths nearing 10 minutes for most of the album, each track wears an array of smooth transitions and riffs, at times pulverizing with severity (“Fall Behind Eternity”) and other times striking a more somber chord (“Red Fields”).

With its opener, “The Cryptic Ascension,” they fuse together Kyuss-inspired desert blues with the sort of drone I’ve heard Boris generate. The first time I heard this, I was happily surprised by the deviation from what I initially thought to be just another Black Metal album, its vocalized shriek the focal point. Instead, Twilight marry other subgenres in an otherwise black shroud, the benefits of using stylistically different artists all unanimously focused on keeping the music dark.

A song like “8,000 Years” detracts a bit from the album’s longer moments, providing enough of a rush to keep the band’s momentum from plummeting into some sonic abyss. The same can be said for “Convulsions In Wells Of Fever,” whose percussive onslaught almost buries the melodic beauty underneath.

As far as subtle sadness is concerned, “Decaying Observer,” sort of continuing the precedent set by “Convulsions,” drowns its rhythm under percussion, though the underlying melody breaks through. As if exhausted, the music melts into reverberating sounds while Imperial shrieks his verses like he’s arguing with some muted opponent.

There’s a rhythmic throb to “The Catastrophe Exhibition” that fades into Twilight’s answer to Joy Division’s “Eternal,” a slow and meditative stomp entitled, “Negative Signal Omega.” It’s interesting how far Twilight reaches to achieve its vision even in so extreme a genre as theirs. With metal’s volume and intensity typically outweighing those of other respective genres, it takes a degree of awareness to know where to go for emotional gravitas when you need to do more than just make the music louder.

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