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Somnium Mortuum : Eternal Sleep

As this album was described as 'funeral ambient doom' in the promo sheet accompanying it, I was preparing myself for another amateur DIY drone/ambient recording, when to my delight I discovered something very different instead.

This German one-man project delivers in a sense the continuation of the sound of Empyrium’s first two albums. No acoustic pastoral themes here, what we get is rather a slab of high quality pagan/black doom. The tracks are based on emotional synth string layers, of which the vibe is almost identical to that in Empyrium's '...A Wintersunset'. Despite the fact that the guitars are a bit buried in the mix behind the majestic keyboards, their presence is nevertheless very effective and adds a much-needed dimension of raw, primitive power representing Mother Nature's untamed force. The vocal expression consists of harsh screams, grunts, spoken parts and some low chants which, much like ancient spirits, seem to be chasing each other among frozen hilltops.

The album has at times an almost soundtrack-like quality; especially at those magic moments when the synth strings take over completely, immersing the listener in a mood of contemplation and ancient pride. From the amazing cover artwork (the drawing of a Northern snowy forest landscape) to this album’s general atmosphere, everything breathes paganism, a reverence for nature’s mystical essence and ancient romanticism. While listening to this work, images of romantic paintings pass through my mind's eye, portraying small human figures that are reduced to insignificant dots in the overwhelming presence of the sea, the mountains and the forces of nature.

This work comes highly recommended to purveyors of dark romanticism and those revering the ancient ways of paying respect to our surrounding world.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Somnium Mortuum
2. Bygone Future
3. Unknown Distances
4. Predetermined Chaos
5. The Unreachable Salvation
6. This Flame Will Burn Forever
7. The Wrath of the Doomed One
8. Longing for Eternal Sleep
9. The Failure of Imagination

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes.

Visit the Somnium Mortuum bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
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