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Black Wings : Going to the End

The Ukrainian Black Wings sail on pure Ambient seas more than once.

At first, I thought a mistake had been made and that a Dark Ambient album had been sent to me among the various Funeral Doom releases I had to review. But such was not the case, even if this Ukrainian act does indeed sail on pure Ambient seas more than once. In fact, Black Wings could very well be labelled as the first real true Ambient Doom band I've ever heard.

The music is creepy and create a wonderful nocturnal feeling. I may be the geek around here, but the first thing that came to my mind when listening to the first track, 'Dawn Of Fire And Ice', was a passage taken from an old gamebook series called 'The World Of Lone Wolf': in volume 3, 'Beyond The Nightmare Gate', you are walking alone on a sea of clouds under a starlit yet moonless sky towards a crystal tower, which is the only visible thing on the horizon... in fact, the music is full of despair yet very calm, to the point that you could just close your eyes and let your mind wander and drown into the still waters of a track like 'My Black Wings'. This track alone is worth the money of every Nortt fan out there.

The keyboards are essential in the music of Black Wings, and it would certainly be less interesting without them. You won't find them used in a symphonic way, as it is a bit too much the case in Funeral Doom nowadays, but more in a Dark Ambient style, with some kind of church organ vibes sometimes. The guitars are rather light, being clearly influenced by Black Metal but played at the funeral pace needed to complement the keyboards. Bass and drums are good, albeit sometimes a bit too much in front (especially in 'Dawn Of Fire And Ice'). As for the few vocals (courtesy of Sigimar, from the band Matter Of Essence), there's much variety to be found here: you'll get classic grunts, but also less-than classic weird deep non-growling spoken voices and even the creepy one of a child ('And Eternity In Her Will Be Unsufficiently'). This use of very different kind of voices brings more depths to the music of Black Wings and, coupled with the rest of the musical arrangements, makes for the most interesting keyboard-driven and laden Ambient/Funeral Doom album I've heard since 'Celaenus Fragments' by Fungoid Stream.

This EP (after 3 demos) is a good surprise, and I could sum it up as the perfect mix between the cult Swiss act Mordor ('And Eternity In her Will Be Unsufficiently' gave me the same goosebumps on first listening as 'Agony: The Ascent Of The Mountain' back then in 1995, and use more or less the same vocal and melodic lines) and Aarni (with which they share the curious 'beyond the planes' Ambient vibe). There's some things to work out (mostly, the guitars could be more heavy and the drums less in front), but considering that the band has released two new albums since then, I suppose that those flaws have been corrected. Right now, if you're looking for a rather original take on Funeral Doom, with lots of dreamy and chilling atmospheres, this EP will please you. It is rare enough to find an Ukrainian Funeral Doom band with a different personality and willing to walk its own different path: if for nothing else than this, Black Wings deserves your attention.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Танец Огня и Льда
2. И Вечности Ей будет мало
3. Идущие к Концу
4. Похороны Человека
5. Мои Чёрные Крылья (bonus)

Duration : Approx: 42 minutes

Visit the Black Wings bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-04 by Laurent Lignon
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