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Midnight Odyssey - Shards Of Silver Fade (2015) - Review

Band: Midnight Odyssey
Album title: Shards Of Silver Fade
Release date: 8 June 2015
Label: I, Voidhanger Records

Disc 1
01. From A Frozen Wasteland
02. Hunter Of The Celestial Sea
03. Son Of Phoebus
04. A Ghost In Gleaming Stars
Disc 2
05. Asleep Is The Fire
06. Starlight Oblivion
07. Darker Skies Once Radiant
08. Shards Of Silver Fade

And mountains shall move
And the earth subside
From a frozen wasteland
To another inside

I'm blown away people, really. Midnight Odyssey did an album that is and has everything what you'll be wanting from a dark ambient metal music. Album of the year? Album of the decade? Maybe, or at least a strong candidate for that title, and note that this is an one-man band masterminded by a person/artist from Australia named Dis Pater. Shards Of Silver Fade is the second album from Midnight Odyssey, the first one, Funerals From The Astral Sphere, released in 2011, is as well a masterpiece, but unfortunately was rather unnoticed by the larger metal community, nevertheless it is a cult album and I hope that the new one will get much more exposure because it truly deserves it. Dis Pater is not an uknown name in the metal/gothic underground as he was noticed before with his various projects like is the funeral doom act Tempestuous Fall or dark wave project The Crevices Below, all worth checking out, but Midnight Odyssey is a culmination of all his past endeavours. Shards Of Silver Fade is an album, actually a double album, that will take some of your time, it has more than 140 minutes of music, but once you'll get drowned in its bewitching atmosphere that it offers you'll be addicted, trust me.

Shards Of Silver Fade is an otherwordly musical journey that will take your mind into the places you can't even imagine. Once the first notes begin to play the whole new world opens up, a travel through ancient world, pagan lands, middle earth, witnessing heroic battles, going into galaxies unknown, yet it makes you find the place in the universe, being given a spiritual connection with everything around you, making you feel alive and very much part of the existence around you. There's so much of emotion, anger, melancholy, even nostalgia, everything wrapped in the elegant and touchy soundscape. It's epic by all means, the majestic cinematic ambiances are so vivid, still the main body leans to atmospheric black metal. But don't be misguided by that, as the music offers much more, a lot of soaring symphonic passages, doom metal, even some folk, gothic, dark wave, neoclassical, metalgaze, spacious electronics and dark ambient elements are present there. Shards Of Silver Fade deserves the full attention from the listener and it's not that difficult to reach it as there's so much going on, yet everything is so smoothly connected into one mesmerizing entirety which will reveal all of its secrets after a couple of consequent listen.

To turn a blind eye
And never see
The claws of doom
Forever coming for you

The biggest accent is on massive synths and in some occasions when the songs get the true black metal vibe can be a bit similar to those of Dimmu Borgir on Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, then on more dreamy soothing sequences I find it somewhere near to those of Arcana or Ulver, but yet often keeping the atmosphere so very magical and dense. The highly dramatic pathos is often enriched with variety of different vocals, from heroic melody, melacholic deep vocals, kind of depressive blackened shrieks, chants, typical heavy metal singing to some death metal grunts and much more, in a word stunning and making you go all goose-pimply. Then the guitars, from gentle acoustic passages to tremolo picked black metal and heavy riffing, Dis Pater always keeps the line very melodious, sometimes a bit similar to the most atmospheric moments of Burzum or Summoning, yet on others the viking era of Bathory comes in mind and I believe that Primordial, Alcest and Woods Of Desolation were as well a part of metal influence for Midnight Odyssey. On the other hand also names like Dead Can Dance and Die Verbannten Kinder Evas to name a few come in mind. Dis Pater's dark wave elements of his project The Crevices Below are nicely inserted here and there, just give a listen to the gloomy "A Ghost In Gleaming Stars" which so morbidly closes the first disc. It must be appreciated how well all those elements from before counted bands gain a new dimension within the songs on this album and not only, Midnight Odyssey offers some kind of musical experience you can't find that often.

This visionary night voyage which connects our ancient pagan past with the apocalyptic feelings of a cosmic death gets its peak within the second part, in the absolutely stunning slowly evolving doomy "Asleep Is The Fire", how fantastic is the part when the tearful synth part in the middle of the track transforms into a proper blackgaze drive. What a marvelous crossing and this is just one of many. How greatly and with kind of ease the solemn emotive atmosphere is reached, I'm out of words, really... How well is the pace kept in the level with those pounding drum beats and powerful bass lines that hide in the background. Not to mention the warm spacious ambiance of "Starlight Oblivion" opening up with ethereal new wave elements or the evocative touching beauty of magical "Darker Skies Once Radiant" and the thumping tribalistic seductive percussions of the title track. I'll keep it to your imagination what everything is hidden in here, but trust me that you won't regret every single moment once you start the journey of Shards Of Silver Fade. Esoteric and fascinating, captivating dark, melancholic and meditative, a true cosmic work of art and will be a disgrace if you miss it.

This is now the end
The plagues will begin
Come infinity
Die inside of me
View the astral plain
The light has been detained
Come eternity

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 10/10