This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Please consider supporting this website by disabling your ad-blocker. This website does not use audio ads, pop-ups, or other annoyances. And please support Terra Relicta by giving a little donation if you can! Thank you!!!

Random album

Shylmagoghnar - Transience (2018) - Review

Band: Shylmagoghnar
Album title: Transience
Release date: 29 June 2018
Label: Napalm Records

01. Transience
02. The Dawn Of Motion
03. As All Must Come To Pass
04. This Shadow Of The Heart
05. The Chosen Path
06. No Child Of Man Could Follow
07. Journey Through The Fog
08. Life

This year seems to be a fantastic one for fans of atmospheric black metal, just think of Soul Dissolution or Harakiri For The Sky, and now Napalm Records offers us another amazing release in similar style, not really in the vein of the things that came out recently through this label, but it's an astonishing, lets say, but just conditionally atmospheric black metal album by Dutch duo with a strange name Shylmagoghnar. This is the second offering by this band, their debut, Emergence, set the fans of this genre at fire in 2014, but on Transience, the two, Nimblkorg (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals) and Skirge (vocals, lyrics), show even more elaborated piece of sonic art that transcends the borders of the genre. It's difficult to talk just about atmospheric black metal here, because the two in their music use various elements that are taken from melodic death metal, progressive metal, post-metal, classic heavy metal, melodic thrash and as well folk metal.

Transience consists of eight quite lenghty, some almost epic tracks that are thriveing on opposites, here raw soundscapes meet pure elegy, and destruction gives way to harmony. Lyrically the album is about the themes of our existence in all its monumental beauty and horrible chasms, but what really counts is the music which even if it is made of lenghty tracks doesn't loose the pace and flow for a second, thus the listener is constantly overwhelmed by a magnificient drive and intricate song structures that should keep the interest from start to finish and believe me that in the end you'll want more of this. It's elegant, not really the stuff for "true" black metallers, and maybe too varied for post-metallers, but it's shockingly good and cosmicly vibrant.

Already the amazing album titled opener, which in a way connects this album with their debut, sets the stakes very high, it's maybe the only one that plays a bit more safe with absolutely mesmerizing melodies and captivating rhythms. Full of energy, it's nicely building up the tension and shows that Shylmagoghnar might be that missing link between early In Flames, Borknagar, Moonsorrow, Dimmu Borgir, early Opeth, Amon Amarth, Wolves In The Throne Room and maybe also a tiny bit of Alcest if I dare to mention these names at this point. The harsh, powerful and abrasive vocals are dynamic enough and nicely complements with the music. Guitars are simply breathtaking, bass lines are steady, drums are played with mastery and as well the haunting keys are absolutely well placed when most necessary to add that cherry on the cake to the already dense ambiance.

The amazing instrumentals like is "The Dawn Of Motion" or "The Chosen Path", don't really need any vocals, because the music is so well balanced, vibrant, techical and constantly harmonic. More and more that we delve into the album more progressive elements are included, for example the most devilish track here "As All Must Come To Pass" has something that reminds me to early albums of both, Opeth and Dimmu Borgir, yet mixed so well together that brings shivers down the spine. Throughout the album you'll find many intriguing chord progressions and quite often really multi-layered atmospheric song structures. Agonizing screams from the abyss melt gracefully with captivating melodies and absolutely astonishing keys, and yet there is place for guitar leads that are somehow shyly triggering from this sonic mass, just listen to the progressive/black/death creation "This Shadow Of The Heart" and you'll get my point, even if this is the track that I like the least. Shylmagoghnar as well masterfully add doomy parts in the adventurous "No Child Of Man Could Follow", where we can hear also some clean spoken vocals that add a certain cinematic feel. The pagan/folk metal vibe is more than evident in the mesmerizing melancholic instrumental "The Chosen Path" and even more in "Journey Through The Fog". The album then closes with another fantastic epic instrumental named "Life" which might take the listeners spirit into heights with its stunning melodies and absolutely fantastic yet smooth mood changes.

Shylmagoghnar did one of the absolute masterpieces of what we can conditionally call atmospheric black metal and it's almost hard to believe that all this was done just by two musicians. The album has that necessary flow, it has drive, density, catchiness and it's well balanced, yet it's enough dark, sometimes melancholic, blackened, technically perfect, well produced and in an astonishing manner unites many elements into one hell of a playful coherent sonic mass. It's a rich album that unveils more and more with every consequent listen. The only thing that I don't like that much is the front cover artwork, but that's of a minor importance. It's not that Shylmagoghnar did anything exceptionally new or groundbreaking, they simply did a great album that should be considered as one of the highlights of 2018.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10