The world of Ambient and Atmospheric Metal has, for a long time now, had a certain appeal to my ears. The fascination with all things dark and gloomy, the sinister, the morose, all have wielded a gravitational pull on my auditory senses. I had liked what I had previously heard from the back catalogue of Estonia’s Thou Shell of Death, and so was looking forward to see and hear what this forthcoming release would provide.
The initial feeling I had when listening, was one of a wonderful flowing and completely un tethered sound, channeled with an underlying tone of aggression and dark thoughts. Opening track , “The Night Wind”, sets the mood very well, full of ambient and atmospheric tones, before the power and darkness of the guitar adds that all important element of suppression and causes lost, leading into a part growl, part wail vocal that instils the feeling of lament and solitude. Obviously, and indeed, rightly so, the mood does not differ throughout the duration of the album but is still able to maintain sufficient change and variety to keep things fresh , “The Wind Of Winter”, for example, comes across as a lot darker and faster paced than most of its musical companions on offer, in the main, due to the drum sound being at a much higher tempo.
The album consists of a lowly five songs but as you might expect with this particular genre, that equates to twelve in most other corners of the Metal world. The epic nature of each track, on the whole, resists becoming tedious and repetitive, a point demonstrated well on my own personal favourite piece “The Wood Winter”, a glorious and depressive journey through a musical darkness.
To sum things up, this is an album that, lets face it, is hardly going to be banging on the door of the top forty album charts any time soon but to my ears is an album that is addictive in the extreme, an album, able to cross the boundaries of Black Metal and flourish on so many more levels. If you are a fan of the whole Depressive Suicidal Black Metal scene, then this is going to tick a lot of the right boxes. If you are new to this kind of thing, then here is something that is sufficiently accessible to whet your appetite for more.
1. The Night Wind
2. Her Vivien Eyes
3. The Wind Of Winter
4. The Wood Water
5. Rose Leaves When The Rose Is Dead pt1
Thou Shell Of Death are;
Ingmar – Vocals, Guitars, Programming
Rasmus – Bass
Sander – Drums
‘Sepulchral Silence’ sees release on the 30th of March via Talheim Records