|#FOR FANS OF: Atmospheric Black|
Black metal´s realm has been expanding during recent years, showing once again that this genre has become a magnificent cradle for more and more subgenres, which have risen from its dark core. Atmospheric black metal is undoubtedly one of the most prolific ones, both in quantity and more importantly, in quality. Among the most common topics like nature, paganism or darkness, space has become one of the trendiest ones. There are more and more bands which find a very appropriate source of inspiration in the dark vastness of the space. This theme seems to be a great one to create a particularly hypnotic form of atmospheric black metal. Among these bands, there is a one-man project which has especially shone, Midnight Odyssey. This solo project, created in 2007 by Tony Parker, known as Dis Pater, takes inspiration from the aforementioned concept, but also with lyrics dealing with the matter of death, rebirth or nature, caught the attention of some fans even in its earliest demos. This positive first impression was reinforced with the subsequent first and second albums. Dis Pater has shown an enormous talent to create a particularly absorbing form of atmospheric black metal, releasing always quality stuff, but also creating very long albums with a generous duration up to two hours. This aspect could scare off some people as it is obvious that you must have some patience to listen to the full thing. Nevertheless, the quality is in general terms quite high, and though at times some songs can sound disperse, to listen to these works is an experience worth of your time.
Having reached a cult status among fans, Midnight Odyssey is back with a third instalment, which comes four years after its acclaimed sophomore album. The creature is entitled ‘Biolume Part1 - In Tartarean Chains’ and it seems to be the first part of, I guess, a duology or maybe a trilogy. Stylistically this new album doesn´t mark a departure from the previous works as its more like a logic development in the natural search of perfectioning this sound. I am sure that almost no one will complain about this lack of rupture from the project´s trademark sound. Once again Midnight Odyssey offers an atmospheric black metal full of ambience and grandeur, with those well-known cinematic keyboards with its surround sound, making the listener feel immersed in an astral journey. It´s difficult to highlight a sole track as they all conform an immersive soundtrack, but "Biolume" is indeed one of those tracks which irremediable capture out attention making us feel flying in the unattainable sky. Dis Pater has a natural talent to create beautiful key melodies, but Midnight Odyssey´s music is not only good because of the keys, the compositions are well balanced between the most aggressive parts and the majestic mid-tempos. All the tracks contain also good executed riffs. As an album ‘Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains’ sounds like the most focused and accomplished album that Midnight Odyssey has ever recorded. The album lasts, as mentioned, more than one hour, but the tracks don´t contain an unnecessary tightening. The combination of mid-tempo, slow and slightly faster sections with the ever present keys sound better balanced than in any other release. And I sincerely I can´t imagine any fan of this genre which can´t fall in love with immense tracks like "A Storm Before A Fiery Dawn", which doesn´t have a single useless second. This song like many others, sounds as mighty and regal as this genre could demand. As a vocalist, Dis Pater is also a great talent, as his shrieks are powerful and remarkably consistent. As a great addition to the vocal performance, I can´t leave without praising his excellent clean vocals, sounding sometimes like a single dramatic voice or like an epic choir. The excellent album opener "Hidden in Tartarus" is a nice example. These excellent clean vocals have a chance of shining in several tracks of this album, but they have their own especial room in the delicate composition "Pillars In the Sky", a purely ambient track which closes the album in the most solemn way.
In conclusion, Midnight Odyssey has released with ‘Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains’, probably the most focused and refined work to date. It can hardly beat the majesty of tracks like "From a Frozen Wasteland" from the previous album, but the whole album sounds as ethereal and grandiose as you could imagine, while it is simultaneously restrained in the duration of its tracks and it has never lost the focus on composing balanced songs. (Alain González Artola)