Midnight Odyssey - Firmament
I, Voidhanger Records
Ambient Black Metal
9 songs (1:08:33)
Release year: 2010
I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Goat

A one-man band hailing from Australia, it took me a few tries to be in the mood to write about Midnight Odyssey. Firmament is the kind of daunting listen that makes little effort to draw the listener in, but sits and waits patiently for you to take an interest, and really once you've started listening you'll either sit through the whole thing or turn it off in boredom. Sole member Dis Pater is clearly a fan of early Burzum, the simplistic drumming, the slow yet strident riffs, the shrieky vocal style, the gallons of keyboards... the music is slow and mournful and majestic as you'd expect, the kind of thing that you can't really write unless you've spent a lot of time on your own staring into the night sky. It's not original, but hey, it's effective, and considering that this kind of Black Metal is very easy to find, I can see why I, Voidhanger have re-released it for a worldwide audience.

Is there a huge reason that you should be listening to this over another, similar band? Not really, to be honest, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid Firmament if you do enjoy the style, as Dis Pater is good at it. The synths have a warm, ambient feeling that works well with the slightly fuzzy guitars - only the vocals have any sort of 'typical' bad production, and to be honest the music would have worked better instrumentally. Dis Pater's shrieks are hard to interpret, and it sounds to me as if he's just going 'woooooooooh!' a lot of the time, whilst the surprisingly complex and layered music weaves a hypnotic web underneath that would be much more interesting laid bare - even the bass is audible. Moments like Nocturnal Prey's galloping shimmer are little short of beautiful, and the melancholic to and fro of Departing Flesh And Bone works excellently. As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds doesn't really live up to its name, but Salvation Denied is great, one of the few tracks where the vocals work as intended.

Overall, the vocals are limited enough to make Firmament enjoyable despite them, and my problem with them is probably not one that those real fans of this sort of thing will have. Anyone into keyboard-heavy Black Metal in general will appreciate this, so Summoning fans take heed as much as Striborgers. It's not as eerie and impressive as the best examples of this music, but it's certainly worth a listen.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Nocturnal Prey, Salvation Denied
Goat quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Midnight Odyssey that we have reviewed:
Midnight Odyssey - Shards of Silver Fade reviewed by Andy and quoted 68 / 100
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