Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb
I, Voidhanger Records
Atmospheric Black Metal
9 songs (102' 35")
Release year: 2021
I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Andy

Given my lukewarm review of the most recent Midnight Odyssey album I got to hear, it might be a bit surprising that I was willing to delve back into Dis Pater's world of new-wave-inflected atmospheric black metal. But despite my prediction that I'd probably leave it alone after a few listens, I ended up revisiting Shards of Silver Fade way more often than I thought I would, not to mention checking out other projects of his. In the meantime Pater released an epic on a more grandiose scale titled "Biolume". Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb has its share of long, atmospheric tracks, but it's certainly more varied than Shards of Silver Fade was.

The first track, Dawn-Bringer, indulges Pater's liking for huge track lengths, topping out at a massive 20 minutes, filled with the synths and clear, cold vocals that are Dis Pater's trademark, along with Summoning-style horns to complete the majestic intro. Thick layers of buzzing guitar distortion are compressed on top of each other to make an abrasive blanket over the synthesizers, with Pater's voice climbing in a wail over the haze. Just as on Shards of Silver Fade, there are some long sections that only consist of atmospheric buildup before the semi-frozen concoction of the rhythm guitar and keyboards rush in. Everything's slow, but even when there is more movement, such as on Golden Orb, it's with slow deliberation; while this album's mood is less unemotional than its predecessors, it still preserves its attitude of cold detachment even on the hymn-like Rise of Thunder.

Usually the tunes are up in the mid-to-high range, but at times we get some black metal vocals and an echo of tremolo riffing, with even a Bathory-style lead beginning Below Horizon. Everything comes wrapped up in such sonic padding that it's only a faint echo of aggression, with even the drumming an electronic, subterranean rumble underground. Even Dis Pater's harsh vocals are softened by this treatment. The occasional folk interlude is sharp and clear, but everything else is wrapped in a murky haze, a deliberate effect rather than an artifact of the production. The final track falls back on the dreamy keyboard dirges of earlier work, with Dis Pater's vocals a calm but introspective match to the synths.

Over time I've grown to enjoy Midnight Odyssey albums, even at their most long-winded, and I liked a lot of what Dis Pater did on this one. The Golden Orb is more varied and upbeat than past efforts, and definitely worth a listen.

Killing Songs :
Rise of Thunder, Below Horizon
Andy quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Midnight Odyssey that we have reviewed:
Midnight Odyssey - Silhouettes of Stars reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Midnight Odyssey - Shards of Silver Fade reviewed by Andy and quoted 68 / 100
Midnight Odyssey - Firmament reviewed by Goat and quoted 74 / 100
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