Penumbra - Seclusion
Season Of Mist
Gothic Metal
8 songs (44'58)
Release year: 2003
Penumbra, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Jack
Album of the month

Having high hopes with a new album by one of your favourite bands can be double-edged sword. On one hand, the result might be so astonishingly enthusiastic that it leaves you speechless and at the same time inexhaustible (a bit like Sirenia's debut At Sixes And Sevens). On the other, the result might be so astonishingly disappointing that the review will never be biased (a bit like... Pestilence's Spheres). Nevertheless, one should never judge an album too rapidly because athough at first time the album might be disappointing, after a couple or more listens the result might just exceed one's biggest expectations.

You have probably guessed it, but that's just the case with Penumbra's latest offering Seclusion. God knows how much I was disappointed after the first spin as I was expecting another bombastic Therion like influenced album. Alas for me the new musical journey of Penumbra is somehow totally different from their sophomore album. Indeed, The Last Bewitchment had alot in common with Therion's Theli album although the band claimed not to be influenced by them. On Seclusion Penumbra changed their music; not fundamentaly, but quite enough to disturb me at first. The orchestrations are less predominent than on their previous album, the music is not as bombastic, the female vocals are less operatic. If you want to compare Penumbra's music with other bands; Within Temptation, After Forever and Epica would be the first names to come to mind. Their music still contains the traditionnal elements of bombastic operatic metal as choirs, angelic female voices and raw male voices, only they are more subtle and better arranged to flow with the music and offer an album with a consistent quality that is compelling.

This is one of the biggest highlights for 2003. Unfortunately this album was done by a french band and will certainly not have the same echoes on the metal scene as if it had been done by a German or a Norwegian band. I recommand to every reader to check this album out because it's worth the monney. Seclusion contains stretches of perfection and shows more than just an expected progression of this talented band into greater musical maturity. This album definitely positions the band on the front of the metal scene as this is almost the perfect chef-d'oeuvre.


Killing Songs :
all of them... sorry for those who mind this !
Jack quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Penumbra that we have reviewed:
Penumbra - The Last Bewitchment reviewed by Jack and quoted 90 / 100
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