Aquilus - Griseus
A Sad Sadness Song
Atmospheric/Symphonic/Black Metal
8 songs (1'19'55'')
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Jared
Archive review

The year 2011 had one outstanding year for metal. I unfortunately wasn’t able to enjoy all the great things metal brought that year due to a variety of reasons. It was a year that I missed out on listening to some truly inspired albums. One in particular, Griseus by Aquilus, has slipped through the cracks and I couldn’t be more than content to finally discover this great band and for that matter this masterful album. An album this good is bound to have multiple people along for the ride to come up with such amazing music. However this is not the case. All music is composed and played by a single man by the name Waldorf. This is his first full length album which is one of the best debuts I’ve heard in quite a long while.

Being a symphonic and black metal fan, (also keeping in mind my love for movie musical scores and classical music) this album came at a great avail. Not only has it come into play during a time that I need music more than ever my life right now, it also has inspired me to get creative with writing music more diligently than ever before. So what is this album all about? This album has a sleek combination of many metal genres and elements. The most dominant is symphonic (classical) and black metal. However, dark ambient fans should rejoice as well. This album has much to offer and is worth any metal heads’ time to give it a much needed listen.

Genre speaking, like I mentioned earlier, this album has a lot different foundations rummaging around in every song. One important thing I would like to mention about the album is that songs are extremely lengthy but worth every second of your time. I know when I buy or listen to an album that lists tracks being over ten minutes or longer, I feel that the entire time I will be hearing the same routine throughout the entire duration. Waldorf went about song writing with much more thought and consideration. Songs will constantly flow from new idea to new idea which ultimately makes for a very enjoyable experience. The first track, Nihil, is a 14 minute track masterpiece. It is a great track to open your mind up to where this band stands musically. Black metal core elements are a dominant feature of every song, but music tends to strive away from it at times deriving a completely unique experience. The best way I can sum up this experience is that this album focuses on a more cinematic listening. The first track really shines with displaying this sort of cinematic experience. After about four minutes into the song, a creepy acoustic melody kicks in to overtake the musical atmosphere. The song then shifts into a very classical sounding piano accompanied by a dark string section. Either this music was done with a real orchestra, or Waldorf has acquired some pretty amazing music software to recreate its cinematic and symphonic moments. It literally is outstanding overall. This album sounds a little like it could be fitting to use in a major motion picture, but going so far may be too much. Needless to say, the song writing can be brutal with guitar and drums, but savors moments that would please anyone who is looking for a relaxing music experience.

This album takes on a neoclassical approach at times but it is also touching the surface of being folk sounding as well. This is heard more within the acoustic guitars which simply are very soothing and just damn beautiful at every junction. In Lands of Ashes is where the acoustic moments polish the record the most. This is no album that you will be choosing to use to get yourself fired up and full of energy. It serves a deeper purpose. The scope of the album is definitely set towards an epic approach, but remains dark like black metal style bands should always be. Waldorf does this quite attractively. Choirs do not grace the album as much as I hoped it would, but when they do make themselves available on the album, they are portrayed in a deep toned manner with definitive dark atmosphere.

Many piano lovers, acoustic fans, and just any fans of black metal will enjoy what this album has to propose. It undeniably would make one of my top choices for the year 2011 (if not my number one pick) and it surprises me that I had not discovered this album sooner. Aquilus is a band that will be new to many, but it’s a discovery that you won’t soon forget. Artists like Waldorf are the kind I look up to most in metal, and one of the reasons metal is so important to me. Talent and a true passion for music reside deep in this album and it is one that I will absolutely listen to for years to come.

Killing Songs :
Jared quoted 97 / 100
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