Published on Sunday, 13 March 2016 03:00
Album title: Between The Light And The Moon
Release date: 11 March 2016
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
01. Into Darkness Now Your Spirit Flies
02. Ablaze Of Solar Night
03. Between The Light And The Moon
05. Halls Hidden In Eternal Fog
06. Sink Below To Shadow
07. From A Journey Comes The Forgotten
08. Through Oceans Of Stars
09. ...Which Dreams Forgot
The times when Arcana, Elend, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas and similar acts back in the 90s stunned the dark music scene with their unique and innovative approach on the atmospheric and melancholic music is almost forgotten now, but those bands who were in the first place getting their major influence from Dead Can Dance left a huge mark in the later development of many different styles, not only in neo folk, dark ambient or any kind of atmospheric music, but as well in more extreme metal genres, especially in black, doom and gothic metal. Dissvarth are newcommers to the scene and poetically titled album in question, Between The Light And The Moon, is their debut one. Ok, not really newcommers, because both artists behind Dissvarth are well known in the dark metal underground. The Aussie dark minded composer Dis Pater is best known from his magnificient band Midnight Odyssey, and Svarthen of Slovakia's atmospheric black metallers Aeon Winds, thus the name comes from (dis + svarth). In Dissvarth they leave almost completely behind their metal influences and concentrate on the atmospheric, ethereal, yet somehow transcedental side of their music. Main influences could be found in before mentioned bands, but also in Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream to name a few.
I was really missing albums like is this one, at least music done in such a way, albums that need your devotion, but as well easiness and only then the music can bring up strange reflections, strong emotions and bittersweet memories, yet in kind of a darkened sweet way, filled with melancholy and paradoxically hope for a better tomorrow, it can take you on a mind trip into unknown fairytale like dimensions, into vastness of the universe. Between The Light And The Moon is in a way similar experience like last year released Midnight Odyssey' masterpiece Shards Of Silver Fade, but that one was more bewitching and a metal record in its essence, while Dissvarth's sound is based on atmospheric soundscapes, neoclassical music, neo-folk and dark wave. The gloomy resonant synths paint this picture in the first place, but as well it collides perfectly well with acoustic guitars and sparkly piano touches. Reverberate eerie crystalline vocals by both members add a lot of depth and create kind of a tension and dramatic feeling.
Dissvarth's affinity to Midnight Odyssey is well heard, at least in the epic opener "Into Darkness Now Your Spirit Flies". Then again, the early Dead Can Dance influence can be noticed in the short "Between The Light And The Moon" and in the truly transcedental "Sink Below To Shadow". The black metal origins of both members still unintentionally pop up here and there, for example in the suspenseful acoustic guitar driven "Polaris". The ethereal Elend's influence is well evident in for example unique "Ablaze Of Solar Night", or something near to Arcana can be witnessed in the another soothing epic cinematic composition, the closing one "...Which Dreams Forgot", where angelic female vocals of guest singer Gianna really add another dose of magic and blend greatly with Svarthen deep atonal voice. But as well the emotional "From A Journey Comes The Forgotten", or the instrumental bleak piano driven discharge "Halls Hidden In Eternal Fog" and short relaxing acoustic guitar intermezzo "Through Oceans Of Stars", are all while being on the first sight quite simple, nothing but transcending and incredibly intense sonic journeys.
Between The Light And The Moon is full of divergent subtle melodies, it might became even too sweet sometimes, but in connection with the bleak ambient side of those compositions it gains a completely different colour. Compositions and the whole structure could be a bit more coherent, then the sound could be a bit more rich and dense, but thanks to really well flowing atmospheric soundscapes it's not so evident. In its essence this is an album for those who like to be taken away by music, it's dreamy, yet somehow complex, it needs more than just one listen to be properly perceived. Between The Light And The Moon is an album for many types of listeners and I won't be surprised if those into dark ambient, gothic music and even some open minded black metallers will also enjoy in this artistic creation.
Review written by: T.V.