Twilight - _Twilight_
(Southern Lord, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (6.5 out of 10)
Azentrius; Wrest; Malefic; Imperial; Hildolf. Like living tarot cards, this quintet of distinguished black metal personalities hint at both the potential fortune and disaster that lie ahead as the crew hoists their patchwork sail under the sky's amber furnace.

As the latest music "super-group" being pimped toward the mediumstream buyer, Twilight's CD is more or less a raucous affair mollified by the dream-like influence of Xasthur and Leviathan, and expressing some rock aesthetics peculiar to Nachmystium and Krieg. To their credit, the band does not completely buckle to satisfy the au courant standards of any crowd, even if the members' main projects affect this to some degree; at least it can be said that while some will be surprised with how far they've gone, others will be disappointed with how little they strayed. While some individual tracks reflect more collaboration and balance of roles, the album as a whole is rather uneven and schismatic.

I am more perplexed by the decision to let stay tracks that feel obviously as the creation of only a single member ("Winter Before", "Exact Agony, Take Life") and the non-threatening production that enervates even the album's more worthwhile moments with too solvent distortion on the six strings (balanced intermittently by the bass guitar). Those tracks that feel mono-composed, whether they are or not, are simplified to the degree that it would not matter who else was playing them; and so sounding like throwaways anyway, become irrelevant, exposing either poor discernment or that maybe some need more inspiration than others.

At the same time, it's hard not to be impressed by the multi-headed approach to vocals; particularly Azentriu's job on the opening track "Woe Is the Contagion", the creative nearly math-rock interplay between Wrest's off-kilter drum fills and guitars contorted into dissonant purges on "Hopeless Etheride", or the epic construction of "White Fire Under Black Text" -- the most brilliantly written song out the nine, displaying a veritable possession by spirits inhabiting a single body, and each allocated rhythm coming together in exquisite malice.

Who knows yet if this will play out as long as, say, Arcturus? Twilight seems to offer its members a chance to act on the influence they hold over each other without defeating the uniqueness or boundaries of their initial projects. The future of Twilight depends on how those bands develop in the future, what new catharsis builds from within, and ironically we might expect a change because of the experience itself. For now, this disc is entitled to some mild applause, or as the band may prefer: self-destruction in their honor.


(article published 19/9/2005)

10/31/2010 J Ulrey 9 Twilight - Monument to Time End
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