Fall of Empyrean - _A Darkness Remembered_
(Oak Knoll Productions, 2004)
by: T. DePalma (6 out of 10)
The latest full-length from these Arizona doomsters showcases a prim, melodic sound stretched over eight tracks and roughly around 61 minutes. Romantic and solemn, epic with an air of hopeless expiation, Fall of Empyrean treads a similar path as Mourning Beloveth or While Heaven Wept. Guitars cut into silence -- cut into each other as thick rhythmic leads enter and overlap bleak dirges with a light fog of keyboards below. These melodies wallow aptly with the lyrics, as if to sow greater reflection from such fatalism. Impossible outcomes delivered in lurid growls nailed onto the slow measure of the drums. Without fail acoustic breaks intervene into each track, altering tone but not tempo. At least between the opener "The Fading Light" and "Slowly Dying Inside", this de-voluming causes the songs to flow into and complete each other with ease; joined by melancholy gothic strains with some Sabbath-like dreaminess for good measure.

All these songs portray a certain grace in despair, as if every action was the climax of a grand tragedy. That type of writing does start to wear after a time, as atmosphere becomes more like obstruction. The lyrics range from a sunless apocalypse to insulated guilty gloom, specifically a track that involves a suicide following the murder of a wife and new-born son. Expected fair for this side of the genre, your mileage may vary.

Much of _A Darkness Remembered_ is solid and coherent, but becomes unfortunately weighed down by formulaic dynamics and lack of vocal range over these same changes. While portions of this disc are quite effective and memorable, on the whole it comes across as overwhelming for its length and cut-and-dry approach to the genre.

Contact: http://www.fallofempyrean.com

(article published 29/9/2005)

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