Twilight - _Monument to Time End_
(Southern Lord, 2010)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (9 out of 10)
It's probably time to retire this "supergroup" appellation. Not only have cross-discipline collaborations become commonplace -- de rigueur, even -- in the extreme metal genre, but since people are already used to describing new music as "a cross between [band x] + [band y] with a splash of [band z] for good measure", it's tempting to want to literalize those comparisons when members of two or more recognizable bands actually -do- get together and jam.

Case in point: Twilight is a fairly robust meeting of the minds spearheaded by Black Judd (Nachtmystium) and featuring Aaron Turner (Isis), Stavros Giannopolous (Atlas Moth), N. Imperial (Judas Iscariot, too many others to count), Sanford Parker (Minsk) and Robert Lowe (Lichens, Om). Now, you would rightfully assume that if you cherry picked the defining elements of those bands and tossed them into a blender, you'd end up with an unlistenable mess on your hands.

_Monument to Time End_ is nothing like that at all. With rotating vocals and no fewer than four guitarists juggling lead and rhythm duties, there is actually very little eminently recognizable in the Twilight oeuvre, individual efforts subsumed in a coordinated cacophony of avant black metal. There's something here for any fan of experimental metal: "The Cryptic Ascension" cultivates a forlorn blackened doom vibe for several minutes before turning loose the blast beats like a pack of wild dogs; "Decaying Observer" is bookended by frenzied sheets of discordant black metal, with pulsating distant feeds of droning electronics sandwiched between; and, closing things out, "Negative Signal Omega" is largely comprised of a lingering, industrial chant.

In fact, if there's a common thread between these eight tracks, it's that the brutality is always offset by ambient, reflective interludes. By all accounts a riveting testament to the strength of Chicago's contemporary metal scene.


(article published 31/10/2010)

9/19/2005 T DePalma 6.5 Twilight - Twilight
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