Album: Of Dying Lights
Release Date: 30th March 2019
Record Label: Flowing Downward/Fólkvangr Records
The mastermind of Dwarrowdelf, Tom, kindly sent me a copy of his second album Of Dying Lights to review, after I reviewed his first, The Sons of Fëanor. After really enjoying the first, of course I was more than happy to listen to the second.
An atmospheric introduction, with guitar and flute, greets us in Arien. Then more distorted guitars come in, and the layers of instrumental increase. There is a slow buildup and a good depth of sound. The main instrumental reminds me a bit of Insomnium. There is a piano and strings section which calms things down, before the main instrumental comes back and we hear clean vocals. There is a lot of distortion on the guitars, but there isn’t really a true black metal feel. The Withering Woods has a very slightly heavier feel than Arien, and the instrumental picks up pace. There is a wider vocal range on this track. There is an almost sci-fi interlude with synth sounds. There are distinct sections to this track, but it is continuous and flows really well.
Where Daylight Dies has a sorrowful introduction on piano, and there is a slower pace again when the full instrumental kicks in. There is more woodwind, and as we get female vocals the pace increases. There are a lot of layers in this track, and they meld together really well. The Years of the Trees has the piano fade in; it is emotional and hopeful. The strings come in, and you feel at one with nature. I could easily find myself in the middle of nowhere listening to this, and being completely at peace. There is more synth, and some flutes, and overall this track has a fantasy movie soundtrack feel to it.
The Line of Thrór has a change of feel, with heavily distorted guitar, once again with an Insomnium feel. There is a flute low in the mix, and blast beats are more prominent in this track. The track’s theme involves Khazad-dûm, has a dwarven feel. Organ and Gregorian feel chants, much in the style of Misty Mountains Cold opens Minas Anor. The track is slow, melodic, and atmospheric, with clean vocals. There is an interlude which strips the instrumental right back, with an orchestral interlude, before it builds back up to the full instrumental again.
Home of the Dead ends the album, with synth strings which provide a slow and sorrowful atmosphere. The percussion sounds out of time, but this is on purpose. The distorted guitar makes this track indeed feel “final”. There are harsh vocals and fast drums, and the timing of the percussion starts to make more sense. We end with choral clean vocals and a string interlude, a fitting goodbye.
As I have said a few times before, atmospheric black metal is something I listen to, but not on a regular basis. I am much more a happy, jolly folk metal fan. However, in times when I need to be calm, or really want to relax, it is exactly the kind of thing I listen to. Again the quality of this Dwarrowdelf album is incredible, and the composition is almost faultless. There is clearly a lot of thought and creativity that goes into creating a Dwarrowdelf album, and for anyone that is a fan of atmospheric black metal, I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on what Dwarrowdelf is up to in the future.
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