Empyrium – Into the Pantheon (Live in Leipzig 2011) (2013)


Having been a huge fan of Empyrium since their 1996 release “A Wintersunset...”, when we heard that they would be giving their first live concert in the band’s history at the 2011 WGT in Leipzig, Germany, our plane tickets and festival accommodations were booked in an instant. As one of those magical moments were a band that never played live comes together, this show was set to be a very special event. Featuring a ridiculous live line-up with musicians from bands like Alcest, Les Discrets, Neun Welten, Dornenreich, amongst others, the band’s music was surely going to be brought to life in a very accurate manner.

Arriving at the venue almost two hours before the show, we managed to be almost at the beginning of the line. Talking with super excited Empyrium fans just made the experience even more impressive and generated even more expectation amongst all the people gathered there. The live DVD version of this release manages to capture with great precision the magic of this night thanks to the crystal clear recording of the music and the HD video that was used to capture the event.

After filling the Pantheon venue to capacity, the band opened the show with “The Days Before the Fall”. During this mellow track, we had been lucky enough to have a photo pass for the event (to see our Empyrium pictures go here), so we got to sit right in front of the massive live band. With three guitars, a set of string instruments and Schwadorf and Thomas Helm in the middle of things, the night kicked off with a magical atmosphere, unlike anything we have felt or seen before. As the band went into their second song “The Franconian Woods in Winter's Silence”, we started to get goose bumps since it is one of our favorite songs, the DVD does great justice in capturing this vibe.

With the tracks like “Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays” and “Heimwärts” being presented in their full glory, the DVD does a great job into showing how the live band executed them to perfection. Schwadorf and Thomas Helm’s intensity is greatly captured in this live release, showing them perfectly deliver all the vocals and whispers of Empyrium’s songs. Switching to his electric guitar, Schwadorf switches into the heaviest song of their set: “Mourners”. Another one of our favorite songs gave us immediate chills when listening to the opening violin section and the distorted guitar riffs that accompany the harsh vocals. The band, again, nailed this song and the DVD captures all the magic behind this.

As we can go over each track in this release, we have generally highlighted the overall experience behind being at the concert, and how the DVD captures this. All of the songs the band played in this show are magical in their own way, and they are perfectly brought to life by the skill of the musicians selected by Schwadorf for this show. The only issue we have with this release is the very awful cover art (in our opinion), that looks like a bootleg DVD you buy in a subway station, but you should not be put out by this since the recording quality is top notch.

With all the musicians sitting down for this concert, the whole experience felt like a classical music recital, and Empyrium’s music deserves nothing less than that. All the members of the live band are fans of Empyrium and you can tell based on how much they are into the music when the camera pans over them. During the documentary section of this live production, we have Schwadorf talking about all the history of the band, their musical style changes, and how the whole idea of this concert happened. If you are a fan of the band, this 100 minute documentary will give you all the details you have ever wanted to know about Empyrium and their few select live shows, as well as plans for the future. Having waiting for two years for this release to come out, we have to say that it is worth the wait, and more importantly, completely worth your money.

Band: Empyrium Album: Into the Pantheon (Live in Leipzig 2011)

Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: September 24th, 2013

Oficial Site Social Media

Genre: Neo-Folk (recent) / Dark Symphonic Metal (past)

Country: Germany

Rating: 95/100

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