Empyrium has a way of making fans way for long periods of time for new music, but yet when they release something, all is forgotten as the band’s sonic magic appeases even the most disgruntled fan. Just making us wait seven years, instead of twelve as in the last time, Schwadorf and Thomas Helm return with over 52 minutes of music that manages to merge the band’s original ingenuity and ferocity, with their more refined and Folky sound of their later releases.
The release opens with the solemn acoustic guitars of “The Three Flames Sapphire”, a track that slowly moves into more complex territories with the lush clean vocals of Thoman Helm and layers of additional classical elements. However, one of the most interesting parts is the introduction of distorted guitars and harsh vocals, turning the track’s mood in a completely new dimension and bringing back “A Wintersunset...” vibes, and this is just the first song.
As “A Lucid Tower Beckons on the Hills Afar” keeps the heaviness going at first, the band transitions perfectly into Doomy territories and back to the Neo Folk darkness we also love from the band’s “Weiland” days. A personal favorite has to be the sombre “The Oaken Throne”, with its lush vocal arrangements and dramatic instrumentation. The band’s cinematic sound makes songs like “Moonrise” and the eerie “The Archer”, truly unique experiences, blending elements from all their years in the scene.
The mood of the album is a complete rollercoaster ride, with epic tracks like “The Wild Swans” showing that blend of both ‘Metal’ and Neo Folk that drew early fans to the band. However, our favorite track to be the album title track with its fierce guitar work, harsh vocals and dramatic transitions that feel completely epic and majestic. As a whole, “Über den Sternen” is one hell of a release that features a bit of all stages of Empyrium in a very cohesive and well-rounded package.
|Album: Über den Sternen
Label: Prophecy Productions
Release: February 26th, 2021
Genre: NeoFolk/Doom Metal