Back once more into the comforting arms of atmospheric/ambient black metal. It is a place I like to be, I admit, as I often think of them as soundtracks to lost films. Here it is all about the atmosphere and the progression towards something, the journey. So does this Italian maestro make it worthwhile?
I would write out the PR sheet but it’s something I would suggest is hunted down if you really must. Suffice to say it’s all very Greek and as you would expect from the title a somewhat philosophical wandering through creation and such. Split into two parts, an ‘aggessive’ part relatively speaking and a more ambient part this is a work which initially bears a little resemblance to a less rhythmic take on one man black metal such as Exiled From Light mixed with the keyboard approach of early Mortiis and farther back Daemonium. The vocals slip in nicely, adding much needed grit to the waves off sound and keyboards and even at it’s most aggressive this is relaxing music, deep enough to sink into. I admit I hear the influence of Dis Pater in much of this genre but here I feel reasonably justified in invoking it as the classical hues are at the heart of this album. There is also a thoughtful feel that edges towards a less dense Caanan too. Both good bedfellows and meant as real compliments.
Lord Agheros in the first Chapter produces a sombre journey, but with hidden teeth; a slow progression through darker urges, perhaps, but wrapped in rich surroundings. Very early Arcana in it’s baroque and dramatic approach, it works well and it does pull me into our world. Touches of classical guitar here and there separate the haunting pull of the main themes and the black metal vocals are the oddly seductive siren to convince you to follow.
Part 2 is almost entirely absent of the black metal trappings, instead immersing itself in finely played piano and classical guitar pieces amidst the softer, more still than rolling keyboards. It is still darkly beautiful but how far you can go with this will depend on how far you wish to move from the metal. For me though these languid pieces are fine mood music, seamlessly composed and played, slowly allowing the fading harshness of Part I to dissolve and the broader landscape appear but the solitary nature of the sound remains.
“Forgive me, your Majesty, I am a vulgar man but my music is not.” intones a voice in one moment. I know nothing of the man but the music is indeed far from vulgar. It is refined, rich and a comfort on a dark night.
If ambient classical with black metal influences sounds intriguing then Lord Agheros is offering an audience with you. Perhaps you should sit down for just a while. Try it and see. There is much on offer.