Towards the end of 2015 I waxed lyrical about Images at Twilight’s debut album, and to this day I still re-visit this epic masterpiece. I was therefore interested to hear that the Images at Twilight mastermind Andre Aaslie is involved in a couple of other projects, namely Abyssic and Profane Burial. Having hunted down their work, Abyssic are now firmly established with me and I’m looking forward to seeing them at this summer’s Midgardsblot festival, but what we are here to consider is Profane Burial’s debut album, “The Rosewater Park Legend”.
Featuring members of Trails of Tears, Viper Solfa, Abyssic, Fight The Fight and Trollfest, Profane Burial certainly have a rich pedigree and it therefore comes as no surprise that this is another gem. ‘The Tower Bell’ opens with short lived Gregorian chants which soon give way to ominous drums and guitars, before the introduction of keyboard melody as everything escalates to a seething maelstrom of symphonic black metal. As the track progresses there are numerous changes in pace, but the melody remains one of the most prominent features.
The album continues with ‘The Stench of Dying Roses (The Children’s Song)’, a nine minute opus, building upon the foundation with a well worked balance of aggression and sweeping melody, leading into ‘The Soldier’s Song’ which has a more foreboding, brooding atmosphere entwined within its mid paced orchestrations.
‘A Different Awakening (A Proclamation By The Priest)’ is predominantly an instrumental piece (with occasional spoken word parts) and brings the symphonic elements to the fore, before ‘An Interlude (Or How the Curse Of Rosewater Park Began)’ redresses the balance sounding like the nefarious offspring of Dimmu Borgir and Stream of Passion!
Blasting drums and black metal growls sit atop the orchestrations and melody for most of ‘The Letters’ giving a solemn ambience, before this passage closes with genteel instrumentation, which contrast nicely with the opening snarls of closing track, ‘The Tale The Witches Wrote’. At nine minutes long this is a challenging listen but is a fitting climax to the album and feels as though it pulls together all of the elements that have been building during the preceding six tracks.
This album is heavy on the orchestration (“cinematic black metal” if you will), and while this could become overpowering the production of this album gets the balance just right so that it serves to augment the heavier elements, adding a rich depth to their sound.
I hope to have the opportunity to catch Profane Burial live at some point, where I suspect these tracks will truly come to life.
(8/10 Andy Pountney)