Saturday, 9 June 2012

Prometheus Rising - The Embrace Of Night

Self Released 2012

1.The Embrace Of Night Part1: Dusk 2.Cold And Black
3.Fortress Of Long Forgotten Wars
4.Inciting Hatred From Upon The Papal Throne 5.Ufodte Massekren
6.Bile (Spewing Hatred) 7.The Embrace Of The Night Part2: The Natural Sanctuary
8.Fortress Of Desolation 9.Orgasmatron (Motorhead Cover)

‘The Embrace of Night Part1: Dusk’ begins with atmospheric and sombre introduction, hypnotic and repetitive synths and swirling wind samples set the tone. As the music ‘proper’ begins, there’s a great deal of melody on display, the keyboards featuring heavily throughout, guitars are harsh and typically black metal but still manage to retain the melody and atmosphere perfectly. No vocals, so this first track almost acts as an intro. ‘Cold And Black’ see’s the harsh black metal introduced fully, guitars again harsh, with a thrashy edge to them whilst remaining ultimately black metal and not sounding too black thrash. Vocals are as expected, hateful and scathing. Point to note is that the keyboards are nowhere to be heard, seems a little strange given the previous song. ‘Fortress of Long Forgotten Wars’ drips atmosphere from everywhere, the keyboards re-introduced with an almost symphonic edge to them and definitely adding an extra dimension to the band’s sound. The previous track would have benefited from the addition of the keyboards. ‘Inciting Hatred From Upon The Papal Throne’ is as scathing as the band have sounded so far, especially vocally, Carwyn’s voice really standing out here. Whilst the melodic edge to the guitars is retained, the drums (albeit programmed) really spring to life here, blazing away in a torrent of blast beats and ultra-fast double bass drum work. Again however, there’s a distinct lack of keyboards which once again is blaringly obvious and seems to take the edge off the song. There’s nothing in the song writing hand book to say keyboards should be used in every song, but when they are used, they are used heavily and really do add something extra to the songs, so to omit them is disappointing to listen to. I can only assume that that the rest of the tracks are taken from a different recording, because when ‘Ufodte Massekren’ opens up the difference in production is instantly notable because it is absolutely horrendous. There’s a horrible ‘watery’ feel to the vocals which are barely in the mix and offer a very strange listen indeed. Guitars are ultra-harsh which only adds to the ‘watery’ feel, not good!
‘Bile – Spewing Hatred’ confuses things even more, as a more poilished production has returned, so not sure what the previous track was all about, but it definitely did not work! Returned is the melodic tinged, thrashy black metal, the guitar tone here reminiscent of Mayhem. It’s not very often the songs speed up, but when they do, work very well bringing a real brutal edge to the band. Although the faster sections don’t last long and are few and far between, creating an atmosphere has been chosen over all-out speed. Not necessarily a bad thing either. ‘The Embrace of The Night Part 2: The Natural Sanctuary’ is a return to form, hypnotic guitars and keyboards used under harsh vocals which is all held together by simple, but effective mid-paced drums. The production on the drums does seem to have differed from song to song, the hi-hats on the previous song was abysmal but here we hear a very natural drum sound, very ‘believable’ and when the paced is increased it is as good as the band have sounded so far. ‘Forests Of Desolation’ opens up and instantly reminded me of Vinterland, very harsh yet melodic black metal, and very atmospheric indeed. The drum programing seems to have been stepped up a notch here also. The last of the bands own material acts as an outro as there are no vocals, and to be blunt there’s no need for them, for when keyboards are introduced the atmosphere being created is enough to draw the track to its sullen ending, a fitting end (bar the Motorhead cover) to the bands material.
‘Orgasmatron’ is a cracking song and it’s going to be fairly hard to make it sound bad. PR do the song justice, a good song is always going to be a good song, enough said really! Summing up, ‘The Embrace Of Night’ is dripping with atmosphere and melody all combined with harsh yet (sometimes) orchestral black metal. There is however, a distinct lack of cohesion between the tracks, especially when keyboards aren’t used over some of them which gives the cd a disjointed feel. Differing productions on some of the tracks add to the lack of cohesion, ‘Ufodte Massekren’ being the obvious bug bearer. Having said that, there are a lot of good ideas on this album and it really shows a lot of potential. Things to need to be ‘pulled together’ more and I’m sure that Carwyn (the one man behind Prometheus Rising) will be producing some top class atmospheric black metal. A good first effort, dripping in atmosphere and ideas, just needs a bit more work to fully see its potential.

6.5 out of 10

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