In case you missed it is our new regular feature which highlights outstanding albums, from the last 5 years, which may have passed you by.
Album: Empyrean Fire
Why? Empyrean Fire may have been Chernaa’s first full length, but you certainly couldn’t tell! The execution was confident, with every player a master of his instrument, sharing the spotlight equally and sacrificing ego for the benefit of the material.
Ruthlessly expanding upon black metal’s often self-imposed restrictions, this post black metal excursion into charred emotion echoed to the tune of a soul aflame, churning and broiling in self-doubt and paralysing anxiety. Chernaa offers no protection from these feelings. Instead, they encourage you to explore the darker corners of your heart and let you release the pain via a musical catharsis, one built around the harshest black metal and the mellower soundscapes of shoegaze.
The experience may be bleak but it is truly immersive and, as such, Empyrean Fire is an engaging experience from first note to last. “Pink Powder” sets the tone straight on – a raging flame of insistent post black metal – while “Alice Syndrome” then takes you off guard, beginning with singing birds, then rolling over you with its wall of sound and frantic screaming. “As I Succumbed” is a highlight. Sung with a clean voice, it shows an ever more vulnerable side to the band and it is this balanced contrast between subtlety and rage that is the principle success within the whole album. It never sounds forced and always works naturally in the context of the songs.
Empyrean Fire was an excellent debut from a band who intrinsically understand their craft. 9/10