Absentia Lunae - In Umbrarum Imperii Gloria

Avant garde black metal -- very original. A more watered-down version of 1349, Marduk, or Conqueror. As the album cover portrays a lion slain, the music on this release evokes tragic images of the mighty having fallen. The mood is that of the pure pathos, as if from a war campaign with outcome less than favorable.

It is a progression from the album's opening tune of "Fortis Cardere, Cedre Non Protest" as preparation for battle with a back-drop of military snares, some goth piano and the Roman general giving a pep-talk to his troops, ala Knute Rockne, to the conclusion of the record, with "Memneso On" in which a priest offers final sacraments for the fallen, and we can easily imagine the brave souls of warriors lost in battle traversing across the great divide into the afterworld as their bodies are burned in a funeral pyre.

What happens in between is pure surreal chaos. "A Mid Summer Spiritual Holocaust" and "Subliminal Aeternitate" are the heat of battle itself. Spastic drum blasts interspersed with riveting fills, razor-sharp edged guitars which occasionally break into esoteric sections of free-flow dementia in the form of dissonant arpeggios, and the sounds of battle being accentuated of course by the disdainful growls of agony from the general Ildanach, as he barks out battle commands.

As the album progresses, the battle seems to be getting progressively worse for our team, the Romans. "Modern Cathedral," "Died Story Manifesto," and "Manipulated Statues Of Flesh" would seem to suggest a hasty retreat from a campaign that has gone terribly wrong, with perhaps one last spirited reprise in "Pale Lune," which at last segues into the instrumental "Memneso On," which is reflective and mournful. I should mention that in this tune as well as the previously mentioned "Manipulated Statues," the bass makes a definite contribution to the melodic texture and framework of the song. In fact bassist Sephrenel adds many tasty bass fills throughout the album in addition to superbly holding down the bottom.

1. Occasus Professio (Fortis Cadere, Cedere Non Potest)
2. Mid Summer Spiritual Holocaust
3. Subliminal Aeternitate
4. Modern Cathedral
5. Died Story Manifesto
6. Manipulated Statues of Flesh
7. Pale Lune
8. Memneso On
Serpens Caput Productions
Reviewer: twansibon
Feb 26, 2009
Next review: Absenta - Baeticum

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