Genre : Atmospheric black metal
Release : February 14th 2014 on Northern Silence Productions.
I'm usually not much into bands' comparisons, you know. But speaking about Emyn Muil without evoking Summoning a little second would be pretty dumb. Yes, Emyn Muil really follows the path of the mostly acclaimed austrian duet, but follows it in the right direction. So make your choice : either you're looking for something similar to Summoning because they're obviously going to split-up quite soon and Túrin turambar dagnir glaurunga will be a good pick, either you call it a rip-off and you can move to something else.
I'll pick the first option, because if Emyn Muil re-uses midi-like melodies, synthesized drums, shrieking vocals and walls of sounds, it's really well-crafted and worth being acclaimed, as it's a success where many others failed. Indeed, the main issue of that epic black metal genre is the lack of epicness (hence its name) and on my side, I tend to think it is quite linked to the songwriting of synths. Either you find the right tunes and it becomes easy to add the necessary layers to make it good, either you can't make anything catchy and your attempt is lost. Good point for Emyn Muil, synths melodies and drum patterns are the first things which strike with goodness here. Once you feel good on that side, you usually hope for vocals to be fine also. Not only the black metal ones strike with coherence and good production, but the various kinds of cleans (be it choirs, whispers,...) fit this album very well. Single thing I could quickly blame is the length of the songs. Being often too short, you're taken out of the mood as soon as you get into it. Good example of this problem would be 'Arise in Gondolin', which sounds awesome and ends way too fast. Bad point as epicness is, for most listeners, related to longer songs. But the album as a whole, clocking for some 50 minutes, is just as long as you would want it to. As there are no real letdowns either, it remains intense and pleasant for its whole playing time, and easily leads you to hit the replay button.
It's actually quite stunning how Emyn Muil cleverly follows the path of his masters and once again, it's up to you to give a clap to Túrin turambar dagnir glaurunga for its quality or to blame it for its obvious influences. Call it lack of creativity if you want, it probably is in terms of musical genre, but definitely not in terms of songwriting. And seriously, if you enjoyed what was good and faded away with years, why not following what successfully rose from its ashes? Túrin turambar dagnir glaurunga is great in itself and as such, deserves the associated praise.
Personal highlights : Arise in Gondolin, Path of the doomed.
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