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Review: Midnight Odyssey - Firmament
Midnight Odyssey

Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 69:56
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 13, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.6/5 (92%) (5 Votes)

This one caught me by surprise, as on first spin I was not impressed at all. Some days my tolerance for ambient music is just a bit low. Not that this is an ambient album, but it does have a lot of those elements. This disc was originally released as a self-produced album last year, but now it is getting a proper pressing, and it should, as this is really a fine example of how to mix ambient with Black Metal properly.

Very much in the vein of Blut Aus Nord and similar bands, Firmament is a long, drawn out album rich in keyboards and ambient music but not overloaded with them. There are only a few ambient-only tracks, and the rest is all sweeping, melodic Black Metal with a lot of epic feeling in the riffing and sparse vocals. The vocals are a problem for me, as they are of the falsetto-screech variety that I find, frankly, ridiculous, and so their lack of presence for most of the running time is just fine. The flaws on this disc are ones common to this sort of music: the compositions sometimes drag, and the slow, moody approach is not always capable of sustaining interest through the entire song. I think Midnight Odyssey are definitely onto a good sound, and I will be looking for more output from this band, as there is some great talent on display in the songwriting. Firmament is not a masterwork, but I can hear that this might be a band capable of great things in the future, and so I highly recommend that fans of this kind of intellectual, moody music check this disc out.

Track Listing:
  1. From Forest to Firmament
  2. Nocturnal Prey
  3. Departing Flesh and Bone
  4. A Host for Ghosts
  5. As Dark and Ominous As Stormclouds
  6. Salvation Denied
  7. Storms of Fire and Ice
  8. From Firmament to Forest
  9. From Beyond the 8th Sphere
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