06 Dec 2019 - Thorsten
Blackened-Ritual-Chamber-Music | Red Nebula | Release date: 06 Dec 2019
Apocalyptica as a reference is not the best idea, but which reference should one give when the ensemble plays metal without an electric guitar - of course they can’t riff it out.
A metal quintet consisting of acoustic guitar, electronic bass, two cellos and violin. A quintet consisting of what? Yeah, right four acoustic instruments and an electric bass. 25 years ago most of us would have smirked at such a lineup in context of harder music. But since Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by four cellos this is no hurdle anymore. Then a lot of symphonic metal bands followed a path laid out by some bands like Blind Guardian, Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride. As nowadays anything is possible, it is not astonishing at all to hear a band like Hvile I Kaos. The five-piece from the USA call their style of music Black Ritual Chamber Music.
The sound is dominated by the two cellos which is not a bad thing as their sometimes pretty sharp intonation definitely purveys a lot of darkness that is being enforced by the violin providing a lot of sonorous melodies that lead you onto a path towards the black light. Interestingly, the guitar and the bass are the least-dominant instruments within the ensemble.
Interesting about the three tracks (not including the spoken word bonus track “Outro”) is that they are not boring but able to take on a journey starting with “An Inviting Afterglow” and proceeding with the second track “Grand Darkness Engulfs” as the centerpiece with its five different parts. It takes you on a path through a blizzard and up the snowy mountain to the summit. On the other side the snow is thawing under a warm black sun and finally along the glacier is melting and everything is swimming away showing the muddy, washed-up Winter Green – the namesake of the final part “A Shock of Winter Green”.
Whether we can really call this “black” ritual music remains to be answered individually, however, this is not important at all. This is an instrumental album that is more fun than one could imagine when thinking of its predecessors because it can convince with all its harmonies and flow. A well-conceived composition for bleak rituals.