Idylls Of The Last King / Anglachel

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Friday, April 14, 2023
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Note: once again a sense of charity floats behind this release. All donations will go to charity-programs in Ukraine that focus on orphans out there. Respect!

Also respect for another in-depth conceptual approach, a critical-philosophical manifest about civilization’s past, our currents existence, and what future might be like. It’s about man’s competition with the gods, our arrogant nature that tries to overpower the essence behind / within Mother Earth, and our inevitable struggle to survive, gasping for air, in penance and pain. The mythological figure of Prometheus is a more-than-decent protagonist during this aurally-defined conceptual journey, who ‘gave a face raised on high to man, and commanded him to see the sky and raise his high eyes to the stars’. It's about loss, disbelief, defeat, yet also hope, strength, survival.

And this conceptual experience gets sonically performed by two exceptionally fine DS-acts, i.e. Idylls Of The Last King from Cyprus, and Greek act Anglachel. Both of them contribute with three compositions (about five to eight minutes each). The cover-art is, if I am not mistaken, a reinterpretation of The Torture Of Prometheus or Prometheus Bound by Luca Giordano, expressing the penance and pain we have to go through.

The first three compositions are created and performed by Idylls Of The Last King. All former releases by this project do have a comparable approach, yet each time, I guess, the focus was slightly different, with an emphasis of Dungeon Synth, (Dark) Ambient, or one of the many sub-approaches involved. Well, this time that’s exactly the same. Idylls Of The Last King have not evolved into a completely different outfit, yet the focus is slightly / smoothly distinctive once more. Opener From Darkness… To Illumination (the most lengthy piece out of three) shows a rather enlightened accentuation, without ignoring the underlying dark-edged fundamental. This composition starts in an esoteric vein, modestly epic and referring to a certain Cosmic / Astral-oriented form of Ambient Music (little Berlin School injected), with a certain neo-symphonic orchestration as guideline. At about half of the epic, things turn murkier, more gloomy. Step by step, the multiple synth-lines (many fine-tuned and perfectly-balanced harmonies of synth-majesty) evolve into a mysterious dreamworld, somewhat capricious yet incandescent in essence. Glorious drum-beats, although modest in execution, craftily join, as well as bombastic shades of aural gloom, turning the whole in a rather semi-martial form of Dungeon Synth-like orchestra. Chained Above A Raging Sea, then again, initially adds elements from icy Winter Synth at the one hand, and distantly blustering yet victorious ambience at the other. Soon the whole gets injected by both astral-oriented and epic components, inevitably morphing towards the expression of some supernatural power that exceeds knowledge, vindication and conception. You will find the same identity behind the concept of A Symbol Carved In The Sky, even-though the sonic content differs once again. This third, and last, track, opens with that specific astrallized timbre, soon morphing over towards the magic area of Epic Dungeon Synth, dreamlike, heroic and mysterious at once.

Tracks four, five and six have been written and executed by Greek musician Admetos, whom you might know from the blackened solo-outfit Faunus and sympho-epic duo Elegos. As from the very beginning, a certain grotesquery gets exposed. Beware: ‘grotesquery’ is often a negative thing; an expression of fake exaggeration somehow. In this case, I did use it in its most positive sense, like in: overwhelming or, more specifically, dramatic. Opener Fighting The Gods, for example, is an expression of the versatility. Bombastic fragments, symphonic parts, tragic excerpts, martial pieces and ethereal sections interact organically, with an abundant amount of keyboard-lines and additional percussions. Quite the same goes for Enlightenment Of Men, i.e. the diverse and rich use of synths (with so many interpretations) and percussions (martial beats, distant cymbals, epic drums and ritual percussions). And with Against The Violence Of Authority, this quest into martial, Ambiental and fantastical territories climbs up towards a mostly magisterial reign. Dark Ambient, Dungeon Synth, Martial Industrial, Symphonic Neo-Classical and Cinematic Music from any source whatsoever get canalized into a mighty aural adventure, performed through droning synths, mysterious keyboards, additional voices and drums, and a whole gamma of fantasy and imagination. The last half turns towards a dark-electronic soundscape that combines both heroic bravery and anesthetizing chimera, with doomed bass-lines and oppressive percussions. Once more, a hint of Tolkienish solemnity might appear.

This split is more than an adventure through sonic and spiritual spheres. Both projects offer such eminent material; Aural Art that exceeds the limitations of any specific genre, gathering the best elements from related approaches into one wealthy audible voyage…