Album Title: 
A Light In The Lightning
Release Date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Review Type: 

Note before starting off: when I refer to Black Flame, it is not the (great) Italian Black Metal band I am referring to, but a one-man project, also from Italy, that unfortunately stopped its activities in Spring 2019. A pity…

(and oh yes, I have no cover art, so I’ve used the artist’s profile picture)

Anyway, Black Flame was quite an interesting Martial / Epic / Phantasy Dungeon Synth outfit by some Emanuele ‘Murmuur’, with a remarkable evolution in sounds: from oppressive and obscure towards a more enlightened and energetic source of inspiration. It shows the artist’s mental state of mind, and that’s exactly what Music needs to achieve: to be therapeutic and supportive for both composer / musician and listener.

The guy behind Black Flame once recorded a demonstrational thing, entitled as A Light In The Lightning, under another name, Murmuur (Latin for ‘whisper’). It is, and I will quote how Emanuele explained it to me, ‘about a night wandering through mountains; a storm is raging on, there’s no hope of surviving. Suddenly a melody echoes through the mountains and is followed by a wind carrying all the forgotten souls lost in that limbo. The concept was written in a period that seemed to be quite hard and harsh for the musician, and the intent was, as mentioned, therapeutic; and never meant to be released officially. It was like a canalization for frustrations and grief, a quest for salvation and mental rebirth.

That sole Murmuur recording is, unfortunately, a very short, limited one, consisting of two compositions. It starts with the title track, A Light In The Lightning (3:28), which opens, and ends, with the sound of thunder. That’s the storm raging on during that night in the mountains, when survival seems an impossible quest. The main theme is based on extremely sad, depressing, doomed synth melodies, multi-layered and somehow repetitive, and therefore both mesmerizing and introspective. A fine element are the whispered voices, the murmurs, representing the lost and forgotten spirits that dwell in those mountains. The first half has a rumbling, almost murmuring noise at the background, quite ominous actually, but after two minutes and something, that noise disappears, leaving nothing but the dreamlike melody, bewitching and intoxicating the listener.

The other track is called Wind Of The Forgotten, and with its length of 1:25 it’s even so much shorter. Synth-wise, it follows a comparable path, being a creation of sonic unhappiness, based on self-repeating melodies with an Ambiental, somewhat Medieval, Dungeon Synth attitude. Here too those sounds of rain and thunder are part of the story. Remarkable is the use of a drum pattern (live played or programmed, I do not know, but anyhow it works), simplistic in execution, but this aural tranquillity goes well with such basic percussion. In some way, these drum patterns give the whole a modest martial character.

A Light In The Lightning does differ from Black Flame’s material, but I am convinced that it will be attractive for the very same population of  Dungeon Music.