Friday, July 13, 2012

Ninth Moon Black - Chronophage

Personally, I'm a massive fan of both soundtracks and instrumental music. Vocals are all well and good, but I love it when a song can grab my attention and hold it for several minutes with nothing more than pure instrumentation. That said, Ninth Moon Black are my kind of metal band - a nice blend of post-metal with some nice psychedelic guitar sounds and a big focus on atmosphere. And Chronophage is a perfect example of how to keep your metal brooding and atmospheric
while still throwing in some crunchy riffs and double-kicks to keep your head nodding along.

The thing that stood out the most for me though is the guitar work present. Of course, post-metal has always been a dynamic genre (and I wouldn’t want it any other way), but the guitars here swing
effortlessly from fist pumping to melancholic, on through to ethereally soothing and right back again.

It is important to note that Ninth Moon Black are in general a very cinematic sounding band, and on Chronophage this is obvious from the get-go. As such, it should be listened to start to finish, to
emphasise the excellent job they've done in seamlessly blending each track into the next.

Opener "Renascentia" is like listening to the opening of some kind of bluesy Western movie, complete with an ominous organ in the background to REALLY set the scene. It managed to keep me waiting for a massive riff or fill to come in throughout, all the while still holding my interest when neither did ever rear its ugly head.

Instead, it set the pace for the whole album, a lush marriage of doomy riffage and rich soundscapes, punctuated with the occasional bit of synth or fuzzy riff for good measure. As I’ve said earlier, the
cinematic influences of NMB are undeniable throughout, and I for one would absolutely love to see whatever movie this album is the soundtrack to (Hollywood, get off your ass now and MAKE THIS HAPPEN).

Closing track "Numeratio" is my own personal favourite here, possibly because of how it feels as if the whole album has been building up towards it. As NMB have clearly intended for the whole album to be listened to from start to finish, the closing track provides the listener with a great deal of closure. Soaring guitars over a crunchy distorted bass provide an amazing sonic landscape, and as the guitars and ambient effects peter out gently, you can almost see the end credits in your head, and while it’s an amazing end to an amazing journey, it’s a crying shame it’s over so soon.


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