Twilight is a difficult band to define. Throughout the years, since their inception back in 2004, the band has seen some very interesting line-up changes which obviously resulted in the evolution of their sound. The core members of Twilight always were N. Imperial of Krieg, Wrest of Leviathan and Blake Judd of Nachtmystium (even though he was not a part of the band’s final album).
Their debut, self-titled album featuring members of Xasthur and Draugar showed initial signs of brilliance, a vision so dark and daunting and one which was completed with Twilight’s second full-length, Monument to Time End. The three core members of the band were joined by Aaron Turner of Isis, Sanford Parker of Minsk and Stavros Giannopoulos of The Atlas Moth and all of them together managed to bring forth one of the most haunting and powerful black metal albums of the past few years. And now the band returned for one last album with the inclusion of Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (I think everyone was surprised by that).
In this album Twilight put much more work in crafting songs that are aggressive and menacing. From the very first minutes of “Lungs” you are taken aback by the all-out attack that comes through the speakers. Shrieking vocals and roaring guitars lead the way, as a subconscious industrial vibe becomes prominent in the mix making this a rather unpleasant trip towards damnation. With Giannopoulos and Moore in charge of the guitar work the whole album is lifted in a very intriguing level, somewhere between psychedelia and noise. Just listen to “Seek No Shelter Fevered Ones” if you wish to see the extent of brutality that the guitars can reach.
The background of the album is heavily founded in Parker’s ability to produce dense layers of sound. From the industrial atmosphere of “Swarming Funeral Mass” and the sickening dystopian peril of “Below Lights,” the producer/keyboard player of the band is able to make each twist and turn of III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb interesting and always leaves you wanting more.
“A Flood of Eyes,” with its insane start and mid tempo groove on top of a wall of noise reveals the true brilliance of this very unique black metal act. Twilight can masterfully manage to find their way through their noise, psychedelic, post-punk and industrial influences while at the same time keep their feet within their black metal identity. And with songs such as “Oh Wretched Son,” with the crazy solos and leads coming at you from all directions amidst the ever changing sonic landscapes of the band you come to realize how extraordinary their music is.
Even though I still think that Monument to Time End is Twilight’s finest moment, III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb reveals the band at its most ominous form. This is a bitter album that is filled with venom, definitely not an easy listen, but worth the effort nonetheless.
8.5 / 10
Posted Feb. 8, 2014, 9:28 p.m.
Twilight has announced both a final album and, following, the band's dissolution. On March 18, the band will release III: Beneath Trident's Tomb as their swan song.
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