Jumalhämärä - The Black Coming - (7.5/10)
Published on February 11, 2018
Released shortly after their third full length, The Black Coming is the latest EP from the Finnish shapeshifting act known as Jumalhämärä. Those who constantly taut Ulver as one of the most unpredictable act around must not have spent a lot of time delving into Jumalhämärä’s back catalog. From the off-kilter black metal of Blossom of Revulsion to the avant-garde mystification of Songless Shores to the lengthy organ drones on Resitaali, guessing what Jumalhämärä is going to do next is an exercise in pointlessness.
The Black Coming steps off the ledge and does a spiraling freefall into the realm of bleak ambient and noise. The EP features a single, twenty-one minute plus long track. A slow buildup of something that rests between the distant hum of machinery and the soft howl of the wind through the trees when the leaves have fallen trickles like a small stream, slowly gaining momentum with the plinking sounds of what could pass for wind chimes in the late spring. Five minutes in a discordant, striking piano note cuts through the din and everything stops. Things have been rooted in the earthly realm until this point, but as the track moves forward, brief jarring noises resound amid a constant lull of low, droning feedback and breathy groans. A brief bit of clean baritone voices that are somewhere between singing and narration creep in as the droning fades back into that strange distant humming, led by simplistic keyboard notes; but that humming, windiness builds, bringing with it the threat violent gusts and torrents of rain. The crackle and buzz of electricity and machinery build, raising the threat level. Then, out of nowhere, light and airy notes amid a bed of wispy ambient take charge and lead towards the gentle fallout and closes the chapter.
The Black Coming is a rather gentle ride of ambient with bits of whirring noise and wind in the distance. What winds up being the EP’s strongest point is also it’s biggest flaw. The entire track constantly alludes to some type of grand and threatening climax. It will keep you on your toes; it will force your mind to think of the coming darkness; it will gently break you from reality. The constant guarded edge will prepare you for a culmination that never occurs and, with that, Jumalhämärä pulls the rug out from under your feet and closes the track with an unforeseen gentle grace.