The frozen forests of Black Metal have many pitfalls that can make or break an artist in the strangest ways. Some bands become locked into trends while others thrive on challenging the established guidelines, but in general the artists do not cross camps. DROWNING THE LIGHT come from the reflective low-fidelity end of the spectrum but seem intent on challenging the baseline in terms of song length and structure.
The slower portion of the title track has some definite perks. The cymbals splash quite well, and the keyboards (although a bit cheesy) add a cold and bleak element to the mood that the high-end guitar by itself cannot provide. The vocals consist mostly of shrills and breathy mutterings, but the overall effect has more strength the remaining tracks on the release.
Many of the songs on “Of Celtic Blood And Satanic Pride” lack the depth needed for contemplative reflection. The tracks end with an abrupt and somewhat uneven fade, almost as if little care for the final product went into these decisions so long as the songs did not dwell on a single thought or emotion too long. This conscious effort seems atypical for a genre that extends its passages to hone the introspective study of the abysmal experience. Only the title track stretches beyond the five-minute mark, yet the release has many pleasant moments along the way.
“Lucifer, Who Lights My Path” and “To The End Of Time Part II” offer a few solemn passages that close the distorted recordings effectively while “Last Breath” serves as a conclusive reflection that wanes over the previous tracks in a seasonal and soundtrack-like moment. Studies in this direction will make future releases stronger, but artists as prolific as DROWNING THE LIGHT seldom slow to take the necessary steps toward improvement. Azgorh, however, will leave us many glistening moments along the way.
(Online December 14, 2007)