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In the Embrace of Nocturnity

There are a lot of things which makes this demo unique. One wouldn't expect good quality demo recording from Estonia, an ex-USSR country. But things have obviously changed since that time since the quality of the recording is higher than most US demos. Normally doom band demos are only 3-4 tracks long, but this one has seven tracks and lasts for nearly an hour. There is no reason that this demo shouldn't have been released as an album if Ecthalion hadn't been looking for a label. And last but not least what makes it all so unique is the fact that it is freely available from their website. One could hardly say that it is normal to find music this good freely distributed on the web by the band itself. As a wild guess I would guess that the name Ecthalion comes from either Silmarillion or from the same source as Tolkien got the name. Ecthalion is one of Turgons captains. But as said, it is just a wild guess.

The music isn't harsh as most doom is. Instead acoustic guitars, a piano and a violinlike synth calms down most of the track into what can best be described as a lightfooted depressive waltz. There are harsher moments which is mainly created by the raw male snarling vocals, assisted by som heavier sections on the guitars. The calm sound has little bass in it. The doomy sound of the bass has been largely replaced by the guitars which sway in the thypical distorted fashion of doom. The music has a feeling of autumn over it, like the image of a breeze blowing through the dead leaves of a tree, just before winter sets in. To top it all the piano produces the image of raindrops falling. The music isn't pale, but rather serene and natural. Yet it is filled with the essence of death.

On the demo some songs are connected to eachother while some aren't. Though somehow it all seems to belong together. Some deal with the classic torments which only the loss of a dearly belowed can give. Other some deal with the horrible thoughts that one gets from prolonged traumas and sorrow. Some again deal with the afterlife, or rather the deathlife, the eternal life past death, the undeath. Yet they all have a dark fairytale feeling over them. A dusklike fantasy aura which in the last track unites all of them. Tales of loss, death and nocturnity all come together in a goddess of undeath, who calls her children to worship her. She calls them home, by lust and longing, home into the dead forest. This is no pale and horrible undeath, but a tale of the worship of a goddess who cares for her children. All leaves fall at her wish and so does her obediant worshippers.

Interpretation of the tracks:
-Nonexistant Souls: is a calm track done solely on calmly depressed, acoustic guitars and melanholic spoken vocals. There is a calm, almost lingering, depressive aura over the beautifully serene music. It sounds all so down to earth and even though it's really sad, it has that old-fashioned cozy feeling over it. The track is about an angel that were not long ago, but has since demised, but has since risen. She is the leader of a population, a cult of those like herself. She makes their graves, and fills it with their bodies. She then takes their souls with her beyond the bleak night. She gathers, harvests them and brings them with her. Together with her they will forever fill the dead void with dispair.
-In The Embrace Of Nocturnity: is the first doom track on the album. The acoustic guitars make place for electrical ones with the same sad sound, but with a rougher edge. Drums and bass introduces a certain heavyness to the music, yet it isn't as heavy as the riffs most doom bands play. The floating depression of the music is aided by harsh growled vocals with an epic feeling to it. This time the lyrics does not speak of her, the goddess of the deceased. They speak of lust and yearning from the eyes of those she has harvested and enthralled. Her work with her servants is thoroughly done. Not only do they worship and slave for her, they yearn for a glance of her every second of their lives.
-Frost Glitters Beneath It's Surface: begins calmly with a slow and sad acoustic guitar. Once the guitar solo is over the music becomes harsher and deeper with the whole band in action. The song is still calm even though the male vocals snarl in their agressive way. It is the first of the tracks which includes the female vocals, where her down to earth voice keeps the calm storylike feeling of the track. Here the godess walks through her home, her forest, and slowly transforms daylight into night, and summer warmth into winter. She does try to find a way out of the death she brings, but yet she finds there are so many other wonderful things like it is. Looking at the lovely pale moonlight and white soft snow, the night is shurely full of beautiful and wonderful things.
-...As The World Drowns In Rivers Of Tears: begins with a violinlike synth that trips along like falling snow. Then as the music progresses the music darkens and converts into a much more majestic duskness. The music varies smoothly between the dark majestic and the more serene approaches. In all of this the vocals continues unchanged and focusing on making a grimmer edge to the music. The lyrics speak of unspeakable sadness which fills every being that slowly dies. Depression fills their hearts as the lonely voids become greater and greater, and death grows nearer. Love has already phased away. They are all forgotten by the present now and fades into what is the past.
-Laurelin: is heavier and more agressively mournful than the other tracks, but also shorter. The pace of this synthless track goes up to medium in large parts of the track. Effectively the guitars and vocals alone bring the whole track upwards to the sky more than the previous tracks. As the name suggests the track is about a lady called Laurelin, but not just. It's a tale of death, sorrow and emerald green eyes telling the true meaning of love. Love... is a painful experience. It is a truth about one persons euphoria being their loved ones misery, and in the end also their death. Regrets of ignorance constantly lingers inside the heart of the one left behind. It will and can never fade. Only death can heal those wounds.
-The Hour Of Dusk In The Last Of All Forests: sees yet another acoustic guitar solo in the beginning. Then the guitars goes harsher and a piano begins to play a beautiful rainlike melody that eases the pain in the music, and alters it into sadness. Even the vocals has become less harsh and more sad and dispaired. The track is a song about the godless apocalypse where evil comes to crave all life, and leave nothing. None of our mortal beliefs are right as our gods are powerless against the true gods which the gods themselves revere. It is they who hold the truth about the world and who rule over it's passing. The world has been slowly deteriorating. The signs are clear. Time is coming to an end.
-Shrouds: is the final chapter of the tale of the goddess. The music plays in advanced guitar melodies and heavy riffs. Spoken vokals tells the final words to be said by her servants, but the truly final utterings are none but her own. She has now gathered those who live past death, her children, around her. She still sometimes longs for it not to be her destiny to rule the shadowland, and wish she could see light and life again. But destiny has only this place in mind for her. Her own home in the dead forest where time has ended, and her place is as the caring mother and dominating queen, of her beloved people and slaves. She has harvested them and removed their life from their souls. For she herself is none other than the goddess of death and undeath. She is Death.

Author: Insignium
Zine: Encyclopaedia Metallum

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