Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy – The Lord Ov Shadows

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: https://sliptrickrecords.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album [URL]: https://darkmirrorovtragedy.bandcamp.com/album/the-lord-ov-shadows
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/darkmirrorovtragedy

Band Line-Up:

Material Pneuma – Vocals
Gash – Guitars
Senyt – Guitars
Reverof – Bass
Confyverse – Drums
Genie – Keyboards

Tracklisting:

1. Chapter I. Creation of the Alter Self
2. Chapter II. Possession
3. Chapter III. The Annunciation in Lust
4. Chapter IV. Acquainted with the Nocturnal Devastation
5. Chapter V. I am the Lord Ov Shadows

Review:

Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy are a South Korean symphonic black metal band with goth/doom influences. They are on Sliptrick records and released their 46 minute long, latest work ‘The Lord Ov Shadows’ on January 22nd. The band perform chapters and poems that bring to mind night and day, beauty and ugliness. The story of the album is of a man who turns into the Lord Ov Shadows. To do so, he needs to confront his biggest fear, first. The story is also about ruling the world of the dark mirror.

Those in the know, will know that black metal bands have tendencies to sound very similar to each other. So to cut to the chase, is the same true of DMoT? I’m very pleased to say no! The stuff they come up with is so epic it can be compared to classic prog metal at times, and could be described as an extreme metal symphony. Their song ‘Chapter V’ is a 20 minute odyssey that even Symphony X would have to respect. What’s also unusual for the genre is the level of virtuosity on offer. It’s not every day you hear extended guitar and keyboard solos in BM.

Rhythmically however, things are pretty standard in either 4/4 or 6/8 and for better or worse, you can expect typical, frequent blast beats. It would have been nice if they too were adventurously proggish, less mechanical sounding and over-polished, but they will surely please fans of the genre, nevertheless. Well, the more modern version of the form, at least. What are also cool are the tremolo picked guitar parts. ‘But almost all similar bands use those ideas’. Yes, but they are picked SO cleanly. They are as crisp as hell, the orchestral instruments are played with passion and skill and the singer screams with charisma. When you put all these elements together, you have great music.

So, the negatives then: Unfortunately the musical themes on offer aren’t exactly what most people would call ’singable’. They are mostly very notey and again, tend not to be interesting in terms of rhythm. The harmony is far more captivating and easily surpasses that of the vast majority of typical metal groups, however. It flows like classical music would, just with the additional modern instruments. To create a nice compliment sandwich, there is a lot of variety throughout the 46 minutes in terms of textures and moods, which alternate between calm, peace, rage and desperation. Such changes in feel are also highly musical and develop as well as a classic novel would.

In conclusion, it’s kind of rare to hear BM musicians that challenge themselves so much. Lesser bands would be happy writing cliche after cliche with simple structures and finishing in under four minutes. The album can be considered as one that gets BM fans into epic prog, or vice versa and that alone should be celebrated. Don’t expect anything ridiculous, such as 13/8 with jazzy keyboards, but do expect detailed music with a very long lifespan. Strongly recommended!

 

Review by Simon Wiedemann

 

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