Sun of the Sleepless & Cavernous Gate [split]

Rating: 3.5/5
Distribution / Label: Prophecy Productions
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://sun-of-the-sleepless.bandcamp.com/album/sun-of-the-sleepless-cavernous-gate
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/sunofthesleepless/https://www.facebook.com/cavernousgate/

Band line-up:

Schwadorf (Sun of the Sleepless)
Sebastian Körkemeier (Cavernous Gate)

Tracklisting:

01 – Sun of the Sleepless – Wovon Wölfe träumen
02 – Sun of the Sleepless – The Lure Of Nyght
03 – Sun of the Sleepless – Fall Of The Lonesome
04 – Sun of the Sleepless – To the Moon On Summer Eves
05 – Sun of the Sleepless – Kristall
06 – Cavernous Gate – Seclusion
07 – Cavernous Gate – Those Who Walk The Fog
08 – Cavernous Gate – Amongst Decayed Grass
09 – Cavernous Gate – A Pale Shimmer In The Dark

Review:

Sun Of The Sleepless and Cavernous Gate aren’t unfamiliar to each other, playing in Nachtmahr and Helrunar together respectively, and sharing a history together has made for a strong and cohesive record.

“Wovon Wölfe Träumen” starts the record with some beautiful choir vocals, acoustic, ethereal strings building on an integral part of the atmosphere for the rest of the spilt album. You’d be forgiven for thinking this album might be continuing on this path, but shortly into “The Lure Of The Night” they launch into their brand of black metal. Spoken word and choral vocals have as much a place within both parts of the split as the harsher vocals, as anyone who is familiar to second-wave black metal bands will know. Lyrics are in part literal translations of German expressionist and romantic works; the band believes them to be the continuation of Empyrium’s Songs Of Moors and Misty Fields.

Cavernous Gate switch the tempo of the record down a few notches by creating a slower dirge than the previous five songs with their opener “Seclusion”, taking the listener into a deeper and possibly darker place than the rest of the record. Gone are the blasts and orchestral vocals and in comes the enveloping dark and echoey soundscapes that SK is quite clearly very clever at creating and taking you through. “Those Who Walk The Fog” stands out as its majority is a slow grind that only switches towards the very end, surprising you and disappearing just as quickly as it came.

With a weighty 48 mins in just 9 songs, the listener is taken through the peaks and troughs that both bands are able to produce to keep people interested in their just over twenty minutes each.

There isn’t a moment that anything gets lost in the production of the album, while still retaining the rawness so ingrained in black metal and deftly avoided the tinny cassette tape sound so familiar to the early 90’s releases.

Review by

Andrew Shirley

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