[Reviewed by stark]
One thing is for sure, this is the most progressive Albireon album since “I Passi Di Liu” from 2008. That release, more ambient than neofolk, was a deeply intimate attempt to deal with personal tragedy. They did it so subtly that as a listener, I felt this pain almost physically. How many albums had a similar impact on me in my whole music fan history? Five, maybe ten. Seriously, it was like reading someone’s diary. I still admire Davide Borghi for that album and for the courage of opening his heart and soul to the people during those dark and tragic times.
“A Mirror for Ashen Ghosts Part One” is dedicated to Dead. Yes, that Dead from Mayhem, who killed himself in 1991. I believe that he’s more of a symbol here, a symbol of all the people who feel that they do not belong in this world, so they decide to leave.
This is some depressive, dark stuff. Once again, their inner demons find a way to the surface and reach you through your ears. The acoustic guitar is the main attribute of all songs, but it is not used for lively tunes – these slow melodies fall on your head like hammer and this effect is sometimes intensified by using metal riffs in the background like on “Through Branches Of Grim Beauty” and “For A Last day Of Swirling Leaves”. I guess it wouldn’t be abusive to describe this album as depressive black or doom metal made with acoustic accents and neofolk sensibility.
They have surprises behind a few corners. For example “Like Stars In Winter Rapture” reminds me of Current 93’s ‘lullabies’. I was expecting David Tibet’s voice to appear out of the mist at any second. “My Grave In The Heart Of The Woods” contains a direct tribute for Dead in the form of growls and screams; well, that was unexpected and then there are the strange noises in “Above Black Shores” on top of that. I had to double-check if my file wasn’t corrupted. But eventually they fit nicely with Tamar Singer’s voice.
You may find the titles of the songs a bit pretentious, but when you embrace the whole release, you’ll realize that they couldn’t be different. They and the lyrics are complimentary to the music and the spirit they were trying to catch. This is very capturing release. I think in ten or twenty years it will be mentioned among the best Albireon works.