A complex and commanding album…
Released by W.T.C.Productions (Facebook; website) on 6 December 2016
Crimson Moon’s first full length in a very long time, Oneironaut has that same aura that permeates the air of their previous releases. Four years in the making, this is a polished piece of work, the production ensuring that every nuance that mainman Scorpios Androctonus has carved into the six tracks that make up this one-hour epic. Shrouded in a mystical darkness, the ferocity of this album is undeniable. There are plenty of melodically menacing riffs coursing through its pulsating veins, the power of the drumming imbuing them with further might and providing a firm foundation for the album’s dense and intense experience.
Opener ‘Gossamer of Arachne’ fades in very slowly with a good 30 seconds passing before we hear anything. A pious vocal chant over an atmospheric guitar and then the fires of hell are unleashed in a nine-minute cavalcade of black metal ire channelled through wave after wave of dynamic and textural shifts. In one track, Crimson Moon do what most bands take an album to do, the problem being of course, what to do with the rest of the album. ‘Molding of a Spell’ – at just under six minutes, the shortest track here – and ‘Seeker of the 7th Gate’ both plot similar paths, taking in all the ferocity, melody and structural diversity of the first track and demonstrates Androctonus’s ability to pen a track that can be as complex as it can coherent and commanding.
With the affecting complexity of ‘Weaver of the Web’ and the ruthless barb of the war-torn ‘Urilian Worm’ seeing the album further explore the many hues contained within the shadows of darkness, it’s with the closing title track’s whopping twenty minutes that the ultimate reward is bestowed. Exotic instruments and atmospheric mysticism at the ready, Crimson Moon combine all that we have heard in the preceding tracks, hone and refine them and take it up many more notches and is an impressive achievement in itself. An immense experience, with five of the six tracks chiming in between the six- and 9-minute mark, while it demands much of the listener, Oneironaut rewards at every turn.
8 out of 10
- Read MR’s interview with Androctonus here
- Crimson Moon on Facebook
- Gossamer of Arachne
- Molding of a Spell
- Seeker of the 7th Gate
- Weaver of the Web
- Urilian Worm