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Album Reviews : Myridian – Under The Fading Light

By on April 12, 2013

360217Late last year Melbourne band Myridian released Under the Fading Light. Apparently it took three years to get it right in terms of song-writing. Unfortunately it took however long the production did to undo some of that good work. If I didn’t have to strain so much to hear anything but vocals and perhaps piano, I’m certain this would have been a more satisfying listen, especially for ears that have suffered years of sonic abuse.

OK so there’s a bit of hyperbole in that and there are some good loud guitar riffs here and there, but there are so many things to like about the actual songs that it’s a shame it misses the mark in production. Apart from that, these are some great, emotional, flowing melodic metal compositions that know exactly where they’re going and pull up well short of overdoing anything.

With strong ‘90s Scandinavian influences, melodies abound, being shared between piano, vocals and guitar and despite the long, flowing songs they don’t feel overly repetitive. Vocals range from two or three distinctive harsh styles, to straight singing, all of which are powerful and strong. There’s plenty of synth strings as you’d expect and the drumming uses plenty of variety. Bass is too low in the mix, an annoyingly common problem with melodic metal recordings.

The record kicks off with the sound of footsteps crunching through undergrowth as you trek through the rain into a forest and you are welcomed by piano, synth strings and soaring guitar which carry you into the first proper song. There’s often debate about intro tracks and “fillers” and I’m a big fan, particularly since records like this are meant to be listened to from start to finish.

“To the Dying Sun” introduces vocals, double bass drumming and swirling mid-tempo piano, synth and guitar lines as they weave in and out with such despair and sorrow. It’s not a terribly original sound but its strength lies in the fact it doesn’t feel like it’s just treading water or covering too much ground.

Clean vocals make an entry with the next song “Veil of Sorrow” (the well ain’t deep when it comes to naming death metal songs is it?) which is altogether more plodding and laboured in its misery as Felix Lane paces around you barking lines. “No Dawn” has you throwing yourself to the ground in recognition of the pointlessness of it all, the guitar almost talking to you with its melody, and piano propping your head up from the soggy earth. “Starless” begins with a great distortion guitar riff and almost offers some hope, but ultimately stays true to the melancholic feel of the album.

I’m not really sure why this record works so well, and perhaps that’s the very key. There’s no vast dynamics and crescendos here to manufacture epicness and at 70 minutes it could feel long, but despite all this it just keeps delivering in its entirety. Perfect for filling the house with noise on a Sunday afternoon.

Band: Myridian
Album: Under The Fading Light
Year: 2012
Genre: Melodic death/doom
Label: Independent
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
myridian.bandcamp.com

Track list:
1. Passage
2. To the Dying Sun
3. Veil of Sorrow
4. No Dawn
5. Solitude’s Embrace
6. Under the Fading Light
7. Starless
8. Ethereal Storm

About

A relatively recent convert to more extreme metal (not exclusively), I've always preferred non-commercial and progressive music to mainstream. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where in my youth I lived for every new Greasy Pop Records release. I also write for ech(((o)))es & dust and ThisIsNotAScene but it's good to start contributing to an Australian metal site.