(We welcome back guest writer Lonegoat, the Texas-based necroclassical pianist behind Goatcraft, whose latest album Yersinia Pestis was released in 2016 by I, Voidhanger. In this piece, Lonegoat provides a review of the new double-album by the one-man Australian project Midnight Odyssey.)
Atmospheric metal is made difficult as much of it is mere texture. Most of it is deduced to a worship of texture and a hard limit of production. The long chain of simple but meaningful sounds has led listeners to acknowledge its harmonious preservation from one sound to another and the coalescence thereof.
Midnight Odyssey shows that these are necessary textures, how the mind comes to be furnished by a lush experience and leads to a heroic catalyst of reflection. It derives our internal operations of mind by all of its vibrant tones, simplicity, and often an exuberant usage of repetition, most often to the point of repletion.
Atmosphere in music is not an empirical concept which has been derived by ordinary external experience; it is a prime character in and of itself. Midnight Odyssey exemplifies an inner character much like the dusty plains of eastern classical where its focus is that of an internal expression, whereas western art is an external representation and unites its representations in our consciousnesses (albeit consciousness itself is an epiphenomenon). Tonal action and reaction should be equal in atmospheric synthesis.
Much is left to the listener because of our unique and peculiar ways of perceiving things. The listener itself is brought into question: what is the listener’s consciousness and judgments but a bundle of fleeting perceptions? Is it not that our minds are vacant awaiting to be painted by external factors to heighten our inner beings like a Tabula Rasa? Nay! We determine our experience, the world in which we live, and we find meaning in the manifold of intuition.
Midnight Odyssey’s atmospheric Summoning-esque metal sheds an antithesis of dark wave which could assist and propel an emergence of ourselves from ourselves. The spontaneity of Midnight Odyssey in its methodological representations enables us to forecast ourselves if it’s your bag of tea.
These old songs show a mastery over form, and should not go uncelebrated. It gathers and weaves together a justification of this so-called atmospheric metal genre. The songs that aren’t cover songs on this release are worthwhile and worth a voyage of experience (I’m not personally keen on cover songs). But fans of cover songs might find the cover songs enjoyable because they’re well done.
Silhouettes Of Stars, which is 137 minutes long, will be released by I, Voidhanger Records on May 19. The label explains: “To worthily celebrate their 10th anniversary, Australia’s cosmic black metal champions MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY have compiled “Silhouettes Of Stars”, a 2-CD special release featuring a vast amount of unreleased material recorded by Dis Pater since 2007: from the original online-only recordings, dubbed “The Darker Rebellion” demo, to outtakes from each MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY album session. The compilation also includes the Emperor cover “Cosmic Keys From My Creations & Times” and, for the first time on CD, the singles “Magica” and “The Night Has Come For Me”.”
The cover art was created by Midnight Odyssey’s sole member Dis Pater.