Apr 102020


How long ago has it been since I read the great Ray Bradbury‘s Dandelion Wine? Long enough that the passage of years could be measured as a geologic epoch. And I hadn’t thought of the book in a very long time until seeing the title of the new album by In Tenebriz, Bitter Wine of Summer, and reading that the allusion to Dandelion Wine was no accident. That set my memory trolling back through the years, rekindling thoughts of that tale about the summer of two young boys in a fictional place called Green Town, and the experiences it captured of joy, sorrow, youth and old age, terror and fantasy, and the realization that death comes for us all. I re-discovered this passage from the novel, spoken from the mind of its protagonist:

“So if trolleys and runabouts and friends and near friends can go away for a while or go away forever, or rust, or fall apart or die, and if people can be murdered, and if someone like great-grandma, who was going to live forever, can die… if all of this is true… then… I, Douglas Spaulding some day, must…”

Drawing inspiration from Dandelion Wine is a rarity in the world of extreme metal (does anyone know of another instance?). The album’s cover art is, to put it mildly, also an exception. It is also connected to the music, as described by the labels who are releasing the album, but the words probably come from the man behind this Russian atmospheric black metal band: Continue reading »

May 142018


In a recording career that now spans more than a decade, the Russian band In Tenebriz has released nine albums and an even greater number of EPs and splits. Beginning with the Autumn Constellation album in 2015, In Tenebriz has pursued themes that use that the natural phenomena of the seasons as a way of reflecting the inner experiences of the lyrical protagonists, while drawing upon the elements of atmospheric black metal, doom, ambient music, and post-metal to give musical shape to these external changes and internal moods.

The newest album in this sequence is Winternight Poetry, and on this album the principal creator of In Tenebriz, Wolfir, has done everything, including the vocals. Conceptually the album is an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s seven-part tale The Snow Queen, but with a dark twist: in the tale of Winternight Poetry, the protagonist Kai fails to spell the word on the frozen lake that will free him from the Snow Queen’s enchantment, and must therefore remain a prisoner in the kingdom of permafrost forever. Continue reading »