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This album is a very minimal, non-metal album. Only two people were used to put it together: Richard (Protector of Summoning) and his then girlfriend Tania. Protector provides keyboards and his voice; Tania provides only her voice. The lyrics are even taken the poetry of John Dowland. So it is quite evident that there was not a lot of effort to create this album. However, it is quite an enjoyable listen if you like dark neoclassical type music.
As is the case with Protector’s main project Summoning, the keyboards are well done and used to created the sounds of other instruments not present in this album. The melodies are well-written and each melody attributes to each song’s uniqueness. The melodies are dark, haunting, yet almost regal sounding. The atmosphere created by the keyboards is very suited to the title of the album, In Darkness let me Dwell. The keyboards never overshadow the vocal parts. They are also never conquered by overuse of vocals either. The vocals and keyboard melodies alternate and intertwine nicely with each other.
The vocals are the other element to this album. Tania’s voice very pleasant and suits the atmosphere of the music well. If you have heard Summoning’s Stronghold, you have heard her on the track “Where Hope and Daylight Die”. She has a powerful, dramatic mezzo-soprano voice and tends to sing midrange, though she does go high and low effectively. Overall, her presence is quite fitting for this album. Protector provides the baritone vocals. He is not bad, but he is no Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver, Arcturus, Borknagar). A voice like Rygg’s would weave in perfectly with Tania and the dark music!
Well, seeing as that is not the case, Protector works despite being a little weak. His pitch is musically accurate, but he lacks feeling and does not flow as Tania’s does. He sounds almost robotic. He also lacks the power that Tania possesses, so when they sing together he gets drowned out. They mostly alternate vocal parts, though, each singing a specific stanza of the poems and sing together sparsely. All of the vocal parts are well-written and match the melodies of the keyboards, despite the quality difference in the vocalists.
In Darkness let Me Dwell is a dark and beautiful minimalist neoclassical album. I would recommend it to any one likes dark neoclassical music or wants to hear more of Tania after hearing “Where Hope and Daylight Die”. Most Summoning fans would probably like it as well. However, if you like Summoning for its harsher elements and not its atmospheric elements, you will be disappointed as this is not Summoning or even any form of metal.