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A Flower of Blue Flame Blooming in the Night - 100%

AndromedaVessel, December 2nd, 2019

Absent Silence's debut and sole full-length effort is 40 minutes of some of the most beautiful black metal ever put on a record. The doom influence there is gloomy enough to put you under its spell, but never dragging you down to a self-loathing pit.

The whole album seems to be a collection of spiritually gothic stories and melancholic feelings, with a tinge of misanthropy but never a sliver of despair, which is made more evident by how the songs were composed. The songs are slower than what you'd expect from a usual black metal sound, overflowing with sorrowful melodies led mostly by the keyboards. Guitars have more of a carrier function, contributing to the songs but never really in the spotlight, while clean guitars appear in some spots to accentuate the atmosphere. The vocals often switch between this harsh, raspy, quieter version of traditional black metal vocals, and clean vocals, more akin to gothic or doom styles.

The feeling of sadness permeates the songs, but it never feels as if all hope was lost, as if building strength to endure whatever hardships one may find him or herself going through. Each song seems to emphasize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with chord progressions that descend only to come back up again to its original point, or just straight up building and ascending like in the chorus of Above.

The only weak point really is track 6, Code to My Seasons. It doesn't feel as inspired as the rest of the tracks; it comes across as a song that is just there to fill the time up to 40 minutes. It's not a bad song, but it certainly is weaker than the rest. Thankfully it's the shorter of them all, so with it not being as strong as the others, it doesn't really overstay its welcome. It's not repetitive or obnoxious, just a little bit uninspired. It gets a pass because the rest of the album is phenomenal by comparison.

I don't think an album has impacted and moved me more than this one did. It feels perfect to be listened at night; not only the lyrics have this nocturnal atmosphere, but the songwriting as well. It brings me back to a time where things were simpler, while it also puts me in a somber yet relaxed mood, as if to tell that everything is going to be alright in the end.