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Moments of good, bad and the sheer excruciating - 63%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, November 6th, 2017

After reviewing Onirism's previous EP "The Well of Stars" and finding it too New-Agey for my liking, I wasn't sure that this follow-up would be any better. There's still a lot of bland and generic synthesiser symphonic padding but the music does seem to be better balanced between the keyboard noodling and wash-outs on the one hand and the grittier, hard-hitting black metal on the other. Here's hoping Onirism isn't tempted to rely too much on synth-generated atmospherics padding to flesh out the EP.

After a ho-hum floaty intro called ... "Floating" that drifts nowhere much, the music sets off on a more determined and focused path with "To the Unknown" which turns out to be a meaty and even thrilling piece with aggressive mechanical drumming, a snarling vocal, soaring lead guitar lines and radiant expansive keyboard atmospheric wash. The momentum built up carries over to the next track "Heart of Everything" which conveys majesty and aggression in equal amounts, if no more. There should be awe as well and while that comes in fits and starts, too much of the keyboard stuff is kitschy and twee to generate and sustain real emotion.

"Attraction" would have been a boring filler piece were it not for the interesting subterranean squidgy squiggle melody struggling beneath the twee twinkle sparkle to lead it somewhere purposeful. If there'd been more of that underground digging about, brought more prominently into the mix, this track would have been even more interesting, all the more so for being different from the rest of the recording. For a brief moment a genuine sense of awe and wonder that feels fresh finally appears and stays before the bombast and sentimentality in the final track "Sun" steam-roll and flatten everything that has come before.

There are good moments, bad moments and moments of sheer excruciating cutesy preciousness or sickly sentimentality. Unfortunately the good moments aren't enough to overcome the bad and the ugly moments and once again I come away not liking this work, as with "The Well of Stars". With so many other bands purveying similar synth-dominated syrupy ambient BM wash, Onirism simply becomes yet another generic supplier lost in that particular swamp with releases like "Sun" which really should be burning up listeners' ears with original work that doesn't take its audiences and their expectations for granted.