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Epic masterpiece - 98%

Janez84, July 23rd, 2019

I found Shylmagoghnar during my regular searching on YT for some new interesting bands. A beautiful cover of their first album Emergence occure, I gave it a! I think I restarted breathtaking instrumental opener I am the Abyss at least ten times that day. Although the rest of the album is not on the such a brilliant level as mentioned opening track, it is still a great melodic death album with bunch of amazing riffs and incredible atmosphere. Epic atmosphere is what makes this band so unique. And when I say band, it must be exposed that complete instrumental part of Shylmagoghnar's music is written and played by Nimblkorg, while vocals and some lyrics are done by second member Skirge. This fact is quite shocking because while listening to Shylmagoghnar's music man simple cannot believe that all instruments are played by one single person. On the other hand it would be unfair to oversee Kirge's contribution to the sound of Shylmagoghnar. His growls and also clean vocals fit perfectly to the music.

So, the question is - is Transience on the same level as Emergence? Well, not just that, the dutch duo managed to deliver even more amazing album. The quality of Transience is a level above its preceeder. And this does not aplly only to every particular song of the album, but also to the album as a whole. Songwritting on Transience is amazing. Atmosphere of the album is even more epic that was on Emergence and more important, the whole album is much more balanced, quality never really falls. Songs on the album are quite long which is expected for such an epic and majestic work. Except fourth track This Shadow of Mine all other tracks are longer than 6 minutes, four of them last more than 10 minutes long. That means that we are talking about long album that lasts over 70 minutes, but don't worry, you won't find any filler here. On the contrary, when beautiful clock sounding fadeout of last song Life is over, you wish that album would last another hour.

Album opens 12-minutes masterpiece Transience. It begins slowly with Summining-like epic keyboards that gives you shivers and slowly drags you into Shylmagoghnar's majestic sound. Then fast guitars and drums with Skirge's sream wildly burst in and announce what kind of music we can expect for next more than an hour. Then after two and a half minutes everything developes into most beautiful atmospheric riff I ever heard (well, I did heard a riff comparable with that one, but on this same album in track six - No Child of Man Could Follow, which is another epic masterpiece). This riff then becomes basis of the song, but of course there is a lot of other amazing riffs until the end of the song, including short galloping ending riff which leaves you literally shocked over the complexity of the song you just heard. Shylmagoghnar's speciality are, I call them - "preparing riffs". These are riffs that keep you in expectation and prepare you for upcoming beautiful part of a song. And these parts always come, in every song, not just once. It is just unreal how much epic atmospheric and melancholic riffs Nilmkorg is capable to produce not just through entire album but also within one song. Every song on the album is full of brilliant guitar riffs and majestic keyboards. Drums are also perfectly done and unlike their first album, this time also bass is clearly heard and plays important part. Production on this album is just perfect, you can hear everything and none of the instruments or vocals dominates the others.

Shylmagoghnar's has its unique style, but of course, like with every band, also by Shylmagoghnar influences of other bands can be heard. I already mentioned austrian keyboard oriented masters Summoning above, the other band that comes on my mind while listening to Shylmagoghnar is Amon Amarth, but with one important difference - Shylmagoghnar's music is much more atmospheric and melodic, the atmosphere is more melanholic and on the moments even sad. Let's say that Shylmagoghnar is like Amon Amarth on atmospheric steroids.

Like said above, there is no fillers on this album. Every song is different and have its own vibe and atmosphere. No song is boring at any time. It's really hard to choose any song as a standout song, but if I must, I would recommend as a teasers: opening track Transience, epic masterpiece No Child of Man Could Follow and last track on album Life.

Shylmagoghnar's Transience is a must have album for all those who like melodic death metal. If you like Amon Amarth, Be'Lakor, Insomnium or on the other hand majestic atmosphere of Summoning's music, you will definetly be blown away with this one. This album defines how should atmospheric melodic death metal sound. With Transience Shylmagoghnar sets the standard very high for other bands in a genre and of course also for themselves. I really can't wait for next one from these guy(s) to see if they can keep such a high quality of songwritting and performance.

Perfection. - 100%

Talonraker422, March 19th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Napalm Records

Shylmagoghnar's first album had a huge impact on my life. Within the first 30 seconds of I Am the Abyss, I knew I'd discovered something special, a new type of music I'd never heard before to dive into. With it began a long journey into the far reaches of extreme metal; my current music taste was shaped almost exclusively by Emergence. So as you can imagine, when I heard this Dutch duo had something new in the works, I was excited beyond words. But did they deliver?

Short answer: Yes, they did. Every desire I had for the album was completely satisfied and every expectation exceeded. The song lengths are much more ambitious than on their debut and the songs are less structured, which works perfectly. They've written each track to immerse you and take you on a journey, a trait especially apparent in the 12-minute opener, which progressively grows darker and darker before transitioning into a piano interlude that bursts into a final, uplifting verse.

While the songs are very far from technical (just like on the debut), Nimblkorg's instrumental prowess and dedication to his project can't be ignored; not only does he play every instrument, but he does so in a way which complements Skirge's blackened screams without outshining them. His songwriting also comes straight from the soul and leaves a lasting emotional impact on the listener.

The inspirations are also much more varied on this album than previously. While Emergence was more of a standard melodic death album with a dash of atmospheric black (which is still incredibly unique, just not as much as Transience), here the influences range from the Darkthrone-era traditional black metal present in the first verse of As All Must Come to Pass to overwhelming atmospheric passages reminiscent of Darkspace's work in the instrumental The Dawn of Motion. The other two instrumentals employ proggier techniques, which gives them a tone of exploration, like delving into an ancient ruin containing never-before-seen wonders. Combining all these elements with Be'lakor and Insomnium's brand of atmospheric and melancholic melodeath creates an incredibly unique sound unlike any other I've come across.

In fact I only have one single, very minor complaint about this whole release, which has to do with the production. On their debut, every instrument was crystal clear and easily distinguishable. Sadly, this isn't the case on Transience; everything seems to have been mixed at the same volume, leading to songs often sounding muddy (and not in an enjoyable way, like on Thrawsunblat's Metachthonia, for example.)

Overall, Shylmagoghnar have seized the oppurtunity to mature their sound with their sophomore full-length, experimenting with proggier structures and elements and in doing so, creating a work as near perfection as it gets. I'll eagerly be awaiting more material from my now-favourite musical project and I'm incredibly excited to see where they take their sound next.