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Better than the demo on various levels. - 70%

oneyoudontknow, May 22nd, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

What is it then? Is it the I, the Roman numeral? Or the personal pronoun in English? Difficult to pin-point to a definite aspect or explanation. Also the cover artwork, this strange amalgam of ideas, prevents clear cut insights from evaporating from the mist. Maybe it is to confuse the listener and distract from the first attempt that Tempestarii had presented to the world. Well, who knows.

What can be found on 'I', then? First of all, those who happen to have had a chance to listen to their debut demo need to know that this band has motivated themselves to present music in such a way as to make it possible to experience the riffs and motives. In other words, the chaotic muddiness appears to have vanished for now. Really, it would be impossible to recognize the band in a blinded test. Furthermore, the music comes over as more structured, which could also be a result in the improvement of what has been mentioned before. It is now possible to appreciate the arrangements, riffs and ideas of Tempestarii.

"Gold Lattice" may be the best track to point towards the shift in direction and style. Atmospheric parts without vocals can be found in it, while other have this touch of raw black metal but now with vocals. In some respect it can separated into three parts. There is the opening, which has a calm distinct black metal pattern, whose sound opens into a vast space and progresses gently. Even though it has only a small dynamic by itself, contains a good amount of repetition, it is nevertheless able to spark an interest of the things to come. A counterpoint to this is the middle section of the track, which differs on a multitude of elements. Not only the vibe shifts, also the atmosphere looses easiness. There is more intensity, less of the dreamy meandering, more breaks and of course vocals. it does not stay this way, though. Destined to move on and to progress even further, those moments of reflection that succeeded those of introspection fade again, but now into something quite calm and minimalist. It settles in an acoustic manner. It reminds on Strid's ep or some old stuff from Burzum.

An important aspect of this recording is the progression of one track over to the other. This immediate unleashing of another idea like it is the case with the successor to the aforementioned one, adds a nice touch of dynamic to this recording. In terms of style and approach what had been discussed before does still hold true. Tempestarii offer an interesting brew of black metal, whose influences range from those of the raw over to the atmospheric and also the depressive sug-genre. There are a lot of things thrown together, but in a way that creates together a somewhat convincing set of facets. While there is occasionally too much repetition and not all ideas are convincing, all in all it is necessary to acknowledge the quality of the performance as well as the general improvement.

"I" is an album of contrasts and maybe even of experiments. While it is possible to identify core elements of the band's interpretation of the black metal genre, it does not appear consistent over the course of the album. There are slight shifts and deviations from it again and again. In the end, the album has its merits and is able to spark a certain fascination for this young project; considerably more than their debut release, to be frank. Occasionally fierce, now and then dreamy but never really modern or "pleasant". While the title of the release suggests a small path, a narrow corridor that one would be able to wander upon, the music itself is actually different. Or should we imagine the path to be as broad as it can be, with the band switching from one musical extreme from one aisle to the other? Who knows ...

This review was written due a review request with 320kbps MP3s.