The new year gets off to a great start with a record from Izioq and now Erang, both of whom we feature on the channel as well as Crinkles, who's released a record too, which I wont be covering here. If I'm not mistaken this is the fifteenth in five years, an astonishing feet of work for a musician who's inspiration never seems to dry up. Once again we return to the mysterious realm of magic and dragons in the land of five seasons that resonates with another perspective, this time the mood is measured and the tone cinematic as we fly across the lands, getting a richer sense of setting.
"King Of Nothing, Slave To No One" for the most part tones down its melodies in favor of deep foggy synths that stir up the atmosphere from below. Where normally many melodies would dance around one another we find a much bigger emphasis on the landscape as singular leads caress the sights the deep synths set in their often gentle form. Its tempo is unhurried, measured, giving the listener much time to soak in the environment conjured without distraction.
As a result its a record experience, rather than a collection of songs with not much to cherry pick as rarely these songs compete for more that the concurrent fame of atmosphere. "Day Of The Troll" stands out as possibly the best yet of all the troll songs, a playful and mischievous group of melodies playing of one another. A couple of tracks bring an imperial vibe with the hammering of deep militant drums, accompanied by thematic horns and trumpet like sounds. This reaches new heights with "The Madman And The Dragons", the drums intensify and a tired, ancient voice narrates the premise of a hermit raised by dragons. We then encounter the both terrifying and majestic roars of dragons buried between the tunes of curios mystery.
Its a gorgeous sounding record, mixed well, instruments are lush and softened up with engrossing reverbs. For all it sets up in the first half of the record I do feel as if the dominant theme of slower tempos and minimal compositions start to loose their charm as the record moves through its last stretch. In between the changes of pace with more upbeat melodies and the imperial songs the album musters a sense of event that is lost in the sprawl of moods that follow. In its best moments there are some brilliant inspirations at work and within its atmospheric songs finds much charm but across the records length it feels lost in the tempo that drags after some time.
Favorite Tracks: A New Magic Arises From The Steppes Of Kolm, Day Of The Troll, Spirits Of The Greenberry Haven, The Madman And The Dragons