|Title:||Shards Of Silver Fade|
|Label:||I, Voidhanger Records|
In metal "parlors" around the internet there has recently been a lot of talking about Dis Pater's return as Midnight Odyssey. After his masterpiece "Funerals From The Astral Sphere", many people were waiting for the Australian's comeback: would it be a feat of pretentious hybris or the beginning of an actual journey? The fact he abandoned his two other projects The Crevices Below and Tempestuous Fall with "Converge, Rivers Of Hell", specifically in order to focus more on Midnight Odyssey, was a first sign of change. Nevertheless, there were rumors of him working on other things, as well as an almost total silence for about two years (apart from one song on a split); there was a lot of curiosity regarding what was cooking in his mind.
Let's start from the most evident aspect: "Shards Of Silver Fade" is a long record. Really long. Infinite. One of those albums you will need to go on holiday in order to listen to the whole two hours and twenty-three minutes (!) of it. The second thought is that all the music has been divided (inevitably) into two CDs, but in just eight tracks: this means (non-)songs running between fourteen and twenty-two minutes each. It is clear that the album isn't exactly the most accessible record around, and similarly to "Funerals From The Astral Sphere" (where the excessive length eventually hindered the overall result) in this case this issue might be ten or a hundred times heavier. In spite of this, Dis Pater has managed once again to compose one of the best releases of the year.
This might seem contradictory, but when referring to Midnight Odyssey it is absolutely coherent: the more the tracks get longer, dilated, and amplified, the more Dis Pater succeeds at expressing concepts. While the first work was basically an atmospheric black metal album, the same doesn't apply to "Shards Of Silver Fade". Dis Pater decided to bring all of his influences together, everything we had heard on his other projects flowing into the main one. After having abandoned the other paths, Midnight Odyssey firmly became the only way, paved with all the elements coming from previously separate roads.
In light of all this, the six-minute introduction to the monumental "From A Frozen Wasteland" don't come as a surprise, just like the huge influence by Dead Can Dance and darkwave in general on the whole work — he has never hidden this passion of his, mentioning Brendan Perry among his main influences four years ago — or the utter abandon of a "song-based" approach for a more "operatic" one. Midnight Odyssey's core is expanding more than ever, completely free from any kind of limitation, and this may not be appreciated by many. Black metal itself is just one of the multiple veins "Shards Of Silver Fade" features, and we have to wait for about fifteen minutes in order to first hear some buzzing guitars, and even more for the first blast beat. Up to that moment, we're surrounded by synths, spoken word, keyboards, and extremely cosmic-sounding passages. Granted, Darkspace is still a strong influence especially on guitars, but it is very likely that we won't hear guitars for dozens of minutes on this record, before going back to classic black metal scenarios in other parts.
This time, Dis Pater outdid himself both in terms of quantity and quality, "Shards Of Silver Fade" is a prime example of his (only?) flaw — a lack of concision — and his (unnumbered) merits as well — the ability to compose within a wide variety of genres and feelings, and the complete surpassing of any kind of border. His next album could just take any road and still be coherent with the growth of this project. Midnight Odyssey is now in outer space, and the horizon is the only limit to its journey.