|Label:||Stygian Crypt Productions|
2013 was the year of Summoning's return: who among us wasn't waiting for a brand new epic and atmospheric chapter by the Austrian duo? Well, they didn't fail to meet our expectations, but this year the true surprise for me came from Serbia — from its capital Belgrade, to be more specific — and it was delivered by Númenor.
The project, formerly known as Esgaroth, had already produced the demo "Gates Of The Kings" in 2005 and the EP "Promo" in 2006. Up to this moment, their path had been characterized by short steps, including two splits with Forlorn Wisp and Advent Sorrow (released in 2009 and 2013), paving the way to the debut full-length "Colossal Darkness". This work features clearly epic and ambient traits, reminiscent of the already mentioned Summoning, and other acts such as Bal Sagoth, Dimmu Borgir and Wintersun; the progressive and power elements interweave with them, bringing to mind other projects like Code, Age Of Silence, and Morgana Lefay. This also happens because of the magnificent performance on clean vocals by Gordan Lazica in "The Eternal Champion" (inspired by Michael Moorcock's literary creations), "While The Gods Laugh", and "Servant Of Sorcery". The journey consists of eight tracks of a relatively short duration when compared to other similar releases, also considering that the album doesn't even reach thirty-five minutes in total.
The connection between music and literature is a constant that gives the album a clear vision beyond time and contemporary reality, representing the value added of a performance perfect for taking listeners through reveries. The band's name has been inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's works, "The Hour Of The Dragon" was influenced by Robert E. Howard, while "Chronomancer" is named after the book by their fellow countryman Ivan Markovic, author of "Puppet-Master Marionette (Volume I)".
Númenor's symphonic music is grandiose but never excessively so, and most of the credit for this is due to the notable taste employed by the vocalist Despot Marko Miranovic on all songs, also making use of spoken word on a few occasions (such as the final act "The Sailor On The Seas Of Fate"). In addition, the orchestrations and the keyboards by Vladimir Djedovic contribute at embellishing the different scenarios track after track, together with the clean production completed at the Paradox Studio, devoid of artificiality. Judging by this beginning, the future of the Serbian project should be bright and clear; let me conclude by inviting you all to buy and listen to "Colossal Darkness": don't miss out!