Different. You'll go a long way to find anything else so … different!
In theory, this is metal. But you'll hear goth metal on many of the tracks, interspersed with a few death metal passages and even some stoner rock. And there are long sections of gentle, melancholy gothic ballads accompanied by piano, acoustic guitar, bass and distorted, reverb'ed guitars. Keyboards and synths play a major role on this CD, as do Ihriel's vocals.
Whose vocals? Peccatum is a project of a Norwegian husband and wife team who have chosen the stage names Ihsahn and Ihriel. Very "gothic", very pretentious, and those pseudonyms may not fly in the USA – but the music certainly will. Listen for the tempo changes that run from aggressive death metal growls over a heavy bass line to the lovely female vocals accompanied by gentle instrumentation, and back again. The overwhelming heaviness in some of the industrial bass-and-percussion passages that sound as of someone is thumping a double-bass at the end of a long sound pipe. The mid-range male vocals that provide texture behind the instrumentation.
Perhaps the "gothic" label works best here because of the dark vibe, the sinister overtones and the hauntingly beautiful vocals. In researching this album we found several writers calling Lost In Reverie weird. It isn't weird at all. It is progressive, experimental bordering on avant garde, bombastic, pretentious and intellectual. And in this genre of music those are huge compliments. Our only criticisms: Those tempo changes are sometimes handled with wonderful finesse, and they're sometimes rather abrupt. And the production could stand a bit more attention.
Kudos to Peccatum for some wonderful ideas and a very rewarding listen. And kudos to The End Records for finding another genre-defying gem.
Click here to view our interview with Peccatum's Ihsahn
01. Desolate Ever After
02. In The Bodiless Heart
03. Parasite My Heart
04. Veils Of Blue
05. Black Star
07. The Banks Of This River Is Night