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Askara: Light Of Night

Light of Night is the second album from Swiss dark metal outfit Askara, the band, who formed in 2013, nearing their ten year anniversary. The intention behind their sound seems to be to combine the dark with a little light, as growled vocals are presented alongside some clean, clear female singing from Miril, just as a liberal sprinkling of melancholic piano sparks off the more expected riffing.

In truth, while well intentioned, when brought together the end results of the likes of “Through Fire” don’t - in more ways than one - really hang together. First up, and possibly the main issue, is a mix where none of the instrumentation or vocals appear able or willing to to play nice together, with each element feeling very isolated and therefore, remarkably mechanical in execution. Admittedly that’s not really helped by the growled vocals from Elia Schmidt, his efforts coming across as polite and perfunctory. When put up against the rather excellent clean, soaring voice of Miril, they come a distant second best and arguably blunt what is an impressive attack from this front woman. I’d personally have been much happier is she’d been allowed to tackle all of this album unimpeded.

What else is lacking is any real killer songs, the band’s predilection for mid-paced grinding seldom allowed to blossom into anything other than, well, mid-paced grinding. Nothing here is downright terrible, but it’s only the cello infused, not really metal at all, of the tender “Hibernation” (which wouldn’t have been out of place on The Lords of the Rings soundtrack) that stands out and demands your attention. Unfortunately neither this sound nor style represents the rest of this album, and as such it falls all too quickly into the forgettable.

Track Listing
1. The Birth of a Star
2. Nocturne of Cold Mystery
3. Through Fire
4. By God
5. To Ailsa Rock
6. Hibernation
7. Dark Night of the Soul Pt. I
8. Seven Years
9. Viator
10. The King's Song

Added: September 21st 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Fastball Music
Hits: 250
Language: english

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