Sunday, February 09, 2014

Review: Windbruch - No Stars, Only Full Dark

Windbruch is a Russian one man project from the mind of Iluzii Optice. He released the debut Windbruch album, Collision of the Worlds, in 2009 under Sun & Moon Records and in 2013 followed up with a split release. Now taken under the wing of Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records, No Stars, Only Full Dark was recently released at the beginning of February 2014 after an initial hope that the record would be released in the early quarter of 2013. Described as "...a delicate and emotional soundtrack for the heart of winter..." what should audiences be expecting from this new release?

Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Release Date: February 1st, 2014
  1. The Dance of Liquid Fire
  2. No More Entry, No More Exit
  3. No Stars
  4. A City On Fire
  5. Only Full Dark
  6. Neswa-Pawuk
  7. Flashback to My Lake
Total Playtime: 49 minutes, 18 seconds







Rating: 6.5/10







Windbruch is a Russian one man project from the mind of Iluzii Optice. He released the debut Windbruch album, Collision of the Worlds, in 2009 under Sun & Moon Records and in 2013 followed up with a split release. Now taken under the wing of Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records, No Stars, Only Full Dark was recently released at the beginning of February 2014 after an initial hope that the record would be released in the early quarter of 2013. Described as "...a delicate and emotional soundtrack for the heart of winter..." what should audiences be expecting from this new release?

No Stars, Only Full Dark is an album of few words that is very simplistic in nature. A good portion of the material is made up of generic drum beats, guitar rhythms and walking bass lines. The content doesn't stick to just one gimmick and instead switches between heavy riffing and deep drumming to more tame structures; this is essential in capturing the listener's attention during some of the longer tracks, as three of the seven songs present exceed the ten minute mark. Unfortunately there is a track that really drops the ball on this. "No Stars" repeats the same piano rhythm to maddening levels throughout the majority of its seven minute time frame; due to the piano being in the front of the mix at this time it's also exceedingly difficult for the listener to focus on any of the other instruments without being brought back to the piano's rhythm.


Even though the score given is low, that doesn't make this album a bad one. There's a humble mixture of downbeats that make the material come across as saddening, most noteworthy the doomish hellscape of "A City on Fire" that wreaks emotional havoc with it's echo laden drawn out growls and sluggish tempo, but it also has its fair share of contradictory upbeat happy moments, most memorable is the upbeat tremolo picking in the middle of "No More Entry, No More Exit" and the deep tom-tom drum pattern that follows suit. Most of the material is generally uptempo, and this provokes more of a happy feeling rather than bleak or depressive. The guitar has an above-standard treble quality to it that brings about the black metal feel, while the drums usually stick to heavy tom-toms and bass drums for depth.

No Stars, Only Full Dark is a decent experience if you're driving down the road, traveling alone or need some music to let your mind wander to. It lacks substance, however, as there are large voids left unfilled in areas that the silence just doesn't quite fit, such as in the extended calm in "Only Full Dark". The composure of the instruments is exceedingly simplified, which can cause the material to grow stale over time since there is little in the way of twists and turns to spice up the journey. It's definitely worth a listen and a decent effort at best, though not overly depressive or bleak.

Physical Copy Provided by: Hypnotic Dirge Records

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