Dissvarth – Between The Light and The Moon (2016)

It would certainly seem that I’ve got a mixed bag this week, with groove, death metal, electronic music and now this atmospheric release. Officially considered a mix of cosmic ambient, darkwave and neo-folk, the debut release from this two man project is most certainly a journey. Dissvarth might sound like some sort of cosmic black metal act, but that is certainly not the case here, as Dis Pater (Midnight Odyssey) and Svarthen (Aeon Winds) instead whip up atmospheres that remind me of everything from Dead Can Dance to those little known atmospheric projects that Mortiis fronted so many years ago. Elend and Arcana are also mentioned here in the leaflet, which I can certainly attest to as influences. Of course Elend always sort of took me for a loop, particularly during their early Satanism based records. Surely there’s nothing wrong with beautiful and atmospheric (yet dark, as you’ll find here) pieces about the devil, but I always found it a rather silly subject to make atmospheric music about. As expected, they later changed their style to something a bit more intriguing.

With Between The Light and The Moon, one can become quickly enraptured within the passages of what I’d consider an absolutely brilliant and memorable experience from literally the very first song on the album. “Into Darkness Your Spirit Flies” features a rather dark vocal croon, quite similar to that of not just Dead Can Dance and Arcana, but also Black Tape For A Blue Girl, who have been making darkwave music since there was such a thing as darkwave. A gentle and spacey piano really sets the piece off though, making for a rather beautiful trip into the stars. “Ablaze Of Solar Night” sounds a bit like Bowie (of which I’ve no objection to) especially when the vocals raise a little beyond their deep overtones, as the title piece seems to serve as something of a short meditation observed from sitting at the center of the universe. “Polaris” adds acoustics into the mix, which seems on track for that neo-folk vibe you might have seen tagged earlier in the review. “Halls In A Hidden Fog” is where we’ll end the observation, showing that these guys excel most when they’re channeling new dimensions from out of thin air by the magickal art of music. With Between The Light and The Moon, you’re getting a mixture of ethereal soundscapes, passionate darkwave and shadowy folk tunes, all seeming to meld together perfectly. There’s not a song here that I would consider a throwaway, so it’s definitely worth a listen if you’re looking for something to zone out to for a bit. It certainly delivers the kind of “chill music” that you might expect expect from such a release and would work wonders in a state of meditation. Well, most songs. I don’t feel that I can personally focus on meditation when songs contain very bright and audible vocals, but they did intend on making a musical release with vocals, rather than just an instrumental. So we’ve got to take that into consideration. Between The Light and The Moon is a step in the right direction for this genre and shows Dissvarth as a prominent act. Just don’t confuse them for black metal, as their name is very confusing in that regard.

(9 Tracks, 53:00)

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