Review 1674 : Penumbra – Eden – English

Penumbra comes back stronger.

Created in 1996 under the name Imperatoria, the band led by Jarlaath (vocals/oboe) quickly changes its name to adopt the current one. Surrounded by Agone (bass/vocals, ex-Lux Incerta, ex-Synoptia), Neo (guitar), Arathelis (drums, The Old Dead Tree), Loic (guitar) and Valérie Chantraine (vocals, ex-Dusk and Darkness), he announces the release of Eden, his fifth album, which will be released by M & O Music.

The album begins with Inferno, a majestic composition which quickly goes from enchanting clean voice to the more raw screams, creating this interesting and rhythmic contrast in the instrumental, whether it is soothing or jerky. We also have cold groovy riffs which know how to ignite to accompany vocals, then oriental influences show up to introduce Neverdream, the next composition, which will quickly unveil an abrasive and impressive sound. But quietness follows violence again, and the heady melodies perfectly integrate a catchy bass/drums duo before letting Empty Space rely on a heavy and dark sound to create a worrying atmosphere. Keyboards and clean vocals are still never far away to come and soothe minds, while leaving Prog-oriented patterns to lead us to Sorrow, a rather soft and melancholic track at first, which lets the vocalist lead us to the other elements, like the vocal duet and the modern saturated parts. The final with choirs will slowly fade out before Underworld comes to present its motivating riffs, which easily welcome the different voices. Unsurprisingly, the mood darkens on Bogeyman, a more aggressive composition which lets riffs speed up accompanying the saturated sound, or slow down when clean vocals come in, creating a duality complemented by some cleverly placed orchestrations. The child’s voice will definitely surprise you, but the track will return to more classic sounds to lead us to Passage and its changing sounds which adapt to the vocalists, always feeding this contrast between the different parts before mixing them. The angelic choir enforces a haunting rhythm for the second part of the track, which will eventually fade away to let Eden, the eponymous track, present its modern and cybernetic elements. The approach of this track is relatively different from the previous ones, nevertheless we notice that this style also fits the band, which will return to its Metal elements before Aion closes the album with a rather soft first part, but we can obviously feel the acceleration coming, and after its catchy saturation the band will give way to silence.

Penumbra plays on the contrast brought by its different vocalists to create a catchy universe with multiple shades. The ambiences follow one another easily, making Eden an easily listenable album, and which fits well in their discography.


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