Let’s contemplate Shylmagoghnar’s landscapes.
Created in 2004 by Dutch musicians Nimblkorg (vocals/all instruments) and Skirge (keyboards/vocals), the project took ten years to produce a debut album. Four years later, the band signed with Napalm Records and unveiled their second album, followed by Skirge‘s departure. Nimblkorg now composes on its own and brings us Convergence, his third work.
The album opens with I Hear the Mountain Weep, the longest compositions, which gradually fills us with wonder, enveloping us in its most ethereal sounds before letting saturation and percussion reveal themselves. The martial rhythm remains in this soaring approach while welcoming piercing harmonics, complemented by majestic keyboards under which the riffs become more aggressive, before finally giving way to Follow the River, which lets raucous howls become part of the epic mix. The tone is much more threatening, letting a few dissonant leads cover the solid basis, which naturally adopts Folk influences, or whispers that flare up again, leading us to the ferocious Threshold and its aggressive patterns, which subside to let the guitars enchant our spirit. There are also some sharper and more Old School parts, and a relatively unsettling finale that gives way to the cheerful Strata and its heady tones naturally contrasting the jolting rhythm. More complex touches make themselves heard, especially on bass, then it’s fury wins the musician over with these effective accelerations, which only end to let Gardens of the Erased develop its strange cybernetic sounds. The atmosphere remains tense thanks to the percussion, but it’s with Egregore, the next track, that the musician returns to his Black Metal roots, placing raw or more muffled vocal parts as he tells us his tale, surrounded by keyboards. The groovy bass accompanies us at the start of Infinion, giving a catchy touch to the instrumental composition before letting leads recreate the grandiose musical landscapes we travel through before returning to the darkness on Convergence, the eponymous track, and its energetic riffs. Melodic elements are still present, however, to give the rhythm its full scope, and then a monstrous voice greets us on The Sea, followed by a haunting approach that develops via relatively ominous sounds in the background, as well as a few murmurs and even quieter passages where saturation is absent before slowly fading out. The album comes to a close with Becoming, a composition initially occupied by modern keyboards before returning to more oppressive sounds, then to piano’s quietude.
Shylmagoghnar is an incredible project. Between long instrumentals, airy tones, Old School roots and raw howls, the band handles each element to perfection, making Convergence a complete and incredibly rich album.