The Pitch: Following up their critically acclaimed third album, Polish melodic black metal band In Twilight's Embrace release Vanitas through Arachnophobia Records. “Having confronted several deaths of family members and friends, made me realise the true weight of mortality,” confesses vocalist, Cyprian Lakomy. “The realisation paved the way for reflections which would later become the backbone of the lyrics and atmosphere on Vanitas”.
What I Like: Expect some changes in sound as you press play on Vanitas. This album still carries plenty of venom largely in thanks to Cyprian's grim vocal performance, but the approach to riffs and structure feel a little different. I have some complaints to share on this below, but first the positives. When the band gets it right, as with the epic opening riff of the first track and Immortal inspired hooks on "The Great Leveller," everything is gravy. "Fan the Flames" is another standout with its catchy, recurring hook and pace changes. There are definitely some high points to be found in both the guitars and the drums, and the live energy of the latter are certainly a high point. There is also an obvious increase in folksy atmosphere flowing through the veins of this album, and it adds an extra layer of history and mystique to the proceedings.
Critiques: I gotta say, I'm dissapointed in the trajectory of this album overall. While its darkness and black metal elements are palpable, I miss the consistent piledriver aggression of The Grim Muse. That album had a style more comparable to acts like Dissection, Young and In The Way, Taake, and even At The Gates. Vanitas is (mostly) much more subdued, harkening to atmospheric black metal more on par with Wiegedood or early Ulver. While these bands are great in their own rite, it's not what I look for when queuing up In Twilight's Embrace.
The Verdict: It's hard to follow up material as good as The Grim Muse, an album I named in my top picks for 2015. Ultimately, Vanitas is just a very different entity that doesn't quench the same bloodthirst. However, for those wanting something a little more in line with traditional 2nd wave black metal should be pleased enough. Get it today, stream it HERE and via the usual services.
Flight's Fav's: The Hell of Mediocrity, Futility, The Great Leveller
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.