They’ve been a little quiet in the last four years but the seventh full length, “Lost Empyrean” from French Atmospheric Sludge Metal quartet Dirge finally breaks that silence and does so with magnificent finesse, no surprises then that this carefully considered and crafted offering has been two and a half years in the making.
The idea behind “Lost Empyrean” is that it “serves as a soundtrack to the dual relationship between the primordial quintessence colliding with the earthly body and the illusory nature of providence upon the sombre, meagre trappings of existence. “
“Lost Empyrean” is another offering of “hymnals to the toil of suffering and perseverance”, seven tracks spanning the best part of an hour, the sludgy core uplifted by haunting atmospheric swathes that create a mind-scape, the sound ranging from brutal and heavy from the crushing riffs and hypnotic bass lines that bend and bounce to more delicate and atmospheric haunting lead swathes and passages. The result is dynamic and multi layered, ebbing and flowing in atmospheric waves. The vocals are both clean and harsh as well as some spoken, it’s also an easy listen, just sit back relax, allow it to engulf you, drift on waves of sound which have an almost oceanic quality. Sometimes rough and turbulent, other times calm, still and reflective, always emotive and evocative, not just an excellent listen but an excellent listening experience.
Favourite tracks , that’s a difficult decision. “Lost Empyrean” opens on the monumental “Wingless Multitudes” which I love. A track which builds in such a way that it’s as if you are bracing yourself to dive in, and from about a minute in you are in the midst of it all and engulfed but I found myself “ surfacing” midway for the reflective, uplifting title track “Lost Empyrean“, also a blindingly good offering, which has an invigorating wake-up element to it , pulling me out of the weighty yet balmy trance that the three predecessors “Hosea 8:7“, “Algid Troy” and “The Burden Of Almost” coaxed me into. The remaining two tracks, “A Sea Of Light” and “Sarracenia” keep that crushing yet atmospheric mood going almost until the end, tailing out and gently at the close.
“Lost Empyrean” is available via Debemur Morti Productions and should be of great interest to fans of bands such as Neurosis, Cult of Luna, Godflesh or Isis.
Rating – 4.5 /5
Be crushed right here..