Images At Twilight – “Kings” (Indie Recordings)
Royalty indeed! A veritable underground super group made up of Anders Faret Haave (In Vain, ex-Blood Red Throne) on drums, guitarists Tom Arild ‘Ihizagh’ Johansen (Perished, Bloodthorn and session member of Mayhem) and Bolverk (Ragnarok), Martin ‘Viti’ Blystad Almli (Hinsidig) on bass & vocals, lead vocalist Bjørn ‘Narrenschiff’ Holter (ex-Illnath, ex-Ásmegin), and last but not least, founder André Aaslie (Gromth) on piano, orchestration & also vocals! Although a fairly new project, the concept of Images At Twilight has long been in the mind of Aaslie since the 90s, wanting to create an orchestral black metal symphony that would rival any movie soundtrack with a matching epic lyrical concept based on extra terrestrials inhabiting the earth as pre human super races. Well “Kings” is certainly a befitting title for the titanic epics on this grand opus, drawing inspiration from the likes of Bal Sagoth, Emperor, and Dimmu Borgir although being far more orchestral thanks to Aaslie’s magnificent classical piano work, richly flowing over the blast beats and spiraling riffs while dark cellos and violins add their own haunting symphonic atmosphere to mighty songs like ‘Lograttin Part I (The Saga of the Ancient Warlords Chapter III)’, ‘Created To Destroy (TSOTAW Chapter V)’ and ‘Kaizanbar (TEOAE Chapter II)’. What is truly breathtaking about Aaslie’s work is that it goes beyond simply adding symphony to the extreme but effectively combining it intricately so whether featuring to a greater or lesser extent the material always sounds mesmerizing, superbly flowing to its own dynamic and always captivating the listener. Definitely a superior release for the discerning listener appreciative of quality mixed with dark intensity!