The Six Elements Volume 5: Spirit/Mystères

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It is that time of the year again, Dawn of a Dark Age are back with their fifth album and this one is a doozy. On their fourth release the band teased a more atmospheric approach to their music and have taken that sound, expanded it ten fold creating another unique peace of music for the ages.

The Six Elements Volume 5: Spirit/Mystères has a very nice raw sound. It is clearly a successor to the previous album in sound and professionalism. The band have expanded their sound some what by adding in a lot of interesting jazz based sections giving a new line of creativity and new sounds which sit nicely with that which Dawn of a Dark Age have already mastered. The atmospheric elements have been ramped up a fair bit giving the listener a more relaxed experience, something we only got a glimpse of in the previous released.

Songs like the twenty minute opening epic, Il Viaggio are lengthy by even this bands standards. But what they do with the extra time is quite interesting. There are sections which boast the traditional black metal with blast beats and the buzz saw guitars, but there are many moments of narrative, soft melodies and other assorted instruments that give the album a huge amount of variety.

I can understand why some people might find this music to be a little drawn out, it is most definitely an acquired taste when compared to the previous releases. But the more progressive and atmospheric nature of The Six Elements Volume 5: Spirit/Mystères has a lot of character, one that is very noticeably Dawn of a Dark Age. Those who are familiar with the previous albums will know within seconds who they are listening to. It doesn’t matter if it is a lengthy jazz section, one of the long narratives, the more quieter clarinet solos or the thrashing black metal moments, you know exactly who this band is.

I rather enjoyed the number, Corpus Domini. Not only did they managed to work in the furious blast beats and thrashing guitars but there is a spoken word section that features some excellent drum patterns that have a sort of marching band flavour to them. The song rounds off in an almost jazz free form jam flowing wonderfully into Il Ritorno. This track is another lengthy brooding number that has some haunting melodies and vicious guitars. It is rather relaxing all things considered. It leads off into the organ driven closer Epilogo. This track rounds off the album by playing a little bit of everything, finishing the record on a definite high note.

Those that already own the previous The Six Elements albums will find plenty to like on Volume 5. It has a lot of the same styles, textures and sounds that have been used countless times before. However, those who do not like having lengthy narrative driven songs might find it a bit too much and yet, those who do will love the hell out of this record.

Personally speaking, I would not rate this record higher than The Six Elements Volume 4: Air, but it is definitely a fantastic album that has been beautifully crafted. I enjoyed hearing the woodwind instruments, the different style of drums and percussion, the raw brutal guitar tones and having it all wrapped together in top notch production. This is a fantastic album, one that much like the rest, I would highly recommend.

Rating : 9 / 10

Track Listing :

  1. IL Viaggio
  2. Lo Spirito Del Deserto
  3. IL Cerchio Di Fuoco
  4. Corpus Domini
  5. Il Ritorno
  6. Epilogo