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In Twilight’s Embrace Get Technical with “The Great Leveller”

In Twilights Embrace - Vanitas artwork

As much as black metal involves, invokes, and invigorates atmosphere, it also showcases speed and aggression. Often we get lost in the aura of an album, losing sight of the raw, mechanical details which help generate it. Especially hard-hitting, ripping albums are gifts from bands who explore black metal’s technical components more closely than others. There are dangers present, though: forgetting the importance of melody, relegating atmosphere to after-effect, or becoming obsessed with instrumentation and outright skill. There’s a balance to be struck when writing clear-cut, no-nonsense technical black metal.

Poland-based In Twilight’s Embrace have found this balance on their fourth full-length Vanitas, scheduled for release on September 22nd. With noodling guitars, spasmodic drumming, punchy bass, and spacey vocals, Vanitas feels like it should be a mishmash of ideas, loose and chaotic. Instead the band tightly wraps each moment — transitions are distinct, production is clear, and guitars are tactically honed — rendering songs easily followable and even more rockable. For them, atmosphere evolves naturally, meaning it doesn’t feel penciled in. Check out an exclusive stream of the album’s culminatory track “The Great Leveller” below.

Subtle but sudden chord changes pepper the verses on “The Great Leveller,” but as its first and final moments indicate, In Twilight’s Embrace does not shy away from straightforward (and textured) walls of blast beats. Constantly shifting from segment to segment, the track feels more expansive than its six-minute runtime would typically allow. It carries the same dark and angry energy throughout (which Vanitas‘ other tracks helped establish up to this final point) — tying both ends together.

Certainly, the build-up before an almighty climax helps demonstrate that In Twilight’s Embrace have not forgotten the importance of atmosphere, especially amid the fastidious detail they’ve worked into the music.Vanitas, to its benefit, isn’t always an eyes-closed, headphone listen — there’s a lot of invigorating power to be extracted from this album via sheer volume pumped through large space. Luckily, they’ve taken clarity into consideration, as each track has a bell-like ring when it comes to nuance — but, occasionally, the downs break and In Twilight’s Embrace pours out abstractly (and delightfully) powerful walls of sound.

A statement from the band:

There is a thread which links this one with the first single, “The Hell of Mediocrity.” Although the title phrase is often used to portray death itself, it also reflects the sheep mentality versus free spirit, mass versus individual and, finally, the idolisation of the lowest common denominator as opposed to independent thought and action. From the very beginning, until the very end, this bitter undercurrent is present in every single line and note on Vanitas.

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

Follow In Twilight’s Embrace on Facebook here and Bandcamp here. Preorder Vanitas here.

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