As evidenced by the plethora of coverage I've offered the band over the years, from large interviews here to actually providing liner notes for a deluxe reissue of Songs of Moors and Misty Fields, it is safe to say Empyrium is one of my absolute favorite bands. Their pastoral blend of neoclassical-tinged, folky music and mournful, atmospheric metal is so full of a longing which is uniquely Empyrium, the brainchild of Markus "Ulf Theodor Schwadorf" Stock (later joined by tenor Thomas Helm, whose contributions are as integral as the music itself).

Six years after the release of their "comeback" album The Turn of the Tides, which closed a lengthy silence following the band's initial demise in 2006, Empyrium returns once more with Über den Sternen. Having spent the past decade celebrating their first two albums, the more metallic A Wintersunset… and Songs of Moors and Misty Fields, Über den Sternen acts as a bit of a foil, but also a companion to its predecessor, fusing the darkwave elements which defined Turn of the Tides with the whimsical Romanticisms which defined Empyrium's first era. The result? A uniquely morose and ethereal experience, one where Stock looks back on his earlier works (from before Thomas Helm joined) with a mature nostalgia and reverence, something which is only appended with Helm's unique, powerful voice. Watch an exclusive video premiere of Über den Sternen opener "The Three Flames Sapphire" below. Empyrium lives.

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From Markus "Ulf Theodor Schwadorf" Stock:

"The Three Flames Sapphire" is the opener of Über den Sternen and was actually the last song that was composed for this album. It features many an element that Empyrium has always been known for and creates a great opening to Über den Sternen by evoking a central mood of this album.

I really think this song has the Empyrium DNA imprinted deeply in its very core: The acoustic instruments, the folkloristic vibe, vocals by both Thomas and myself, harsh screams and electric guitars, the yearning melancholy of the multi harmonic lead guitars and lyrically a folk tale of our home region Rhön that is both–incredibly beautiful and tragic.

Proud to present this song alongside the video clip created by Oliver König who masterfully understood to bring to life the tragic tale of the three will o’ the wisps haunting the black moor in images that are Empyrium in their very core. Three blue flames hovering over the moor at night that are the cursed souls of three beautiful, young maiden that now shall haunt your soul…

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Über den Sternen releases February 26th on Prophecy Productions.