Lamp Of Murmuur – Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism 

Lamp Of Murmuur – Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism 

The black metal underground has been abuzz with the name Lamp Of Murmuur for months; the enigmatic soul behind the band keeping to the shadows while those who have fallen for their music trip over themselves to tell anyone, everyone, about this incredible raw black metal act. Purportedly from North America (the bandcamp page states Olympia, Washington as their location), Lamp Of Murmuur has been steadily ramping up their output since their sudden appearance in 2019 with the demo Thunder Vigil and Ecstasy, which was followed up with a handful of other demo recordings and a split with Revenant Marquis, leading the band to this, their debut full-length, Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism. The record is made up of new songs and a couple of re-recordings of tracks only available on out of print physical media (or YouTube if the desire should move you) and, hyperbole be damned, is incredible.

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The Round-Up Tapes // Volume XXII

Atramentus – Stygian

Atramentus

Stygian is vast, bleak, draped in ice and layered with loneliness. Beautiful on its stark and cold voyage from dying embers of Autumn to the eroding ice of Winter. A novel in the guise of funeral doom and a story that brings with it a sense of hopeless dread; the sun has long since died and the world is covered with deep swathes of snow. Our protagonist must find their way through the curse of immortality and live with the knowledge that all they know is dead and buried and their own quest will never cease to end.

Atramentus formed in 2012 after Philippe Tougas (also of Chthe’ilist) walked for hours in sub-zero temperatures, giving birth to the final track on Stygian on his return home and creating the impetus to bring the band to life. However, this took some time and it wasn’t until 2018 that a line-up was secured and their debut could be recorded. For Atramentus this long process was necessary as their music is as deep and rich as it steeped in the echelons of winter; the two “main” songs are bridged with a sombre instrumental passage – “Stygian II: In Ageless Slumber (As I Dream in the Doleful Embrace of the Howling Black Winds)” that links the ebbing warmth of autumn to the overarching frost of winter.

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Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog

Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog

Black metal is an ever-evolving beast and there are a handful of bands who are consistently pushing the underground of the genre into new territory; generally these bands are one person projects who release music independently or on small labels – for the aesthetic, of course. One such band is France’s Esoctrilihum, who have released four full lengths since 2017 and with Eternity of Shaog – the fifth – the band have pushed themselves once again, a little further out from the underground.

Sole member Asthâghul might be a mysterious figure, but Esoctrilihum gives us a small glimpse into the mind of a person who has been creating an individual space for themselves in the pantheon of black metal that is out there. This is a unique vision and one that stands far apart from much of the “popular” black metal or even the less known acts that exist and that it is the work of one person only, makes it all the more impressive in its complexity and concepts.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume XX

Imber Luminis – Same Old Silences

Imber Luminis is one of many projects from Belgian artist Déhà and while his output is incredibly prolific, the work doesn’t seem to suffer so much as become elevated through his preternatural drive to create. Of course, such efforts will sap the energy of the person behind them and so it seems that Imber Luminis, while dwelling somewhere between depressive black metal, atmospheric black metal and doom, deals with feelings of being overwhelmed and of suffering on a more human level. Same Old Silences moves through its horror via two songs that are split into sections, each giving weight and desolation to the next and it’s through these movements that Imber Luminis creates waves of sadness and depression that are so tangible it almost becomes your own.

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