Hailing from South Yorkshire-England, Ethereal Shroud is an atmospheric black metal project helmed by the multi-musician Joe Hawker (Wisp, ex-Of Solitude and Solemn, and Aldura). Sophomore album “Trisagion” was released on December 10, 2021, and the music expresses an entirely hypnotic and dreamy mood. The wistful musical settings bloom into light with the dramatic use of the instruments, like the viola that transports the listener to the mythical realm of funeral doom metal. Comprised of three lengthy tracks, the composer succeeded in adding different hues of colorful textures and lamenting vocals. Featuring other musicians such as Richard Spencer (bass, viola) and John Kerr (drums), the album was mixed and mastered between June-August 2021 by Spencer Morris in his home studio.
“Trisagion” is a very contemplative album and carves gloomy melodies that will attract the ears with elegant guitar riffs. The result is bringing a diluted concoction of black metal/funeral doom and lush synth waves making it pleasantly dismal. The melodic parts of the album are beautifully crafted with all three songs folk-influenced. Similarly, the ambient parts will make you get lost somewhere in dreamy thoughts. The album starts off sounding melodic, building layers and hypnotic synth patterns. “Chasmal Fires” gets more epic in scale and the vibrant guitars imbue emotive melodies. The drums though are caught in motions of the musical poetry, the gushing riffs paint hazy beautiful picturesque landscapes.
The song mainly nourishes on powerful riffs, there is always a transition to explore new sonic fields within the song itself. The lush female vocals of Shannon Greaves seem to bring an emotional anchor midway through the song when the folk elements and her voice surge in emotions. The drums and guitars lift the dynamics to the gloomy side of atmospheric black metal. The aura of grief and the somber tone of the vocals allow the grandiosity to engulf the listener in themes of sorrow and nature.
The vocals are mostly shrieks but they tune well with the exuberant textures of the synth, the drums are played at breakneck speed, always allowing the songs to channel different styles. “Discarnate” has a modern element where the guitars offer some classy refined melodies. The quality of the melodies makes each cut flawlessly replete with the doomy atmosphere. The guitars are monolithic diverse and they orchestrate the whole motion. Powerful tremolos flow vibrantly and everything in the track sprawls in the composer’s dreamy work of art. The album exudes juicy folk melodies and compelling emotions. The breakdown builds transitions and this is what makes the album so dynamic. Ethereal Shroud’s music allows you to brood and the pacing always shifts like a living motion of vast nature.
“Astral Mariner” clocks in at twenty-two minutes of atmospheric epicness, the classical instruments, like the piano notes, pervade the opening moments of this epic track. Just when the guitars kick in, the heavy drum paces are joined by wailing vocals. “Trisagion” is an atmospheric and elegant album, the effective contrast of slow doom pacing and black metal gives way to fully developed songwriting. Graceful melodies swirls and twirls and every instrument is layered, especially the guitars jetting elegantly onto the cascading synth. Ethereal Shroud puts a lot of emphasis on the potent tone of the guitars. The riffing is atmospheric and full of emotions, bringing balance to the gloomy sections, and the now and then clean spoken words add a subtle flavor to the music.
Being the second-longest cut and the final track, the drums on ‘Astral Mariner’ take a straightforward approach without undermining the atmospheric canvas. The remaining portion of this epic song eclipses the heart with dark emotions leaving you in a brooding mood. “Trisagion” offers a grand spectacle of how modern atmospheric black metal and funeral doom can be effectively engaging and powerful when merged. Although the album provides escapism it is certainly best suited for occasional visits from time to time.
Release Date: December 10th, 2021
Label: Northern Silence Productions
- Chasma Fires
- Astral Mariner