I Am The Night – While The Gods Are Sleeping

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Finnish newcomers I Am The Night is a supergroup band comprised of Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, Abhorrence), Janne Markkanen (ex-Omnium Gatherum, Locust Year), Markus Vanhala (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum) and Okko Solanterä (Horizon Ignited). The expression of the subtle nuances of bands like Dissection and Emperor are widely showcased in the band’s first-length studio album “While The Gods Are Sleeping”. I Am The Night's song composition infuses catchy rhythm guitars and atmospheric synth passages with each member presenting an immense effort into the album’s seven tracks.

The insertion of the melodic leads and classic elements of 90’s black metal are professionally combined with excellent qualities. The short intro “While The Gods Are Sleeping...” encapsulates dark guitar riffs and a powerful wall of sound that quickly kicks into full gear on the following track “Hear Me O’ Unmaker”. It begins with an avalanche of blast beats that are overwhelmed by the blazing tremolos while the lead guitars and drums take the reign of speed. There are plenty of melodic passages accompanied by the synth while the song dynamics throttle at a furious pace. In spite of the fast tempos, I Am The Night brings its classic experience with sharp guitar riffs, weaving melodies in a class of their own. Lush keyboard passages and rhythm guitars are gripping while the drumming work is extremely fast with the slow sections having plenty of hooks.

While The Gods Are Sleeping” transports the listener to the glorious era of the second wave of black metal. The album is brimming full of vibrant guitar melodies. The raspy vocals of Okko Solanterä give the songs a sinister feeling while the tremolos are dark, fast, and unsettling. “Dawnbearer” offers a powerful drumming performance from Waltteri Väyrynen. The composition consists of impressive riffs and is meticulously demonstrated by guitarist/keyboardist Markus Vanhala. I Am The Night‘s first studio album takes its inspiration from Emperor’s masterpiece album “In The Nightside Eclipse” where for example the keyboard arrangements combine lush soundscapes and semi-symphonic embellishments, creating a memorable experience.

The perfect formula of bridging the blistering riffage with cold freezing tremolo sections evokes the style of Swedish black metal gods Dissection. The opening riff of  “Ode to The Nightsky” reveals strong influences from Dissection’s album “Storm of The Light’s Bane”. Though the song is extremely catchy, it doesn’t get stale after repeated listens. The emphasis on the melodic lead guitars and rhythm gives each its very own flavor and the epic melodies are served as a backdrop to the pacing drums. The keyboards are invariably used as an additional texture that provides a dimensional layer. I Am The Night combines aggression and sinister guitar riffs that outlines the strong musicianship, the guitar riffs on this track venture into the frosty style of black metal. Much like the keyboards, the guitars on the album are played fast, and Markus Vanhala presents cold and blistering riffs throughout.

The raspy vocals puts an impeccable effect on the nature of the music while the band perfectly interlaces blistering riffs and frigid gloomy ambiance. The Finnish quartet has found a fair degree of quality infusing the dynamics of Dissection and symphonic touches of Emperor. Needless to say, I Am The Night has mastered its craft. What we have here is a supreme embodiment of the Swedish and Norwegian trademarks. In fact, the entire album is constructed upon a plethora of fiery riffs. Albeit polished and catchy, “The Owl” for instance is full of traditional black metal riffs while the synth adds an extra gloomy feel to the music.

The melodic atmosphere contrasts with the clean vocals hence the intensity is focused on the ethereal synth and the rasping vocals. While most of the songs are melodic, a faint cascading synth streams through the track “Among The Unseen Ones”. The chorus includes a duel of harsh and somber clean vocals and blazing tremolos that are interlaced with the blistering drums. The final track “Holocaust Of The Angels” is balanced by the mid-tempo drums, heavy guitars, and vivid keyboards which provide a melodic anchor for this epic closure.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10
8.2

Strong and simultaneously abrasive “While The Gods Are Sleeping” is a well-crafted album that brings the passionate persona of the band in its relentless and ferocious form.

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