IN SHADOWS AND DUST – Enlightened By Darkness

Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Release: December 21, 2018
By: Stormlord
Rating: 7.5/10
Time: 32:12
Style: Black/Death Metal
URL: In Shadows And Dust

It still begins harmoniously with rain splashing in Maëlys as introduction, but the title track Enlightened By Darkness beats and saws down Swedish forests in a nostalgic manner. Entombed sends his greetings, but mastermind Stephane, who is responsible for all instruments and vocals, gives the upper hand to many very fast hack-on parts. Compositions like the snotty cheeky Revenge are kept short and crisp, whereby the melody in the background in the form of lightning-fast leads plays an important role. Punkish vibes combine in Looking Into The Void with simple Death Metal - dull and straightforward, there's not much room for noticeable choruses and catchy grooves. I can't negate Mr. Thirion's good feeling for the right dose of melody when composing, but the old school sound blows my mind a bit. Doomy insertions loosen up the inferno during Dawn Of A New Day skillfully and enter a gripping fusion with the successful guitar melodies.
In contrast to his predecessor A Fleur De Peau, Stephane manages this time to realize his vision more comprehensible and sleeker, because he sometimes slows down the tempo and composes more fluently. The best example for the evolution in sound: the competent combination of hard beats and wonderful melodies in the broad piece Black Sword. Afterwards the music stamps martially at the beginning of At The Edge Of The World, also the short bass intermezzo leaves a raised eyebrow as a sign of recognition. Ultimately, Beloved Darkness, the fight-bell attack, functions as a merciless bouncer with melodic finesse and removes all signs of resistance.
I like this album better than the last one, but I'm not (yet) doing enthusiastic leaps and bounds - I keep IN SHADOWS AND DUST in mind and hope for the next step in the positive development of the band sound.