Echoes Of Refuge

Unlike the recent album by Sweden’s Memfis who decided to deliver a sort of modernized take on Oepth, Canada’s Adytum said ‘fuck it’, and basically wrote an exact clone of Opeth’s mid era work except with harsher black metal vocals.

Though that’s pretty much Adytum’s debut in a nutshell, I probably should embellish; this is Opeth worship, no bones about it. Good Opeth worship at that, and if you can get past that fact, or even think Opeth has fallen off, this stand in might satiate your need for progressive, light dark textured black/death metal with long songs and artfully crafted layering both vocally and musically.

The slightly rougher production and the vocals of Brendan Dean are about the only non Opethian thing about this material. His rasp is far blacker than Akerfeldt’s roar, and his clean vocals aren’t even close. Musically though, this thing is pure Opeth; all but one song over 11 minutes including a three part 24 minute closing title track (“I Affliction” , “II Antiquities Martyr”, “III Parade of Darkness”), all full of lush contrasts between layered, progressive blackened metal, and softer more atmospheric segues.

Generally, it’s all quite well done and a competent homage, but therein lies the issue; its such a hugely obvious form of Opeth worship it’s almost a literal clone and has nary a note of originality within it 60+ minute exposition. Even the short sharp burst of “Trail of Arcane” with its urgent brevity sounds like a compilation of all of Opeth’s meaner death metal bursts condensed into 4 minutes. The band seem far more relaxed when delivering lengthy, ambitious tracks like opener “Wendigo” or “The Silhouette Rust”, but again the scent of Opeth can be a little overwhelming in such tracks.

To some, that may not be necessarily a bad thing, and in the overall scheme of things, Echoes of Refuge is a competently played and well written record that deserves some attention.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 1st, 2007


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