I have no prior experience with progressive Netherlands symphonic, melodic death/black metal duo,  Shylmagoghnar ( a moniker the duo created), but their second album, Transience is one of the most wondrous albums of the year.

Seriously, this is a really good album. It reminds me a little of  Disillusion and their progressive melodic death metal magnum opus Back to Times of Splendor mixed with the uber melodic riffs of Vindland and some of the blackened Gothic, moody overtures of German 90s act Agathodaimon.

Skirge (vocals, lyrics) and Nimblkorg (guitars, drums, keys, bass) has created a true masterpiece here , with some of 2018s most uplifting, harmonic  riffs and chord progressions. How good  are these guys? Of the albums 8 songs, 3 are (long) instrumentals- and they all held my attention, and if you’ve read this site for any amount of time, I’m not a huge fan of instrumental music. I need vocals. But not here, I’m so enamored with the music – all 62 minutes of it.

The sprawling 12 minute title track gets right to it with an evocative few minutes of atmospherics before displaying the bands grasp of superior, glorious melodies, patient transitions, delicate piano work and its just a joy to behold. The first instrumental, the eight minute “The Dawn of Motion”, is where the band sucked me in, I kept waiting for vocals to add to the fantastic riffs, but they never appeared and I still really enjoyed the song. “The bands gets a little more aggressive for “As All Must Come to Pass”, a frosty, pure melodic black metal number rooted in the Scandinavian greats of the 90s. The albums shortest track “This Shadow of the Heart”, has a bit of early  Dark Tranquillity to it, with dancing, delicate guitar work and solos.

The second  instrumental, “The Chosen Path”, might have some of favorite harmonies of any of the songs, so that enforces how good these guys are.  Another 12 minute number ” No Child of Man Could Follow”, is the only track on the album that never really pulled me initially, but it picks up steam ending as a solid track. “Journey Through the Fog”, is arguably the album’s standout, which is hard to pick, but its steady mid paced and almost Viking gait  makes it a track that’s impossible not to love. By the time the 13 minute instrumental closer “Life”  comes around, I would usually be tapping out, but these guys keep me absolutely riveted with its more moody. somber end cap.

The only element of the music that never matches the majesty of the compositions is the relatively safe vocals of Skirge,  who has a blackened rasp and little else (1 line of spoken word). But I guess its better than forcing , bad, clean vocals into the mix, which could have distracted from the rest of the sonic brilliance, and also allows the music to be the true highlight. Regardless of that minor quibble,  this is 62 minutes of pure bliss, and will more than likely be one of my top albums of 2018.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 2nd, 2018


  1. Commented by: Jerry

    The keyboard line in the track posted is very reminiscent of Funeral’s From These Wounds album. They also jacked the horrible fake drum tones from it, haha

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