Twilight Ophera
Descension

Fully titled Twilight Ophera and the Order of the Sanguine Diadem presents: Descension, (Order of the Sanguine Diadem being a choral group who has added their talents to this release) the fourth full album from Finland’s Twilight Ophera, is a run of the mill, but competent exercise in symphonic black/death metal.While listening to the dense guitars and sweeping synths of Descension I’m reminded a little of Anorexia Nervosa, and but while this effort seems bigger, better and more eclectic than the mediocre The End of Halcyon Age, it still does little to break from the symphonic black metal pack. The Order of the Sanguine Diadem add some well paced choral arrangements and Emperor-ish clean vocals (i.e. “Suicide Harlequin”) to the already orchestrally heavy Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir/Emperor styled antics, but otherwise, Twilight Ophera rely on the tried and tested premises of majestic synths backed blast beats (“Charagma,” “Mirage of Moira,” “Sulphur Spiral,” “Syn”), the occasional death metal lurch (“Hollow Movements of Flesh,” “Wraith Reveries”) and even the odd doomy atmospheric moments (the Draconian-ish “Born of Brimstone Womb” and “Sanguine Diadem”).

It’s all wrapped up in a lush, production, solid musicianship and song-writing that’s above average and with the inclusion of the choral arrangements does throw some curveballs that break the mold once in a while. Still though, at its base level, Descension is no more than a competent symphonic black metal record from a consistently solid band that will never be one of the truly elite, but satisfy fans of the genre nonetheless.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 21st, 2006

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