Recently I was browsing through bandcamp’s metal section when I came across an album that I have slept on for awhile now. Eldamar’s “The Force of The Ancient Land” has some of the most breathtaking album artwork I have ever seen and it’s appearance alone instantly caught my attention and remained in the back of my head as a constant reminder to listen to this project. I’m not sure why I never gave it a listen until now, but I’m extremely glad that I finally did.
After listening to the entire full length record it is, to put it simply, impossible to pick my favorite track, or even the most memorable song. Each and every song heard from the beginning of this atmospheric black metal album to the epic finish is captivatingly beautiful. That being said, I decided to choose one of the longest tracks on the project, that way listeners who have yet to hear anything off “The Force of The Ancient Land” can obtain a near perfect understanding of how elegant these tracks are. Coming in at exactly 11 minutes in playing time, “Winter Night” is without a doubt the track you need to listen to today. Melodic and harmonious guitars and backing instrumental tracks lay a solid foundation as distant, yet piercing screeching vocals and a dreamy, remarkable synth lead trailblaze through the project as a whole, like a mythical creature graciously flying through an awe-inspiring landscape like the one depicted in the captivating album artwork. The occasional string sections and choir like vocal sections only add to this bittersweet sounding, melancholic melody that does nothing but leave the listener at a loss for words for how beautiful this whole album is.
Even though it is unlike the traditional style of recording black metal, I truly enjoy the high quality of recording and overall sound. Branching off from the traditional lo-fi style heard in some of the most influential releases in the genre’s brief history, “The Force of The Ancient Land”, in my opinion, would suffer greatly from having anything short of a high quality overall sound. In a similar way to how my favorite black metal band of all time, Saor, uses high quality recordings to strengthen the truly inspirational and melodic sound heard on “Roots”, “Aura”, and “Guardians”, Eldamar simply would not be able to achieve such excellence in recording “The Force of The Ancient Land” without the use of this high quality recording style.
Personally, I only have two minuscule complaints about “Winter Night”. For starters, I personally love the choir like section at 7:02, which features a simply gorgeous lead sung by a female vocalist. The only problem I have with this section is that it is clearly obvious that the vocal parts, especially the girl’s, are computer generated and artificial. Even though these parts are sung as perfect as one can possibly sing them, it results in a section that sounds almost robotic as it is completely flawless. This, of course, is a ridiculous complaint to have, but part of me wishes these sections were recorded with actual singers. However, that is an outlandish request, especially for a one man band that has already produced one of the best albums of 2016 with or without a live choir. Lastly, I was also hoping that some soundscapes would be added to the track to further build upon its ambient and atmospheric roots. Even a sample of the wind howling through the Norwegian mountains, where Eldamar is based out of, would greatly increase the experience that listening to “The Force of The Ancient Land” truly is. Again, these are very, very minuscule complaints and this track is still absolutely breathtaking.
I wish I could go on and on about “Winter Night” and the other 7 phenomenal tracks that “The Force of The Ancient Land” encompasses, but to be honest, I’m at a loss for words at this point. I’ve clearly said enough to convince you as to why this is the Track of the Day Tuesday, now it is your turn to experience this monumental album and hear for yourself why I’m completely blown away by it’s elegance. The song “Winter Night” is attached below, and the full album stream for “The Force of The Ancient Land” is also attached, as I’m sure you will not be able to resist listening to the rest of the project after hearing “Winter Night”. Let us know what you think of these Eldamar tracks, and of course, don’t forget to say what track you think should be next week’s Track of the Day Tuesday!
“The Force of The Ancient Land”: