Empyrium – Turn Of The Tides by Jarod Lawley

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Prophecy Productions
Released: 2014
Buy Album [URL]: http://en.prophecy.de/empyrium-the-turn-of-the-tides.html?listtype=search&searchparam=empyrium
Band Website: http://www.empyrium.de/

Empyrium - The Turn Of The Tides

Band line-up:

Ulf Theodor Schwadorf- Bass, Guitars, Drums, Percussion, Vocals

Thomas Helm- Keyboards, Piano, Vocals

  1. Saviour
  2. Dead Winter Ways
  3. In The Gutter Of This Spring
  4. The Days Before The Fall
  5. We Are Alone
  6. With The Current Into Grey
  7. The Turn Of The Tides




Following on from a dozen years without a studio album, the masters of melancholy finally return for  seven-track beauty, The Turn Of The Tides. Released on Prophecy Productions, a label from the band’s native country of Germany, this album is a romantic step in the direction of what is called “neo-folk” and ambient music. Layered with gothic tones, it isn’t a complete turnaround from the EMPYRIUM’s doom and symphonic metal past, and also lives up to the high standards set by late-90s albums such as A Wintersunset… and Where At Night The Wood Grouse Plays.

Soaked in ambience and swallowed in atmosphere, “Saviour” opens the album with a majestic and more up-beat track. With delicate piano and flavoursome synth sounds, the 6 and a half minute song gives a floating feel, with its subtle swing in the drumming style, and soft singing style.

Although electronic sounds usage is not the most obvious feature of this album, the grand sweeping sounds of synthesis and beautiful echo effect used on the percussion are two of this album’s greatest merits. Both can be heard in “In The Gutter Of This Spring” alongside a deep yet gentle, and also notably Germanic and gothic vocal delivery.  The use of nylon stringed guitars is also well placed to great effect.

Although moments of guitar distortion and heavy drumming are there, this is far from a metal album, and the record’s most impressive moments are to be found in the well-thought out instrumentation and perfect sense of melody displayed in the song writing. The use of strings, bongos and china cymbals all in the same track- “The Days Before The Fall” sums this album rather well. Inventive, charismatic and unique, this record is full of emotion and dynamics, with a new surprise and highlight to be found in each and every track.

Review by Jarod Lawley