Emyn Muil – ‘Elenion Ancalima’ (2017)

By: Jeff
Rating: 8.5/10
Releaase: 26 May 2017
Label: Independent

Waiting for the new Duskmourn album anxiously like me? How about anything new from Caladan Brood, Summoning, Gallowbraid or numerous other Tolkien inspired projects? Yes, to all of the above for me too and I would also include Italy’s mighty Emyn Muil in that conversation as well.
After a 4-year hiatus from their debut album “Túrin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga” (it is LOTR connected and too long to explain here), they have returned with a new 5 track release entitled “Elenion Ancalima” (I will say it is “Brightest Of Stars”) The new album will be independently released on May 26th and still is a one person project of Saverio Giove’s creation (along with his other projects Ymir and Valtyr) with a guest vocalist in portions (more on that later). While “Túrin…..” featured more tracks (11) “Elenion…..” is just as powerful and I think more successful in building the atmosphere more organically. Of course, there is the obligatory intro track which is short in comparison (“Under A Silvered Star”) at just over 3 ½ minutes with the remaining tracks averaging over 9 minutes in length. Summoning is by far the most direct comparison and rightly so with the subject matter but also stylistically with the programmed drums, faint guitar and orchestrated keys creating the backdrop for the Mordor spawned vocals. I think “Elenion Ancalima” may have a little more of a concept/soundtrack going for it over a lot of the Summoning albums which made me want to also compare them to someone like Moongates Guardian as well. I think Tolkien Black Metal as a genre is either a love or hate thing and I definitely am in the love category. I feel like if you have a lot of the “elements” of it you can’t do it wrong and Emyn Muil have the template down pat. Saverio sets some of the nice percussion/vocal patterns down and then nihilistic guitar and keys/effects finish you off. As an added dimension, Hildr Valkyrie contributes female vocals throughout and nails it every time within the 40 minutes of bordering on ambient tracks. When a 14-minute track like the epic “The Lay Of Númenorë” ends in the blink of an eye, then you know the song writing is solid. I can’t say that there is anything super innovative here but if it’s not broke why fix it? The biggest leap forward for Emyn Muil is the track lengths which showcase Saverio’s musicianship and talent more so then “Túrin…..”. The mix is semi-veiled with nothing being defined but more foggy which works in this instance and for the style…..mysterious and dark. A great 2nd album for Emyn Muil and one that shows what a 4 year span between releases should sound like…….progress and improvement with subtle changes and additions to move forward……

1. Under a Silvered Star 03:31
2. The Lay of Númenorë 14:04
3. Ar-Pharazôn 07:12
4. Far Umbar 08:16
5. Elenion Ancalima 08:00

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