Emyn Muil - Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga
Northern Silence Productions
Epic Black Metal
11 songs (53'31")
Release year: 2013
Northern Silence
Reviewed by Alex

I respect the works of JRR Tolkien tremendously and have read his obvious major works. Yet in no way I can consider myself a die-hard Tolkienist who can draw genealogy of many of his heroes by heart. Thus, I was not even aware of the book titled The Children of Hurin, published posthumously under Tolkien’s son editorial supervision. In this book the tragic story of one elf Turin Turambar is being traced, tragic, because in many ways it reminds of the Greek Oedipus or Sigmund, from the Volsung saga. Slaying a dragon along the way, Turin, unknowingly, also falls in love with his sister from whom he was separated when very young. And as the world well knows, the stories of unintended incest never end well.

One Italian Saverio Giove is much more Tolkienist than I am, and Children of Hurin served as inspiration for his one and only thus far full-length album Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga (Turin Turambar, the slayer of Glaurung), issued under the moniker of Emyn Muil, in and of itself a name derived from Tolkien’s stories.

The minute the opener Turin Son of Hurin starts playing everybody who has heard epic black metal before will recognize that Emyn Muil, in many ways, is almost a dead ringer for Summoning. The steady beating programmed war drums, guitars distorted beyond recognition to create textured underlying fabric, epic keys providing melodies floating over the top, the voice, barely human, hissing imperceptible lyrics – you know the template. The description provided can serve to describe many a track on Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga, with some songs like Gurthang being more instrumental barebones, and others, like Death of Glaurung, more monumental, dressed up and intense. Emyn Muil does a good job transitioning from pompous to serene (Arise in Gondolin) and provides a number of interesting arrangements around a central connecting melody in Arise in Gondolin, Path of the Doomed and Dark Riots from Angband. The latter cut clearly borrows its main melody from a well-known Russian folk song.

When dealing with something clearly unoriginal in the musical approach, the overall perception of the album is very important. Although a little too long for my liking at 50+ minutes, the album has some more intense moments (Aure Entuluva), the soundtrack the orcs would have loved to fight to, and the album doesn’t just float along copying Summoning at every turn. Emyn Muil excels at creating the aura of mystery, the far away hidden fantasy land, and maybe I should go and seek that Tolkien book which inspired Saverio Giove in the first place. Also, if Summoning often goes for the darker feel to its music, Emyn Muil displayed, at least in parts, a more folksier angle. Not necessarily jovial, but that little wrinkle did distinguish the music. The band does mention Windir as another of its influential inspirations, but I personally did not hear much of the Norsk elements in Turin Turambar Dagnir Glarunga.

Killing Songs :
Path of the Doomed, Dark Riots from Angband
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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