Empyrium - Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays
Dark Acoustic Folk
9 songs (32:29)
Release year: 1999
Empyrium, Prophecy
Reviewed by Nathanael
Archive review

Natural beauty is something that is difficult, if not impossible, to successfully reproduce in any given artistic framework. A distant sunset, a clear and starry night, a silhouette of trees in the distance, these are such examples when nature’s beauty reminds us of where we came from and will eventually return to.

In a world so seemingly hell-bent on the destruction and exploitation of all things naturally beautiful, these pristine, untouched scenes, though grand and ominous, will always reward the patient onlooker with an unshakeable feeling that regardless of all of human nature’s vile tendencies, natural beauty will always prevail.

In essence, this is exactly the feeling one is overcome with when listening to Empyrium’s dark masterpiece Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays. Reeking of midwinter forests and empires of olden times, each pastoral soundscape more than succeeds in painting the above mentioned scenes with one broad musical brushstroke.

Stripped of any overtly “metal” characteristics, Where at Night… is a dark, beautiful work of acoustic majesty. Weaving classical/nylon string guitars, woodwinds, with medieval style vocals, chants, and choirs, Empyrium succeed in taking the listener through somber forest paths and melancholic streams of emotion. Mixing moments of light and shade, Where at Night… covers a broad emotional spectrum that will reward any and all willing to shut their eyes and allow the music to take them away.

With an underlying folk influence, fans of Agalloch, Nest and early Ulver will surely find their niche here. In fact, one could justifiably consider Where at Night… to be the contemporary successor to the brilliant Kveldsfanger.

So the next time you catch yourself gazing up at the night sky, pondering infinity, let Empyrium fill the silence.

Killing Songs :
...a complete listening experience...
Nathanael quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Empyrium that we have reviewed:
Empyrium - The Turn of the Tides reviewed by Andy and quoted 77 / 100
6 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 15 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:27 pm
View and Post comments