Penumbra - The Last Bewitchment
Season Of Mist
Operatic Metal
9 songs (45'20)
Release year: 2002
Penumbra, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Jack
Surprise of the month
Therion or not Therion ? That's not the question, but that's the first band that comes to my mind while listening to Penumbra's second offering The Last Bewitchment. Penumbra is not just a copy of Therion though, and this would be a bit reducing anyway, it's just that the music and the orchestration are quite similar. Besides the band doesn't claim to be influenced by Therion.

I have to say that I have never listened to their first album. And since it's rare to hear good stuff from France and especially from such a label as Season of Mist, I wasn't really keen to listen to that album the first time I heard of it. But then, thanks to CD compilation in mainstream magazines, I had the chance to listen to one track of this new album. Fortunately for me, otherwise I would have missed this brilliant sophomore album. I then had to move heaven and hell to find this record. I finally did, and I spent my sunday listening to this masterpiece (it's raining cats and dogs and my wife is working). I listened to it maybe 6 or 7 times in a row, and you don't know how much I like this stuff and how much I want to keep listening to it. Sometimes you just can't hit stop on your cd player (but my wife will probably do so when she comes back from work in about an hour and half… which gives me enough time for two more complete listening).

The recording of The Last Bewitchment took place at different locations, working with a choir and a classical string quartet, while the mixing was done in Soundsuite Studios with producer Terje Refsnes (Tristania, Sirenia, The Sins Of Thy Beloved, Alastis) to optimise the sound. Penumbra are mixing the genre, creating a hybrid, an electric symphonic orchestra, and a different approach to the fury of metal with the unbounded, hackneyed Baroque of XVIII century classical. Penumbra uses clean male and female vocals, operatic and choirs female vocals, angelic female vocals, as well as growling male vocals. The music is very operatic and bombastic, and choirs and orchestral arrangements are the biggest part of the music.

This is definitely the kind of music that sends shiver down my spine because I just love the power and the greatness in this music.

Killing Songs :
Neutral, Moaning On Earth, A Torrent Of Fear
Jack quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Penumbra that we have reviewed:
Penumbra - Seclusion reviewed by Jack and quoted 95 / 100
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