As Light Dies “Ars Subtilior From Within The Cage” (2010)

It’s nice to have some Spanish musicians that push their music to un(limits) where some renowned international bands did, or even better, sometimes didn’t. And some of them, like As Light Dies, do it with a good taste, and also well done. It’s to mention, by the way, that they got help by the legendary nineties legend Dan Swanö himself, who mastermixed the album to such a delicate refinement.

Yeah, so the album sounds cool. It’s not only that, these Spanish people know to handle their instruments quite well, and move in very varied moods and styles, as you can imagine by the Eclectic tag. And everything is played right, from the brutal death metal parts with blastbeats and things, to the progressive heavy ballad like parts. But my favourite passages are those with violin-sound thingies and strange, inclassifiable moods, that remind of the unknown and uncharted in one’s mind. The music is mostly nice, or rather beautiful, but there’s the occasional twist to madness here and there, and almost all of the songs have some detail in weirdness to be noted. As well as beautiful parts. Some songs evolve from a rather nice setting into a strange mood, or the other way around, and these changes carry stylistic changes with them. But I miss some black metal moments that I perceived in their previous works, or it may be just the production or me.

So, the songs are eclectic in themselves (note that I write primarily about the “proper” songs, which are just 5, there are some instrumental interludes that fit quite well most of the time and are quite beautiful in general, but I focus on the songs or on the album as a whole). Let’s talk about the album, there’s eclecticism right from the start if you look at the song titles. That’s four different languages, although there’s “only” three languages to be sung. Yeah, I don’t speak french but to me it’s sung in a right way, as well as the (predominant) English songs. Style-wise we have almost every genre one could find in metal (and even small folk and jazz hints), but the good thing is not that eclecticism, the good thing about this record is that when you are listening to it you are not thinking of a collage of metal styles or anything: the different parts flow and interlace in a natural manner, one style serving the other in a succession of riffs and arrangements. And what arrangements! The violin in the album is one of the best performances of this instrument in metal I have heard, because it uses the weird sounds one can obtain, but also the beautiful ones, and never gets over the top. Sometimes it’s background and sometimes it makes sounds that set the riff apart from everyday metal.

So, what will I find when listening to this record?

Metal. Despite the wide range of influences they have for sure, the record is Fucking Metal of Many Sorts. You want death metal and brutallity? Here, you have it. Progressive metal and delicate passages with female vocals? Sure! Unclassifiable riffs of brutal metal with clean vocals that send chills and transport me to another dreamy places? Of course, that’s what you’ll remember the most, indeed. But what defines the album is Metal with all it’s energy and emotion, just that the sub-genre is unknown, or depends on the moment, or depends on the listener, or it just warps from genre to genre within seconds.

Fuck it, the only thing you need to know is that this is Metal that you’ll remember, that you haven’t listened to before even if you recognise the patterns and riffing styles, and that it features Quality and, in the end, it’s quite original, despite the apparent “mix a bit of this and a bit of that” philosophy.

Only that one could find annoying/hard/strange to change styles and moods so much in one record, but then, why could you be reading this magazine?



Release:  2010
Label:  Bad Mood Man
Avantgenre:  Eclectic Fucking Metal Of Many Sorts
Duration:  57:01
Origin:  Spain
Official site:
Review online since:  09.08.2010 / 13:38:45


01 – The Very End
02 – The Disinherited
03 – Le Nebuleux Sentier
04 – Die Letzte Fuge Vor Der Flucht
05 – Trapped In Flesh
06 – Yearning For Blissful Moments While Standing Upon The Ruins
07 – Sombra Y Silencio
08 – Insignificant Among Insignificance
09 – When Everything Fades Away

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