Ylva de Lune – I
Release Date: 30/06/2021
Running Time: 41:47
Review by Steven Hooke
Not content with simply watching the world pass by in the midst of the pandemic, German vocalist Ylva de Lune embarked on a creative outlet in the form of this namesake post-black metal project and its debut album “I”. Partnering with a multi-instrumentalist known simply as Alpha, Ylva de Lune combines the unabashed heaviness of black metal with ethereal soundscapes and searing vocals, more befitting a Wiccan ceremony.
The combination between the two musical sounds can be considered to be somewhat estranged. Being almost split right down the middle, the rapid-fire drums and low-end guitars tend to take up the mantle of being the “heavy” of the album, whilst a second layer of guitar and Ylva’s serene vocals act as the world building and scene setting. While at times the separation can feel a little too vast, it often results in surges of euphoria, as “I” conspires with the imagery used for the album and Ylva herself to create its own vision of post-black metal, away from the traditional corpse paint and spikes of black metal, and away from the existential mire of modern blackgaze, to a forest of European tribalism and paganism.
Often these moments are accompanied by the project breaking away from the mould of standard blackgaze. On opener and closer ‘By The Sea’ and ‘Crown Of Shadows’ respectively, it’s the spoken word portions that feel like they echo through you, the inclusion of a more defined guitar lick throughout the second-half of ‘Les Ombres du Monde’, the added groove to ‘The Purpose Of Light’, these moments give the band and the album more character and contribute more to the act’s final identity.
Ylva de Lune weirdly occupies a similar space to that of post-something metal collective Sleep Token in that they produce a sound that is so easy to fall into and vibe to. Even with the bursts of a heavier sound spread throughout both band’s output, it’s a sound that you can be present for and enjoy, as much as you can sit back and relax to.
For an opening gambit in a scene that is heavily saturated with artists right now, “I” may have found a little niche for itself. Ylva’s vocals are a refreshing component of the genre and are already an integral part of the band’s sound. A few more risks and a more adept synergy between the musical low-ends and the high-ends, and the pair could really be onto something special.
01. By The Sea
02. Grå Ulv
03. Les Ombres du Monde
05. The Purpose Of Light
06. Crown Of Shadows
Ylva de Lune – Vocals
Alpha – Guitars, Bass, Drum Programming
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