Monument to Time End

Southern Lord

Argh! Not “that” Twilight! It’s a sad fucking turn of events when one of the most exciting bands in American black metal — a bona fide supergroup — is also one of the most unfortunately named. It’s certainly not the fault of Wrest (Leviathan, Lurker of Chalice), N. Imperial (Krieg, N.I.L.) or Blake Judd (Nachtmystium); one can hardly expect them to emerge from their respective crypts and keep up with popular teen-goth-Mormon pablum. And yet, it’s still fucking weird to enthuse, “You’ve gotta check out Twilight.” That said, you’ve gotta check out Twilight!

Twilight was at first conceived as a one-off collaboration in 2005, but the aforementioned Wrest and Judd decided to give this project another go. (YES!) They infused the whole affair with new blut in the form of Robert Lowe (OM), Stavros Giannopolous (Atlas Moth), Aaron Turner (ISIS), and Robert Lowe (Minsk, and engineer at Volume Studios). Recorded in Chicago, the troupe convened for some whirlwind conceptualizing and recording. The result, Monument to Time End, is a fucking great record. Imperious and stately, Twilight’s music is as elegant as it is depressive. The sonics herein owe as much to progressive rock and early Gothic music as to berserker black metal. I hear a lot of Lurker of Chalice in this album, and I keep picking up this strangely prayerful vibe. “8,000 Years” combines prog-rock/Procol Harum majesty with primal scream black metal vocals, “The Cryptic Ascension” forcefully merges metal atavism with Ministry’s industrial dirge “Scarecrow” and plenty of oddly affecting instrumental segments, “Decaying Observer” breaks down into villainous white noise entropy midway through before picking back up into a full-on orc charge. “Negative Signal Omega” is as much Death in June and Non as unending torment — a martial drum tattoo, howling waves of feedback, and pained, overloaded vocals. Things are getting very adventurous.

Southern Lord:

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