To tide us over between their 2016 album ‘Absence’ and the upcoming album (scheduled to be released in 2018); Sweden’s symphonic/depressive black metal MIST OF MISERY have created two mini-albums. ‘Shackles of Life’, which was released earlier this year, and now the prolific composers will release ‘Fields of Isolation’ on 15th December.
Opening track ‘Fields of Isolation’ is nothing short of magnificent. Gentle keyboard plays to ease us in before giving way to bleak wild howls and blast beats. Then on to an epic spoken word and synthesized string section; yes, they’ve thrown a lot at this one track but it is more than a tad glorious for it.
The rest of the album is pretty stripped back in comparison. The keyboard plays a pretty dominant role throughout, notably within ‘Crystal Vapour Eclipse’ where the sweet, sad and sometimes rousing keyboard reigns. The guitar piece ‘Bottomless Grevious Caverns’ is accompanied by the sounds of echoing drips from a cave ceiling; giving it a haunting otherworldly quality which is beyond lovely. The Coldworld cover ‘Tortured By Sorrow’ is also rather awesome.
‘Across Empty Pastures’ had the makings of a great track but seemed a little underdeveloped to me. The strings and choral voices were crying out for some horrible extreme vocals to break in and interrupt this loveliness but instead the track just peters out; a missed opportunity perhaps?
This is truly an achingly pretty piece of work from MISTS OF MISERY. Though I feel a bit more black metal fury wouldn’t have gone amiss; providing some contrast to the more ethereal tracks. For my tastes, it would have benefitted from a bit more oomph.
Highlights: Fields of Isolation, Bottomless Grevious Caverns, Tortured By Sorrow
Rating 3.5 out of 5
‘Fields of Isolation’ will be released on 15th December 2017 through Black Lion Records. Pre-order here: https://mistofmiseryblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/fields-of-isolation