When all light is consumed, your soul is putrefying and only ghouls, specters and vampires are left to take over to feast upon your woefully existence, Drowning The Light’s Azgorh is there to compose yet another majestic dark opus to commemorate your decline…
In the recent years Azgorh proved himself to be one of the most prolific black metal musicians from Down Under – releasing lots of recordings under various monikers (mostly as the sole member of these entities). With a considerable underground cult status Azgorh produced a pretty impressing back catalogue of rather raw, yet melodic Black Metal. Though the earliest works were received with mixed thoughts. There was a time when Drowning the Light was best be found at the bargain sections of your favorite distro shops, yet Drowning the Light got renewed interest around 2017 when there was a sudden revival of ‘vampyric’ Black Metal. This 90’s approach of Black Metal was a long laughed at gimmick, but got taken more seriously after there were many bands adopting this style and imagery and brought it back to the (un)light. Now even a band like Hecate Enthroned got their albums reissued on vinyl (one even by a much respected underground label like Goatowarex), who could’ve imagined that 15 years ago?
Despite whatever trends, the music Azgorh composed with Drowning the Light didn’t change much over its two decades spanning career. Staying true to his own idea of melancholic, majestic and dark spiritual Black Metal. And though its impressive back catalogue contains quite a few very interesting releases, it was the 2015’s “From The Abyss”-album that propelled the band to the absolute front row of best raw Black Metal acts and gained much respect within the Black Metal scene – shaking off all the prejudices and proved that the band is no laughing matter.
With “On Astral Wings Of Wamphyric Shadows” Azgorh presents album number 16 and yet again, it presents yet another bunch of well-composed tracks in the tried and tested Drowning the Light formula. Opposed to the band’s last album, “Cursed Below the Waves”, this new work of art sounds a little less raw and more melodic than that 2018’s installment. Lyrically it is all dragon’s, vampires, black magic and melancholy again – Azgorh got help from the like-minded Akhtya Nachttoter (Black Funeral) for the lyrics for “The Fading Of The Need-Fires”.
After “From The Abyss” the band was picked up by Iron Bonehead Productions for the vinyl releases of the albums (releasing the CD versions on Azgorh’s own Dark Adversary Productions), therefore I assume the vinyl version of this album will again be released by Iron Bonehead. But, whatever format you prefer (digital, CD or vinyl), none of the fans of the band will be disappointed and “On Astral Winds Of Wamphyric Shadows” is very much worth picking up for anyone who is interested in the band but has no idea where to start, this new album is a pretty good starting point as it has all the great Drowning the Light elements presented. (FelixS)