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Twilight - "III: Beneath Trident's Tomb" (CD)

Twilight - "III: Beneath Trident's Tomb" CD cover image

"III: Beneath Trident's Tomb" track listing:

1. Lungs
2. Oh Wretched Son
3. Swarming Funereal Mass
4. Seek No Shelter Fevered Ones
5. A Flood of Eyes
6. Below Lights

Reviewed by on February 28, 2014

"Swinging between industrial, depressive black metal, and just straight up awful noise, the album is undeniably a difficult listen, which some will see and gleefully proclaim 'Challenge Accepted!'"

No longer featuring Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd and now closing up shop for good, “III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb” will be the last gasped breath from Twilight as the band fades into nothingness. Only that last breath isn’t a whimpering sigh, but rather a gargled, feedback-laden scream from the abyss that goes on for a solid 40 minutes. Swinging between industrial, depressive black metal, and just straight up awful noise, the album is undeniably a difficult listen, which some will see and gleefully proclaim “Challenge Accepted!”

Opening track “Lungs” – the album’s shortest offering – starts out the industrial vibe with a very dirty and scratchy sound, like Aborym but minus the underlying electronic melody. That style drops for much of the rest of the album, and then picks up again on closing track “Below Lights.” The sounds are all mashed together, and the abrasive black metal shrieks are mixed in beneath the instruments so it all becomes one sort of dull rumble in the background and not a vehicle for delivering lyrics. This is all clearly by design, but whether that’s worth listening to will be up for any given listener to decide. Surely black metal shouldn’t be pleasant, but a case could be made that it should at least be coherent.

“III” is definitely more of a “wall of sound” type album, with only a few melodic touches here and there, on the whole ending up incredibly bleak and nihilistic. There are parts where that works well and the atmosphere will be a boon for fans of Xasthur or Leviathan, but there’s also a lot of repetition present. The drumming is the main sticking point here, with monotonous beating on the 8+ minute tracks “Oh Wretched Son” and “Seek No Shelter Fevered Ones.”

Twilight’s final album is a study in discordant black metal, and while it doesn’t go off the rails as much as bands like Stagnant Waters, there are some clear experimental leanings as well. A few years back band member Thurston Moore said "We're not coming together to make music, we're joining forces to destroy all rational thought." That’s an apt description of this album, and should make it clear whether you want to devote the time listening or not.

Highs: Discordant black metal with some interesting industrial and drone touches.

Lows: The album is a difficult listen with lots of repetition, so don't expect to enjoy your 40 minute journey through hell.

Bottom line: Twilight's dying breath is a difficult experience to sit through, but worth it for fans of discordant and depressive black metal.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)