I am someone who does like to explore the boundaries of progressive music. It’s one of the reasons I am drawn to a label such as Prophecy Productions. Yes I am kissing ass for a second. The artists that they promote always do things their own way and are quite unique. Amber Asylum are no exception.
I had never heard of them prior to “Sin Eater.” Amber Asylum take chamber music to a dark and doomy place. The album begins with a prelude that transitions into the aptly titled “Perfect Calm.” Cello, viola and violin lead the way. Think if you took your favorite doom band and replaced their guitars with these traditional classical instruments.
The sound is calming but somber yet eerily unsettling at the same time. There’s an inherent beauty to melancholic music and having a beautiful string section provide the shades of light and dark. “TOT” sounds like a Symphonic Black Sabbath. The music is not “heavy” or even “loud” for the most part yet there’s a weight to it. Plus the rhythm section of Fern Lee Alberts on bass and Becky Hawk give the songs that power they need to pull it all off.
Downsides? Songs like “Harvester” or “Executioner” seem to meander too much and take a long time to get started. Angelic Funeral Doom? Something like that. While I admire the band for doing things differently, the songs do start to bleed together because there isn’t much variance to arrangements or tempo. I suppose that’s by design but for me, I need some dynamics (that word I use a lot).
The title track is quite experimental which really works for me. I wish Amber Asylum did more of that. Ultimately, it’s just personal preference. If you are someone who loves doom and wonders how well it would mesh with classical music, I think you need to experience “Sin Eater” for yourself.
2. Perfect Calm
3. Beast Star
8. Sin Eater