Empyrium's first album is a classic of folk metal, of the rare variety that doesn't end up sounding irritatingly upbeat. While this doesn't quite possess the melancholy gloom of their second release, 'A Wintersunset...' sounds like an incredibly effective and atmospheric attempt to capture the essence of nature in its various forms, communicated through folk-inspired melodies and a prominent synthesised orchestra. This album has all the grandeur and beauty of a soundtrack, without any of the tedium.
The slow pace and mournful atmosphere should appeal to doom metal fans, but the harsh black metal vocals that crop up in places do sound a little out of place against the sweeping orchestration, and are probably the album's main failing merely for sticking out so much. The guitar and keyboard melodies are memorable enough for this to become a firm favourite after a single listen, and the sound quality is just about perfect: polished enough to discern the orchestration and keyboards, but not over-produced to spoil the raw effect of the guitars.
2. Under Dreamskies
3. The Franconian Woods In Winter`s Silence
4. The Yearning
5. Autumn Grey Views
6. Ordain'd to Thee
7. A Gentle Grieving Farewell Kiss