When you feature a international atmospheric black metal outfit from Sweden/New Zealand known as Sojourner with 2016’s Avantgarde Music of their stunning debut full-length Empires Of Ash, this is without question a true representation what the genre can feature. From the heroic lyricism and epic craftsmanship this album dives into the everlasting universe portraying dwarfed mountains, legendary stories of battles and beautiful landscapes as I dived into the song Heritage of the Natural Realm, I wouldn’t help but wonder how beautifully magnificent I had the absolute pleasure to hear such organic material. Vocally, you’re going to experience some versatile, emotional, powerful and rasped male singing blended perfectly alongside female leads as it holds the band’s delivery natural and enjoyable.
From the mournful instrumentals, calming atmospherics, triumphant fanfare rhythms and descriptive songwriting this is basically if you took the folk elements from both Summoning and Caladan Brood with incredible amounts of soothing guitars then you’ll be in a nice treat to hear wonderfully crafted musicality for the Atmospheric Black Metal genre. Production here is nothing but fantastic as it pushes the leaps and boundaries to not overly force the passion Sojourner provides but elements of black metal with folk compositions really caught me by a instant surprise. This is a album I cannot recommend enough especially if you want a album that’s engaging, memorable, astonishing, and take important factors for underground extreme metal to a whole new level.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler