A Dark Euphony


"A Dark Euphony” is for fans of melodic Metal with orchestral arrangements
November 23, 2023

BLACKBRIAR were formed in 2012 and they are from Assen, The Netherlands. They play a mix of alternative Metal and Gothic Metal. After having released three EPs and a full-length album, their sophomore album “A Dark Euphony” was produced, orchestrated, and mixed by Joest van den Broek at Sandlane Recording Facilities. The mastering did Darius van Helfteren (EPICA; JUDAS PRIEST; MAYAN) at Amsterdam Mastering. The album has a length of about 49 minutes, and it was released via German Metal label Nuclear Blast.

The album has an epic start with powerful guitars and orchestral arrangements transitioning into the mid-tempo track “An Unwelcome Guest”. While the verse parts are driven by direct guitar riffing with oriental inspired melodies, the chorus parts are epic with bombastic melodies intensified by the orchestrations. The vocals of Zora Cock are clean and vary around the medium end of the vocal range with little tonal shifts. “Far Distant Land” is a Folk song and it starts with the base melody of the track. While the verse parts are quiet with traditional instruments and the vocals, the chorus parts are powerful with thunderous guitar riffs and the orchestrations. The vocals include many higher notes, especially during the chorus parts and the break. Highlights of the track are the lead guitar contributions throughout and the vocals, as Zora Cock excellently transports feelings and emotions to the listener. “Spirit Of Forgetfulness” starts with a slow and quiet verse part driven by the piano, strings, and the vocals. The chorus parts are played at a measured tempo with epic melodies and driven by the powerful riffing. Altogether, the symphonic arrangements are very prominent and give it a bombastic touch. “Spirit Of Forgetfulness” is the official video release and the YouTube link is provided below.

Bloody Footprints In The Snow” starts with heavy riffs, the drums, and the piano, while the vocals leading the track and provide the melodic framework, which has, once more, a few oriental vibes. It is a track at a measured tempo, which builds up tension during the verse parts, while it explodes during the bombastic chorus parts. The breaks are super heavy with crushing riffs at a head-banging rhythm.  “The Evergreen And Weeping Tree” starts with the piano and the vocals. It is a quiet song, which introduces more and more players over the course of the track. It starts with the strings, first in the background, then becoming more prominent. Eventually, guitars, drums, and bass join in for a finale grandioso. Overall, it is the track where vocalist Zora Cock grabs her opportunity to shine as she leads through the song perfectly and keeps it all together. “The Evergreen And Weeping Tree” is one of the album highlights.

Cicada” is a track at a measured tempo where the verse parts are driven by powerful guitar riffing. During the bridges, the orchestra joins in and provides the backbone for another epic chorus part. The melodies are dark and have a few melancholic features during the choruses. The vocals include many higher notes once again and perfectly fit into the overall atmosphere of the track. “My Soul’s Demise” is perhaps the song with most ballad-esque features, starting with the tempo, the melancholic melodies, and the quietness for most parts of the track. The orchestral parts and the vocals are the most prominent features of the track. However, the break during the middle part of the track is again bombastic and heavier, but in line with the melodic framework of the track. After a quiet start, powerful riffing in combination with the orchestral arrangements drives “We Make Mist”. The vocals lean more towards the high end of the vocal range. It is another track with epic and bombastic chorus parts and follows well-known album patterns. 

Thumbelina” has a powerful start, then transitioning into the quiet verse part driven by the piano and the vocals. The track has the album typical textures with a very quiet first verse part, epic chorus parts, and a second verse part, where a couple of more instruments join in, here the guitars. Although “Thumbelina” is slightly slower than mid-tempo, it is one of the faster album tracks. “Forever And A Day” is another track at a measured tempo. The verse parts, although quiet, comprise of more instruments like the guitars, drums, and the piano, but the vocals stay on top of the track. That does not change during the more voluminous chorus parts. Highlight is the extended lead guitar solo, which excellently contributes to the track. The album finishes with “Crimson Faces” and it starts with thunderous guitar riffs. The song structure of the final song does not differ from that of most album tracks, but here the guitars are much more dominant during verse and chorus parts as well as during the break. It is probably the heaviest album track and a good way to end the album.

BLACKBRIAR deliver a good symphonic Metal album. “A Dark Euphony” is a mixture of a few elements and styles with the symphonic arrangements being at the core of the melodic framework of the album. Most album songs follow the same patterns with just a few variations, which makes the album tracks easily predictable. The songwriting is tailored towards the strengths of vocalist Zora Cock, who leads through every song with her versatility and capability to transport emotions. The album is very well produced. Symphonic Metal fans who love it quiet, epic, and bombastic with a prominent female voice will love “A Dark Euphony”.

8 / 10









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"A Dark Euphony" Track-listing:


  1. An Unwelcome Guest
  2. Far Distant Land
  3. Spirit Of Forgetfulness
  4. Bloody Footprints In The Snow
  5. The Evergreen And Weeping Tree
  6. Cicada
  7. My Soul’s Demise
  8. We Make Mist
  9. Thumbelina
  10. Forever And A Day
  11. Crimson Faces
Blackbriar Lineup:


Zora Cock – Vocals

Bart Winters – Guitars

Robin Koezen – Guitars

Rubin Wijga – Keyboards

Rene Boxem – Drums

Siebe Sol Sijpkens – Bass

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