Lost Empyrean


DIRGE is a Metal band from Paris, France that plays Atmospheric Sludge Metal.  "Lost Empyrean," […]
By Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier
January 14, 2019
Dirge - Lost Empyrean album cover

DIRGE is a Metal band from Paris, France that plays Atmospheric Sludge Metal.  "Lost Empyrean," is their seventh album.  Despite been well into their career, I haven't heard their name yet but now I feel like I've been missing out.  The seven songs that make up the album are very much more like a fluid motion of moments caught in the trappings of time.  Four guys recorded this album but it feels more like they poured their very essence and being into the songs, rather than just sitting around a table or something and jotting stuff down.

The riffs from Stephane.  and Marc are, as you would expect from any Sludge band, heavy, thick, and balance grittiness with rolling Doom.  However, the band isn't overly depressing or somber, at least not in a conventional sense—rather, the album feels more like many different emotions changing, combining, and breaking away as they perpetually move forward.  In this respect, it is a very human album with many vibes—it is crushingly heavy but at times it is almost strangely relaxing.  I could see myself working out to this music but could also enjoy it while sitting on my porch on a summer night drinking a beer.  I think the best way, at least to me of course, to describe this is perhaps combining YEARNING's "Merging into Landscapes," SLUMBER's "Fallout," and adding in some CROWBAR and DAYLIGHT DIES.

The first track, "Wingless Multitudes," opens with sludge thrown out from the guitar and some atmospheric/ambient textures before the guitar switches to a melody that just takes your mind to different worlds.  During this, and other moments, Luz's bass really stands out-he holds his own, and the very essence of the band's sound together. The band is at their best when they turn into a jam band—a jam band that adds in layers and layers of atmospheric pressure and drums, building up the imagery as it mixes in with the Metal.  The fourth track "Algid Troy," is a shining example of this.  The first three minutes or so is sweeping, almost cinematic music.  If I were to climb Everest or journey to a darkened corner of the world, this song would be the soundtrack.  The riffs and MARC's vocals hit the textures and the song collides, creating a vibrant Sludge/Doom song that is as emotive as it is heavy.

The title track is another track that builds upon itself, and the last half of the song isn't short on any riffs.  Indeed, "Lost Empyrean," both the track and the album, always finds a way to rock hard as possible while still touching on delicate textures.  Alain's drumming is a large part of this-rock solid rhythm but also so goddamn atmospheric and otherworldly in approach. "Sarracenia," is the last track and, boy, what a way to end an album.  Every single thing you would want in a band/album of this sound is represented in the almost ten minutes running time.  This song is nothing short of a storm: it builds up, gaining mass and intensity along the way but the eye of the storm is calming just before before the rest of it crashes against nature for one final thrust.

This band and album has impressed the hell out of me.  I love everything about it and no doubt I will be coming back to it over and over.    It actually released last year, and had I heard it then, one of the albums on my top ten list would had to fight "Lost Empyrean" to the death.

10 / 10









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"Lost Empyrean" Track-listing:

1. Wingless Multitudes
2. Hosea 8:7
3. Algid Troy
4. The Burden of Almost
5. Lost Empyrean
6. A Sea of Light
7. Sarracenia

Dirge Lineup:

Luz - Bass
Marc T. - Guitars, Vocals, Programming
Alain B. - Drums
Stephane L - Guitars

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