Empyrean Grace - Bestowment of the Seraphic Key

 
Among the many different, mainstream and not, releases that were scheduled for today, I was also waiting for Iskandr's new EP Gelderse poort, the next recording step of that project after the marvelous Euprosopon from 2018. However, by listening to that and then going into the label housing the Dutch underground group named Haeresis Noviomagi, I stumbled upon this demo by one of their new bands, Empyrean Grace. Needless to say, all the bands related to this label are nothing short of fascinating, yet this project still caught me off guard as it doesn't fully comply with the musical methods of its compatriot acts.

Bestowment of the Seraphic Key consists of one twenty-eight minute track. In case you are familiar with this family of artists and by chance had Imperial Cult's Spasm of Light come to mind, don't expect similar material here. Empyrean Grace's approach emphasizes on layers of opaque soundscapes, it's more soothing and mesmerizing, puts everything around the listener to a halt and it forces you to just lean back. They are not afraid to employ monotony and it's used to their advantage, creating a deep, lethargic atmosphere, coherent enough and with wonderful variations in parts, to make it a magnificent piece for its duration.

Once the sense of engagement has set in, the elements unlock. The track's contemplative nature thwarts movement but isn't demanding or draining, instead it stays in between and makes up for a truly rewarding listening experience. I don't easily stay tuned with endless tracks of almost ambient black metal, however I played this a second time back to back. I don't know any information about Empyrean Grace at the moment, but it just proves again that the turbulence coming from this side of the Netherlands, is not an accident.

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