Swiss black metallers Black Jade have released their and 4th full-length album “…und Alle Pfade Sind Versunken Tief im Schatten”. The band began in 2000 and their music can be described as Tolkien inspired epic black metal. After their raw black metal debut “Forest of Edoras” in 2003 they released “…of Forest and Fire…” in 2005, where they tried to mix raw black metal and acoustic epic melodic songs with female vocals and the result was quite good. After that Naragarth became the sole member of the band and released the album “Helvetica Diabolica” in 2007, with a quite different thematology and a more raw black metal sound. Now the band re-united (Naragarth still composes all music) and their new work is closer to “…of Forest and Fire…” style.
“…und Alle Pfade Sind Versunken Tief im Schatten” is separated into two parts: Chapter I (6 songs) and Chapter II (7 songs) and it lasts for over an hour. The first part contains only acoustic songs, with female vocals and the second has their black metal side. Despite the fact they are now active for 12 years, their sound is still very raw and their production is definitely of an underground band. Both parts of the album have beautiful compositions and very interesting songs, but they also have problems. The acoustic songs are well played and have an epic natural atmosphere reminding of Blackmore’s Night, but the vocals need still a lot of improvement… Well, the songs aren’t totally acoustic, since there are some electric guitars in the background, but the lead melodies are played mainly by acoustic guitars and piano. The second song “Feanors Fluch Teil I” contains riffs and melodies from the band Lake of Tears, seen through a quite different prism! In the second part Black Jade perform raw epic black metal with some Celtic folk elements. Distorted guitars and extreme vocals are blended with some folk instruments in a quite “dirty” sound. Except for the 9th song “Die Nacht der Endlosen Schatten” which has an almost death metal approach, all other songs are quite melodic and very well composed. Between the two parts, I prefer the second, but my suggestion to the band is to mix these two parts into one. I believe with a more “professional” production they could have create a great folk black metal album! Their lyrics are dealing with Tolkien books and they are in English.
Black Jade’s “…und Alle Pfade Sind Versunken Tief im Schatten” is an album that fans of underground epic folk black metal can check. It is released by Black Tower Productions and comes with a beautifully illustrated 16-page booklet with the lyrics. There is also a limited to 100 copies edition with wax sealed parchment paper case including a patch and a map. You can visit their Facebook page and their label for more info.