Last year, on April 2012, Alexander Paul Blake released his debut solo album, “Die Rückkehr ins Goldene Zeitalter” under his own name. In 2013 his band returns, but this time with a complete line-up, a somehow different sound and a new band name, Aethernaeum. The debut full-length album of Aethernaeum is entitled “Wanderungen durch den Daemmerwald” and it was released on April 19th 2013 via German label Einheit Produktionen.
Aethernaeum continue on the same nature inspired pagan black metal of Alexander Paul Blake, but their sound is now more rich, complex and diverse. In my opinion, they kept all good elements of the first album and moved them one step forward. The addition of cello gives a more melodic folk metal touch in their music and their compositions sound now more interesting, diverse and complete. The band continues to balance between a melodic, professional production and a raw, distorted, yet very natural sound. Guitars dominate their sound, together with Alexander’s vocals that move between atmospheric whispers, black metal screams and all the combinations inbetween. Guest female vocals and violins add more melody in the songs, which by the way are composed again by Alexander Paul Blake. “Wanderungen durch den Daemmerwald” contains 9 songs, including 3 short acoustic interludes. The 6 main songs are quite long, two of them are 12-minutes long, so the album lasts for 61 minutes totally. The band is experimenting on different genres and they call their style nature mystique folk black metal. Except for the mid tempo pagan folk black metal, there are many atmospheric and acoustic passages, some faster black metal parts, as well as some parts with “warmer” melodies closer to a dark Gothic aesthetic, at least in my ears. What is important though, is that despite the genre experimentation, they manage to maintain their characteristic dark melancholic atmosphere throughout the whole album, keeping the listener always interested. All lyrics are in German inspired by nature, romanticism, mysticism and spirituality.
If you liked “Die Rückkehr ins Goldene Zeitalter“, then this is a safe investment. Fans of pagan folk black metal should also check them. Aethernaeum is the natural continuation of Alexander Paul Blake’s music, better in many aspects in my opinion. “Wanderungen durch den Daemmerwald” is released by Einheit Produktionen in standard jewel case edition CD, with 16-page booklet and in a limited to 250 copies 20x20cm sized 72-page Artbook. Album’s layout is by Alexander Paul Blake and nature photography by Lars Newald. You can visit their official pages for sound samples, or watch the official video for the song “Tanz der Sturmgeister“.