ALBUM REVIEW: Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours

‘Death and the Twilight Hours’, our third cryptal offering here, crawls with a Blakkheim-esque ominous misty creep around the moonlit haunted castle ruins, before the candelabra bring themselves to light and a cascading guitar line that is part Dissection, part Andy LaRoque continues to layer scything atmospheres, hewn from the six-razor wires ripping flesh and liminal peals from the busy part-mortal fingers, encased skeletal conductors that dance upon the decaying fretboard, ushering us to the next section of L.S.’ raspy vocals… but our decomposing ring-leader isn’t master of ceremonies for long, as soon we are embraced by the cold winds of nowhere, and a wild tapping solo that leads a baroque segue into a minor key early-Katatonia descending guitar lead passage. It is breathlessly visual, musically telling a tale with an atmosphere Sheridan le Fanu would have been proud of.

On their second album, our four mysterious figures, no longer human, may tell of Boccaccio, Lucretius and the Athenian plague, but the tombs of their souls inhabit the wastelands of the Americas, bound under the collective bond of Predatory Light and they bring us Death and the Twilight Hours (20 Buck Spin); an album borne from the caskets of the gothic-perfused latter turbulent swirls that followed the second-wave of Black Metal, it’s dark heart reeking of Transylvanian dirt, while forged in the storm of the light’s bane and seen through the veils of Coppola-ian darkness.

Across the four tracks, we see an intricate spider’s web of melodic blackened guitar lead work weaving together a mixture of twisted motifs, tumbling notes, and morbid atmospheres. The perpetual lead-work and atmospheric guitar motifs brought forth and offered serve to give Predatory Light a further sense of identity and uniquity, even if the collation of influences sees them draw and quaff from a fairly limited pool of bloodied and ice-laden waters.


The thirteen minute opening epic ‘The Three Living and the Three Dead’ maintains atmosphere and tension throughout, while the shortest offering, ‘Wracked By Sacred Fires’ may be underpinned by some chromatic chords, but, once again, the identity is found in the emblems that are fired as glassy shards from the higher reaches of the guitar neck, akin to some of the iconic work Gregor Mackintosh ripped out of his damned soul as part of the deal with the underworld that helped create Gothic.


Wrapped in a production that faithfully references the source materials without losing any clarity or tone – the supporting guitars buzz and underpin, and the lead six-strings maintain a presence as the focal point – this is an interesting and impressive black-tinged offering.


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7 / 10