Cacophonous Records, 1999
1. The Author of the Burning Flock
2. The Wanderings of Ophelia Through the Untamed Countryside
3. On the Eve of the Grimly Inventive
4. Within Deepest Red (The Opening Of...)
5. An Autumn to Cripple Children
6. A Voice in the Piano
7. The Music and Woe Between Horse Thieves
Being experimental in Black Metal can be a dangerous thing: it balances in the delicate position of being too underground for fans of experimental music whilst being too experimental for fans of the underground. How many experimental gems might have been lost in the shadow of more mundane bands like Marduk and Immortal? At least one: this one!
EbonyLake's first (and so far only) album On the Eve of the Grimly Inventive was released by the now defunct Cacophanous Records, more famous for giving Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir amongst others their kickstart in the metal world. It is Black Metal played with all the fury, tempo shifts and technicality more common to mathcore, whilst being submerged in "Victorian Horror" atmospheres evoked through ghostly female wails, beautiful and sometimes discordant piano passages, and brilliantly conceived lyrics.
Sounding quite unlike any other Black Metal album I've heard, this is reminiscent of something like The End's Within Dividia, and much to its advantage. I am surprised that this has gone almost entirely beneath the radar in the ten years since its release but them's the breaks eh? That it still sounds fresh is a testament to its unique nature - compare, for example, Carpathian Forest's Black Shining Leather or the aforementioned Immortal's At the Heart of Winter, both of which were released in the same year and both of which sound dated to my ears, due in part to the amount of imitations that have followed in their wake.
But there is good news for fans of the band, though I am sure most fans will already knows this. Mass Firth, after taking a prolonged detour through Death Metal band Nailed, has ressurrected EbonyLake with the claim to be carrying on "from where On The Eve Of The Grimly Inventive had taken us." There is a great sounding demo from the new album available on the Myspace page. Go check them out now!
You want your Black Metal with a dose of insanity.
The End - Within Dividia, A Forest of Stars