Saturday, April 20, 2024

Full Length Review: Bloedmaan "Castle Inside the Eclipse" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Dave Wolff

Band: Bloedmaan
Location: Flanders
Country: Belgium
Genre: Black metal
Full length: Castle Inside the Eclipse
Format: Digital album, digipack CD, standard black vinyl, opaque grey swirl vinyl
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: December 15, 2023
The surreal cover art for "Castle Inside the Eclipse" was created by Ronarg (Antzaat, Ars Veneficium), who is also the creative force behind Bloedmaan. It promises to take the listener on a journey into a world where vampires are the dominant species and humans enter at their own peril.
A grey landscape with a dark castle set against a blood moon and a blood red sky surrounded by dark clouds came to life much as the cover art for Satyricon's "Dark Medieval Times" and Dimmu Borgir's "For All Tid" had when I listened to those albums. A distinct feeling of a prodigious novel, written from the perspective of vampires, is evoked due to the imposing quality of the musicianship and the cursed sensibility of the vocals.
Ronarg has been sharpening his black metal sensitivities since working on the 2014 debut EP by Ars Veneficium “The Abyss”. As a result of years of methodical writing, Bloedmaan's debut appears to be longer in the tooth as a portrayal of vampire myth and legend. For a six track recording "Castle Inside the Eclipse" is as subtle and complex as the folk beliefs of these emblematic creatures across the world.
In his songwriting, he displays a growing mastery of balancing wall-of-sound rhythm guitar progressions with tremolo lead guitar embellishments somewhat comparable to early recordings by Satyricon, Ancient and Gehenna, only with melody and dynamics designed to depict ancient vampire narratives.
This is Ronarg’s first project in which he handles bass and drums as well as guitars, vocals and songwriting; he gives his dual guitar approach loads of room for magnification with the amount of time changes each of the five songs are composed with. This approach doesn’t deviate, but neither does it become stale or predictable. His bass tracks do things additional justice with the depth they add.
Creating all the music, he creates the mood he was seeking to incorporate the lyrics he penned with gothic and Lovecraftian themes. In "The Night of Blood", he welcomes you to his world in a manner reminiscent of a movie made in the 2000s, "30 Days of Night". There is the same sense of disquietude and unease as the sun sets over the horizon.
In "Haunted Melancholic Obsessions", "Winged Flight Under the Pale Moon" and "The Hunter's Dream", we experience the passion that would accompany being turned, leaving mortal existence behind and becoming one of the undead. Feeling the hunger for blood awakening within you, and the intensity of your desires for the first time. But once you’ve crossed over into that world, there’s no turning back. You’ve become one of the undead minions you’ve read about through these songs, and this is what makes "Castle Inside the Eclipse" a satisfying release. –Dave Wolff

Ronarg: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. The Night of Blood
2. Cursed Charms of Death
3. Haunted Melancholic Obsessions
4. Winged Flight Under the Pale Moon
5. The Hunter's Dream

Bloedmaan official site
Bloedmaan at Facebook

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