Crescent Lament (恆月三途) – (噤夢) Land Of Lost Voices

Crescent Lament (恆月三途)
(噤夢)Land Of Lost Voices
December 11, 2020
47:13

You can’t win anything with folk rock/metal these days. This genre is too oversaturated. That’s what some people think. But since the sensational success of the Mongolians of “The Hu” at the latest, the doubters will have to revise themselves. On their debut “The Gereg”, the musicians blithely mixed Mongolian folklore with ” occidental” rock. But bands in other Asian countries are also following a similar path. For example, Crescent Lament from Taiwan. Originally based in melodic black metal, they later increasingly incorporated elements of Taiwanese folklore. For example, the Erhu, a two-sided lute played with a bow, is part of their permanent instrumentation. Guest musicians bring in other folkloric instruments. I was able to see the band live at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in 2016. So of course, I was happy to take a closer look at their latest album “Land Of Lost Voices”.

The album begins with the epic intro “Gnawing Nightmare”. Already here you can hear the exotic atmosphere that Crescent Lament exude. One almost feels transported to a Chinese teahouse. But the album tells a serious story. Or rather, the story of the predecessor “Elegy For The Blossoms” (2015) is retold. The story of A-hiong and her lover Bing-hong The story takes place after the Second World War, between 1945 and 1948. The love of the two is not under a good star. Bing-hong does not return from the war and his body is never found. So A-hiong marries the wealthy businessman Lim Sui-tong.  Beautiful how “Another Night Of Solitude” combines metal with Asian sounds. Muer Chou’s singing is outstanding. You can clearly hear the longing to escape loneliness. But also the hopes for better times after the end of the war. And since you can’t understand the Taiwanese lyrics, the band has also provided the English translation. These can be read in the album’s bocklet. Although “Ominous Shadows” sounds cheerful and upbeat, dark shadows loom. It is now idle to tell the whole story. Let’s just enjoy the beguiling sounds. The guitars are always present. Although the metal sounds clearly dominate, the classical instruments are harmoniously incorporated. For me, one of the highlights of the album is the ballad “Frosty Flower At Dawn”. And as a contrast, the guitars roast immediately afterwards in “Vortex Of Collapse”. The instrumental “Where Ashen Moonlight Shines” sounds heartbreaking, A-hiong just can’t forget her first great love so easily.

Even after listening to the album several times, I am speechless. Here, sound violence, folkloric tones and the telling of a tragic love story are combined in a way that can rarely be heard. The musicians have taken up a section of the history of their homeland and tell a story that could have happened anywhere in the world. And the musical realisation is great, you are literally teleported into the atmosphere of this Asian state. I simply have to give it the highest score. The question is, will Crescent Lament continue the A-hiong saga? There is also a novelty in this review, for the first time I publish a link where you can buy the album: https://crescentlament.bandcamp.com/album/land-of-lost-voices. But it’s definitely worth it.

Crescent Lament 恆月三途 – 孤燈微微 (By the Lone Light) – OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/TNqA6eHiLVc

Lineup:

Wick Hsu – Bass
Komet Chou – Drums
Jedi Yeh – Erhu
Wat Chiu – Guitars
Muer Chou – Vocals (Soprano)
Sebastián Wei – Keyboards

Guests:

Po Yu Huang – Suona
Jack Yang – Flute, Xiao
Kenny – Grunts

Track list:

  • 魘臨 (Gnawing Nightmare)
  • 念伊人 (Another Night Of Solitude)
  • 暮山船影 (Ominous Shadows)
  • 夢空 (Empty Dream)
  • 初霜花 (Frosty Flower At Dawn)
  • 雁紛飛 (Vortex Of Collapse)
  • 灰月漸明 (Where Ashen Moonlight Shines)
  • 破鏡緣 (Once Shattered Mirror)
  • 北城風雨 (Northern Storm)
  • 孤燈微微 (By The Lone Light)
  • 汐別 (Tides Of Time)
  • 10/10
    Album - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Cover Art - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Songwriting - 10/10
10/10
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