If you’re any sort of frequenter of the illustrious Bandcamp.com, especially in the black metal category, you’ve likely at least seen A Diadem of Dead Stars pop up in the “best selling” tabs, and that’s not without good reason. This one man band has been at the top of the genre for the website for quite some time, and he or she has come back to show he or she is an atmospheric black metal genius with this brand new record.
Going by the title of “The Pilgrim”, this man or woman is without doubt a powerful force of atmospheric black metal with albums like “The Mist Bearer” being hailed endlessly, so expectations were high for “Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light” to put it simply. Many bands of multiple people sometimes fall short, yet somehow one person managed to overcome such a challenge with splendid results. I’m naturally talking about The Pilgrim as this brand new piece has a measly five tracks to its name, yet they reach over a whopping hour long to make this a real experience of atmospheric black metal to say in the very least. Some songs not even reaching over four minutes and others over twenty, “Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light” clearly has its ups and downs in terms of everything from pacing to rhythm to the sound itself to make this album a truly dynamic piece, and I’d be lying if I say it wasn’t the fucking shit. While the final track is pure ambiance and I’m not really into that (gets boring fast), the rest of the album is a magnificent demonstration of the genre by showing it’s intense sides while also showing the pieces that are far more serene and contained while still holding an essence of wonder the entire time. And if that’s not something to be applause worthy then I don’t think I know what is.
It’s no question that “Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light” is a grand album that’s nothing to scoff at. Even if you’re like me and the slow pacing it can have at times drags it down a little for you, it is extremely hard to not at least marvel at the sheer stature of the record if not enjoy some bits of it. A piece of a massively explored genre that is down to a fucking science, the name of A Diadem of Dead Stars lives on in nothing short of royalty with yet another astounding album.
LISTEN to “Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light” on Bandcamp here.
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