I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS
PRESENTS







 


DIS PATER
vocals, guitars, bass, keys,
 drum programming and mandolin



MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY
FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE

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FORMAT:
2-CD    CATALOG N. IVR-006

CD 1 (61:23)
1. Fallen From Firmament (12:33)
2. A Death So Pure (6:03)
3. Against The Moonlight (7:38)
4. An Ode To Dying Spirits (4:00)
5. When Death Comes Crawling (8:45)
6. Silently In Shadow (8:09)
7. Lost (4:37)
8. Tears Of Starfire (9:38)

CD 2 (63:25)
1. Journey Across The Stars (7:54)
2. Never To Return (7:31)
3. A Midnight Odyssey (6:18)
4. From A Celestial Throne (9:27)
5. Secrets And Solitude (7:05)
6. Shores Serene (6:34)
7. Those Who Linger At Night (12:18)
8. Funerals From The Astral Sphere (6:18)

Total time 124:48

CD housed in a cardboard sllipcase
20-page full color booklet complete with lyrics
Paintings by Dis Pater

Released September 1st, 2011
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CD + T-Shirt bundle available


Officially formed in 2007 by the sole member Dis Pater, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY has quickly found its own voice by crossing black metal with ambient, doom, folk, and kosmische musik.
“Black metal is the basic ingredient," explains Dis Pater, "but music ranging from dark ambient, neo-classical and folk to funeral doom and post-punk all play just as vital a role in my process of song-writing. There is an overall equality between the styles of music that influence me, and the ideal that binds them altogether is atmosphere.”
Inspired by Australia's wild landscape, with its ancient rainforests and stormy nightskies, Funerals From The Astral Sphere is a spiritual and dark observation on Death as a cosmic force of purification, coming from beyond the stars. “From personal experiences and completely imagined scenarios, the idea of death is something that fascinates me. With Midnight Odyssey I explore a world where humanity is void, dying and soon to be extinct. A world where forests reclaim the earth, animals once again are wild, and all signs of humanity are lost.” 
“For all the amazing things humans are capable of,” concludes Dis Pater, “I absolutely abhor the human race, and I hope there is something out there more powerful and meaningful than humanity. Something that can eventually extinguish our flames.”


After the hearty welcome of Firmament, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY's debut on I, Voidhanger Records, the Australian one-man band returns with a new epic voyage, an ambitious double album called Funerals From The Astral Sphere.
In 16 tracks and over 2 hours of music, Dis Pater has refined his amazing blend of cosmic black/doom metal and nocturnal ambient thanks to a wider use of acoustic folk passages and beautiful clean vocals, reaching new peaks of emotion and psychedelic bliss.

 

  DIS PATER   Photo by Alex Gillies, 2011


                                                                                                                                                                                          

        

SOUNDS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE

 

JOURNEY ACROSS THE STARS

SILENTLY IN SHADOW

TEARS OF STARFIRE



        

MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY : DISCOGRAPHY



FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE  (I, Voidhanger Records, 2011)

FIRMAMENT  (I, Voidhanger Records, 2010 - demo 2009 re-issue)

THE FOREST MOURNERS  (Kunsthauch Records, 2010 - demo 2008 re-issue)

        

FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE : REVIEWS




ZERO TOLERANCE
[#44 - Dec/Jan 2012]
Review by Geoff Birchenall

Every so often, in the murky world of underground black metal, a release comes along that's so vast as to warrant total dedication: Funerals From The Astral Sphere, the debut Midnight Odyssey double album, is such a recording. Weaving a sonic journey that traverses a multitude of subgenres with wilful disregard and silk-like transitions, there is never a dull moment, and each listen facilitates the peeling-away of another of the plethora of layers that encompass the album. Scratching around for references, there are elements of the repetitive trance-like bliss of Burzum, the fantasy-informed black metal of Summoning, the astral planes studied by Limbonic Art, the occult-tinged genius of The Ruins Of Beverast, and the ethereal neoclassical beauty of the likes of Dead Can Dance, while the album's mood changes, chameleon-like, to the lilting stylistic shifts throughout. This beautiful, entranci work is all propagated by one man, Dis Pater, who hails from Brisbane, Australia - a country that, perhaps owing to its sprawling distances between populated areas, is well versed in the art of The One-Man Black Metal Band, as fans of Abyssic Hate, Drowing The Light, and Elysian Blaze will testify. With Funerals..., Midnight Odyssey have surged triumphantly to the higher echelons of this prestigious pile.
[5 out of 6 - Exceptional]

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CHRONICLES OF CHAOS
Review by Chaim Drishner

I, Voidhanger is a record label like no other; from the relatively short time of my acquaintance with its activity, I have discovered this is one of the very few labels out there that actually provide a holistic experience for their costumers, namely a musical product that isn't merely a musical product, but a semi work of art. The artful packaging, the elaborate and colorful cover art, the amazing layout of the printed material, the booklets, the lyrics -- they all shine and scream quality; no corners cut here, with any of the label's releases.
In addition, it seems the label picks up the bands it joins with its roster using a pair of tweezers; here, quality counts, not the abominable quantity. Every release seeing the light of day in the relatively short time this young label has existed owns a unique stamp both of quality and originality, be it the label's ambitious dark ambient tribute project dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft , the old-school death metal of Serpent Ascending, or the astral black metal played by the subject of this review, the one-man grand show also known as Midnight Odyssey.
Now, talking about ambitions, _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_ is one hell of an ambitious project, spanning a couple of CDs and more than a couple of hours worth of music. Wow, talk about pretensions...
...And yet, easily enough, the artist behind this band, the sole member here, accomplishes a rather elaborate work with class and fluency that easily complement the handsome facade of the aforementioned beautiful packaging and rare physical aesthetics of this double album. Easily.
You see, _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_ is a likable release, easy on the ear and one that places no challenging obstacles on the listener's road to catharsis, simply because it plays the most common denominator role of them all by delivering music that everyone can simply love, from the bored housewife to the most snot-nosed Internet warrior kid who thinks that listening to black metal will make him tough.
That being said, the album is not -that- mainstream in essence; it is just really beautiful and friendly; everyone, from the common metalhead to the seeker of celestial ballads or the aficionado of quality vocal music could be satisfied with this album -- each with whatever part of the music suits them best, either the ambient black metal, the astral sonic-scapes or the singing. They are all done well, some are simply downright beautiful.
The most striking aspect of this album, and that is a quality I have rarely heard in metal or into that, in black metal, is the ability of the creator of the music to tag it with astral qualities and actually deliver; writing music that would very much sound as if it came from beyond this world; music that will sound other-worldly, spacey, almost divine, emanating strong metaphysical star dust while playing, illuminating rather than darkening. I've not heard yet the works of the Swiss band Darkspace, but I am familiar with Limbonic Art's couple of first albums, as well as Odium's _The Sad Realm of the Stars_ and even the new Nychts / Mortualia _Nebelstern Des Nichts_ collaboration, and I tell you Midnight Odyssey easily captures the 'astral' sound at least as well, if not better, than any of the great aforementioned albums.
If you like your musical experience holistic, your metal spiritual and beautiful without the need to labor too hard in order to like, or 'understand' the music, put this record on, close your eyes -- and fly...

[8 out of 10]

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MUSIK REVIEWS
Review by Chris P.

Stell Dir vor, Artur Felicijan von DEKADENT besinnt sich auf deren Debütalbum „Manifestation Of Seasonal Bleeding“. Dann entdeckt er den Post-Rock für sich. Stell Dir vor, KLAUS SCHULZE metamorphiert zum Teufel höchstpersönlich und wird Komplize bei einem Projekt von IHSAHN und Nocturno Culto. Stell Dir vor, Varg Vikernes (ohne dessen Hirnbräunung) käme auf die Idee, Folk und Filmscores mit dunkelschwarzer Tonkunst verschmelzen zu lassen.
Stell Dir vor, Bach, Mozart und Beethoven opfern eine Jungfrau und halten satanische Rituale ab, vollgedröhnt mit halluzinogenen Pilzen aus dem Wald neben dem Friedhof. Stell Dir vor, eine Folk-Band hat musikalisches Erbe von DISSECTION zu „Storm Of The Light‘s Bane“-Zeiten in ihr eigenes Genre transkribiert. Stell Dir vor, vor Deinen Augen sprießt und entfaltet sich die grünbunte Natur, glückliche Menschen leben in harmonischem Einklang mit Flora und Fauna, keiner tut dem anderen etwas zuleide – und Sekunden später macht ein zerstörerischer, eis- und schneegeschwängerter Sturm alles zunichte und hinterlässt nichts als trostloses... Nichts. Stell Dir vor, es ist der schönste Tag Deines Lebens... und der wird jäh beendet, weil der Krieg ausbricht.
Dieses auf zwei CDs verteilte Ungetüm von einem Debütalbum in Worte zu fassen, ist kaum möglich, denn die erhebend traurige Schönheit, die erhebend schöne Traurigkeit durchtrennt permanent die Nervenleitungen in Richtung Sprachzentrum, da die Synapsen gnadenlos quer schießen wie ein außer Kontrolle geratenes Umspannwerk.
Momente der Klarheit wechseln sich ab mit Szenarien des Chaos, Hoffnung kollidiert mit erbarmungslosem Nihilismus, die Euphorie stranguliert den Sensenmann, während dessen großer Bruder alle Sanguiniker niedermetzelt – und all das in einer wunderschön verhallten, deliriös anmutenden Klangkathedrale, erschaffen vom kreativen australischen Alleinherrscher Pater Dis (unter anderem THE CREVICES BELOW).
FAZIT: Ich weiß nicht, wo ich bin, wer oder was ich bin. Aber es fühlt sich gut an. So gut. Leben? Sterben? Eine Zwischenwelt? Ich weiß es nicht. Wirklich nicht.
[14 out of 15]

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DON'T COUNT ON IT
Review by Mask Of Gojira

Ok, this is one of those albums where I'm pretty late getting to it, due to many reasons. I've known about this project for what's been a few years now, though I'll admit that I haven't really paid too much attention to it. After reading a review for this album, which at the time I wasn't sure if it was this band or not, I checked it out and became very interested in hearing what it had to offer.
Ok, I'll start off with the main reason it's taken me so long to finally get around to reviewing this, it's over two hours long. This double-disc full-length debut, if I've been told correctly that this is the first release that isn't a demo, features all manner of ambient and atmosphere black metal styles that runs the gambit of pure ambient and near synthe-pop to blazingly bleak burst of black metal. With a running time of over two hours, if you're anything like me, you probably thought, "There better be some diversity," and luckily the variety on here was enough to maintain my attention. Throughout the entirety of these two discs, you'd expect there to be some filler, and of course there is some on here, Journey Across The Stars, but I was surprised with how little of what's on here I considered to be filler. Considering that most of the songs on here between seven and nine minutes long, for the most part, none on them ever felt like they were too long. I totally understand why people wouldn't be too keen on saying this is a great album, the length of the entire album can detract from the impact of the whole thing, as in, while certain spots in the album may hit you as great, the entire album may not retain that same level as that one track, or it may be too consistent for some people. I agree with what some have said in that I think that this could have been a better album if it was condensed into maybe one disc, but the entire journey is worth taking, at least that's how I felt about it anyway.
This is a record that, I was quite surprised by, has a very even mix to it. While the synthes and keyboards are certainly, in my mind, the most important instrument in Dis Pater's arsenal for this project, the other instruments are not lost among them. The guitars retain that very fuzzy and distorted quality to them that, at times, do recall a bit of the depressive black metal sort of tone, but manage to have a lot more interesting riffs than those bands and actually help in creating atmospheres more than detract from them. Even the drums, which are programmed, are surprisingly well done, they aren't too loud, being in a very nice place in the mix allows them to be audible as well as provide near post-punk-esque beats once in a while, A Death So Pure. I even found the vocals, which are further back in the mix, to be well done, ranging from typical screams to chanting and singing. In terms of performances, I really think that Pater did a great job because this doesn't come off as amateurish in the slightest, with pretty much every song on here being well rounded and interesting. The compositions each song contains, stylistically varied as I mentioned above, a wide assortment of soundscapes that are easy to get lost in, A Midnight Odyssey being a prime example where the metal element of the band is cast aside in favor of lush layers of synthes with more orchestral keys leading the listener along.
This is an overall solid album, very good, it has it's weaker moments, but for the most part it's very well written and constructed. I think by the end you should certainly feel accomplished and like you experienced something while listening to this. I certainly recommend you check this out if you're into more of the ambient and atmospheric sides of black metal, cause this'll be a real treat for you.
[8,5 out of 10]

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ARISTOCRAZIA
Review by Akh (Part 1) and Bosj (Part 2)

      Part 1
Dopo che la I, Voidhanger aveva promulgato il secondo demo in versione digitale, si appresta a fare la stessa cosa con il vero esordio di quest progetto australiano redatto a 360° da Dis Pater, unica mente artistica di questi Midnight Odyssey.
Il Black Ambient Metal deve a Burzum le sue più profonde origini, ma da quei primi esperimenti, questo atteggiamento si è molto evoluto divenendo un vero e proprio sottogenere cha ha saputo svilupparsi autonomamente in varie ramificazioni da quella più naturalistica (Vinterriket, Paysage D'hiver, Borgne, Lustre), a quella più ritualistica (Reverorum Ib Malach), o quella più cosmica (Darkspace, U.L.S., Fyrnask), o noise (NDE, Demonologist), fatto sta che l'Ambient Black Metal ha oramai radici solide e con questo gruppo di Brisbane un altro tassello di spessore viene inserito.
Sì, se gia' siete amanti del genere questo è un nome che dovrete annoverare fra le vostre conoscenze indubbiamente, rispetto al lavoro precedente tutto viene migliorato, inspessito, dilatato, epicizzato ed interiorizzato, veramente un album (doppio) da ascoltare tutto d'un fiato.
I pezzi ad alto tasso emotivo si sprecano, sia per quanto riguarda l'ottima produzione Ambient ("Fallen From Firmament", "Journey Across The Stars", ma gli esempi sono continui..), che per i tocchi suggestivi di chitarra acustica ("An Ode To Dying Spirits" ) in cui Dis Pater si presta in più occasioni a linee vocali pulite che incidono dentro come nel brano appena indicato; ci possono essere anche divagazioni arrangiative che riprendono melodie dal rimando etnico orientale, il che fa comprendere quanto visionaria sia la concezione musicale di Dis Pater, il quale indubbiamente riesce non solo a trovare intensità compositiva, ma anche personalità ritagliandosi fin da adesso una nicchia cosmica nel firmamento morente, senza pagare eccessivi dazi o debiti con nessuno.
Nonostante la proposta non conosca cedimenti mi sento di dire che i due cd hanno due inclinazioni leggermente differenti; se nel primo troviamo la parte più nervosa e diretta di M.O. il secondo ci dona le vibrazioni più intime e riflessive, entrambe le parti accomunate comunque dal forte accento di dilatazione, dove paesaggi cosmici si fondono a quella "disperazione" malinconica che è tipica dei sognatori.
Lo stesso Dis Pater ci offre alcuni spaccati del suo animo attraverso i dipinti dell'artwork espressi totalmente da se stesso, in cui si evidenzia forte il contrasto fra le linee delicate ed astratte e i tratti più marcati della Morte, creando quella fragranza agra di cui tutto "Funerals From The Astral Sphere" è colmo, riversandosi sull'ascoltatore: come un bagno di stelle morenti.
Ma per visionare più da vicino questo complesso e corposo (doppio) lavoro cedo la palla all'amico Bosj.
      Part 2
Riprendo il filo del discorso da dove il buon Akh. si è interrotto: la pienezza, la pregnanza, la traboccante essenza di "Funerals..." sono tali da lasciare completamente immersi negli spazi e negli incastri che dal disco si propagano, e nella sua prima parte contingente e dalla maggiore urgenza, e nella sua prosecuzione "astrale", più ampia, lisergica ed ambiziosamente cosmica. Il tutto corredato da un booklet dai dipinti astrali, appunto, vedute cosmiche e galassie da sfondo a versi che celano in se stessi ben più di quanto rintracciabile ad un primo approccio.
Si parte con "Fallen From Firmament", uno dei picchi di questo magniloquente album (sempre che di picchi, frammentariamente, si possa parlare, essendo ciascun brano perfettamente funzionale al suo successivo e consequenziale al suo precedente, in un amalgama omogeneo come raramente se ne sentono), che nei suoi dodici minuti ed oltre ci introduce all'umana condizione di esseri mutili e manchevoli, caduchi, con lo sguardo perennemente all'insù, nel disperato bisogno del silenzio e della solitudine che solo le costellazioni possono provare ("I craved the silence and solitude of death in the stars / Instead I feel chained and bound to this wretched earth"). Una questione esistenziale che diventa manifesto, in due semplici versi.
"A Death So Pure" porta con sè una fine che in realtà è solo un nuovo inizio; se attraverso la morte si raggiunga lo stadio successivo dell'esistenza non è dato saperlo se non a chi è sufficientemente ardito da lasciarsi alle spalle questo mondo di contingenza, o a tanto viene costretto. E così, sulle vellutate note di una mai inopportuna, ma anzi evocativa tastiera, prendiamo la via, attraverso il fuoco ("And in the darkness one is dying / And he is burning").
È durante "Against The Moonlight" che l'anima si eleva, consapevole della propria immota ed inerme condizione ("His soul now gazes at his charred flesh / And he sees that he can do no more"), del proprio fallimento, in una fragorosa esplosione di suoni e sensazioni magistralmente orchestrata (il meraviglioso climax del brano è solo un altro dei tanti picchi anzidetti).
Poi, lo stacco. Echi bathoriani nella ora melliflua e pulitissima voce, nelle semplici note acustiche di "An Ode To Dying Spirits", testimoniano l'incapacità di comunicare di uno spirito in attesa che la tenebra cali. Tuttavia non è l'alba degli dei, né presto voleranno i corvi di Odino, poichè solo uno è il destino delle creature che abitano questi boschi: l'oblio. Cacciatore o preda, non ha importanza, la carne è corrotta e nulla crescerà ("Death is haunting these woods / And I can see all those / Whose flesh he will soon touch") quando la Morte arriverà strisciando, "When Death Comes Crawling".
E l'entità maligne e oscura, incomprensibile ed insondabile alle menti semplici, nascosta nell'ombra, aspetta, cibandosi dei sogni delle creature mortali, muovendosi dove non può essere scorta da alcuno, ma sempre così vicina, giusto un passo più distante ("Silently In Shadow").
Di nuovo in noi, riavuti dalle scioccanti rivelazioni, seguiamo la voce di Dis Pater, ora nuovamente scibile e pulita, intrisa di un'umanità che avevamo quasi dimenticato; grazie ad essa ci accorgiamo di essere persi ("Lost"), sperduti tra gli alberi e la bruma, diretti dove il sole mai brilla, dove nessuno mai potrà trovarci. Ma la comprensione umana non arriva a tanto, non è in grado di concepire ciò che accade nell'Ottava Sfera, e la dipartita di creature antiche merita più del pianto dell'uomo; ed ecco nei cieli una pioggia di stelle, mentre il cosmo urla straziato e sparge lacrime di fuoco. Presto l'antico dolore farà conoscere la sua furia alla Terra, e dei mortali non rimarrà traccia ("Tears Of Starfire"). Si conclude così la prima parte del viaggio, tra vette ed abissi emotivi, in un disco che già di per sé, monco della sua parte complementare, si candida come uno dei lavori migliori dell'anno.
Ed abbiamo abbandonato il pianeta. Riprendiamo in una dimensione completamente diversa, nello spazio celeste, tra vastità così ampie che il solo tentativo di comprenderle comporta uno sforzo enorme. Da queste profondità siamo spettatori di un messaggio di avvertimento: "Oh mortal ones, you have reaped what you've sown / Take these wounds as your last chance before I return". Svolto il proprio compito, il messo se ne va, tornando alle stelle, lasciandosi alle spalle un mondo in ansia e sconforto ("Journey Across The Stars"). È a questo punto che tutto si placa: suoni impalpabili ci trascinano via, lontano, nella notte, per non tornare ("Never To Return"), lasciandoci deragliare in questa odissea notturna che stiamo ormai amando incontrovertibilmente ("Midnight Odyssey"), dal pathos soverchiante e dai suoni cosmici. Ed è da quassù che, pian piano, iniziamo a capire. Vediamo la gabbia di un prigioniero, una dimora che necessita di essere purificata: da lontano enigmatica e serena, ma che all'occhio attento non può celare lo sporco e l'immondo. E gli antichi ridono di noi, dei nostri sogni e delle nostre credenze, vedono come l'uomo abbia ormai abbandonato il suo sentiero ("From up in the stars / They laugh at our dreams / They see the foolishness / Of our quarrels and dreams"). Ma nel silenzio degli astri, tra i segreti e la solitudine ("Secrets And Solitude"), sussurri di una lingua sconosciuta ("There are whispers of an unknown tongue / The more I listen, the less I know / Of myself... of my existence"), che ci permettono di giungere al cospetto di un luogo sacro, dove gli antichi spiriti vanno a ricercare la loro quiete eterna; un lago dalle coste serene, dalle acque calme ("Shores Serene"), perfettamente tinteggiate da suoni tondi e pieni, quasi caldi.
In questo luogo, tanto antico e remoto, lo spirito della foresta si risveglia per addormentarsi per sempre. Egli è ormai fragile, indebolito dal succedersi degli eventi, dalla condotta dell'uomo; e capiamo che, affinchél'ordine sia ristabilito, alla sua morte dovrà seguire quella dell'umanità ("Those Who Linger At Night"). Non c'è gioia in questo, non c'è calore: solo il manto della notte, come una tela su cui si accende un milione di fuochi, il cui calore mai sarà raggiunto. Perchè è il vuoto ad attenderci, è il dolore che vince, in questi "Funerals From The Astral Sphere".
Ragazzi, non vi dico che fatica: stare dietro ad un disco del genere è un lavoro ENORME, ma ne vale la pena; quest'album è davvero MERAVIGLIOSO.

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APOCH'S METAL
Review by Apoch

After two demos, and the reissuing of the latter, Firmament, through the label I, Voidhanger, Midnight Odyssey has made some serious waves in the Black Metal community. The one-man-project was in the studio working on the debut album, Funerals from the Astral Plane while the reissue was made available to put the Midnight Odyssey name out there, a move that worked well in the favor of both band and label. Funerals from the Astral Sphere, however, will be a release that fans of the two demo recordings will be quite astonished by, encompassing two full-length discs totally over two solid hours of Ambient Black Metal compositions. But, will this become another case of quantity versus quality, or is this going to be one of the most definitive releases of it's style?
Funerals from the Astral Sphere establishes that more astral effect alluded to in the title well with the first track of the release. "Fallen from Firmament," which comes off more as a continuation of Firmament in the atmospheric elements and keyboards, which is a nice little touch to kick things off with. The twelve and a half minute song introduces the album nicely with a rather clear space-like yet haunting keyboard instrumental that could have been a track itself, and why it wasn't really is unclear given the gap between it and the actual Black Metal that kicks in a little later. The start sounds a lot cleaner and louder compared to the actual music, which finds strong guitars that sound sharp, but also feel into that atmospheric keyboard sound nicely through the distortion on them and the keys that support them in the background, as well as the bass that is just loud enough to be heard and add that extra kick to the mix. The audio quality itself is a little raw with a bit of a higher pitch, but not too much to clash with the melancholic and depressive tones of the songs here. The drums have a nice thud to the bass kicks that really stands out and helps to amplify the overall bass presence here, with decent snares that sounds a little more wooden but work nicely against the distant sounding cymbol crashes, all setting up a fantastic environment while the vocals are performed in a typical rhaspy manner for the style, though a little deeper then the higher wail and further in the background to give the music a bit of a haunting vibe. All of this works to make "Fallen from Firmament" a strong opening track, though the actual music that hits after the keyboard introduction feels a bit too short in comparison to how long it's set up here.
Sadly, this is something that becomes a bit of a burden after a while, though doesn't happen all the time throughout both discs. While it's great that Midnight Odyssey really focuses in on the atmospheric elements of the recording, the build up to the actual Black Metal within the song ends up being rather long. These instrumental bits that come beforehand are not necessarily drawn out, or even bad, it's just they often eat up most of the song and when the Black Metal kicks in it feels as if it was more unwelcome then anything, feeling awkward and out of place despite how good it sounds. Take "A Death so Pure" for example. This track is largely just the atmospheric instrumental part, then a very small amount of actual Metal that you can't help but sit back and just think to yourself about how you'd rather it not have been in there in the first place, especially given it's shorter track length. And then there's "Against the Moonlight" which doesn't follow this theory and is clearly more geared towards a depressive, yet, thanks to the atmospheric tones set in by the keyboards, a majestic sounding track the blends both the music and atmosphere well without having to do the whole instrumental intro or outro to the actual song and cut the music these parts were building up down to insanely short lengths. The song's mystifying sound brings in both harmony and a magical sensation well with the melancholic and haunting sensations it gives off, and despite the distortion wreaking a little havoc through a larger amount of noise then probably shold be there, this track highlights the potential Midnight Odyssey has more then the opening track "Fallen from Firmament" does.
One of the main gripes you can have about this release is the volume problems, which become a little hard to deal with one some songs, like with "Against the Moonlight" and what was pointed out. The album is already pretty loud to begin with, so when you turn the volume up on your end, that slightly higher pitch can add a little more noise to the instruments, which is something the rawer quality doesn't really work to keep in check. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but there are times when you'll want to turn the music up because of how catchy or emotionally moving it is, and when you do it just becomes so much louder then it needs to be on a production end. This would work well if the band were going for a booming, energetic sound, but considering much of the recording is actually pushed into the background, it ends up feeling restricted by the the audio levels. "Silently in Shadows" benefits from this sound considering it's somewhat lighter sound in comparison to the louder and faster "Against the Moonlight." The same can also be said for "When Death Comes Crawling." These two tracks sound fantastic with a cold atmosphere, no long introduction or outro to the Metal, and they are just solid tracks that keep the listener engaged from start to finish. "Tears of Starfire" stands out though, closing the first disc, and giving the climax of it more of a traditional depressive Black Metal approach. The pace is a mid-tempo approach and while it's nothing too fantastic or really atmospherically charged like some of the other tracks here, this song's lighter approach and more focused Black Metal offering does help make it sound a little more melancholic while using keyboards that keep it from being a rather generic sounding track.
The audio quality of the second disc is about the same, but for some songs the vocals do seem to be a bit louder, and more higher pitched in the sense of traditional underground depressive Black Metal material. The music itself does seem to follow the change laid out with "Tears of Starfire," but again it seems to be more varying tracks then all of them. "Journey Across the Stars" does take on a slightly more astral sounding atmosphere. "Never to Return" becomes notable on this disc for it's much slower pace and heavily atmospheric environment, almost taking on a more Progressive sound to the environment established on disc one, but also just generally being colder as well. "A Midnight Odyssey" is an instrumental track that clearly is aimed more towards an atmospheric sound, but it becomes one of the few songs on here that is just not really worth listening to and ends up becoming dull, much like the cleanly sung tracks on the first disc. "An Ode to Dying Spirits" really departed from the atmosphere of the album and, while it felt like it should be part of the album for a conceptual stand point, whether there was one or not, it's another track that suffers from the volume issues, and just doesn't work out too well. Perhaps had it been the closing to the first disc for the sake of fluidity, but right after "Against the Moonlight" left the song feeling weak on many levels.
The final disc closes with a few more Ambient tracks that really are not the most engaging, or even the most atmospheric of material on the recording, but after going through those, the listener is greeted with the song "Those Who Linger at Night." The track matches the more epic atmospheres of the release, and really stands out as one of the finest moments of the release, meshing together the Ambient and depressive Black Metal concepts nicely to really cement that astral environment that has popped up from time to time as the more dominant sound of the release. The tone of the track is more laid back then others, but given the chance you could easily close your eyes and be carried away with the music's enchanting sound, especially the Ambient elements that do kick in a little more then half way through the song and create almost a 2012: A Space Odyssey film style sound to the recording that eventually gives way to including some of the slight ritualistic ideas of this track from the Black Metal that continue to build up the epic foundation of the release, as well as the song in general. This track leads to the title song, "Funerals from the Astral Plane," which ends up being another strong track similar to "Those Who Linger at Night," but without that strong atmospheric charge that it had. The slower pace sets up a very mournful track though, encompassing the general idea of the track's title, and making for a very beautiful yet grim sounding conclusion to such an interesting release.
Funerals from the Astral Sphere is a strong, atmospheric Ambient Black Metal release from start to finish. Really the only gripes you could possibly have towards this one is the fact that there is just so many changes to the music and atmosphere over time, and that the quality can sometimes get in the way depending how light or intense the material comes across. The volume issues here also present a challenge, and restrain you from turning it up due to sacrificing some of the quality sound to the recording due to the more distant sounding music. But, for an album that is over two hours, Midnight Odyssey did a good job at keeping it enjoyable. Sure, there are plenty of keyboard elements that drive the length of the albuma long, but they are not that bad, though some tracks are just not that strong. Due to some of the padding from the keyboards and atmosphere driven instrumental type material, listening to both discs one after another can feel a bit like a chore, but there's plenty of solid material to make the waiting for the next real Black Metal song or it's material to start worth sitting through most of the time. Some of the duller Ambient material could have been pulled, and the album could have been cut into two seperate releases and still worked out, but in all honestly it's refreshing to see a two disc release that you could honestly call quality instead of jamming a bunch of filler tracks to peak the roughly eighty minute limit of one compact disc. It may be a little too big in the grand scheme of trying to be an epic atmospheric Black Metal release, but in the end it's an opus that you will come back to time and again.

[8 out of 10]

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METALLIZED
Review by Andrea Moretti

Uno straniante stato di tranquillità generato da un'imminente tensione, da un dramma in arrivo, il silenzioso torpore della mancanza di ossigeno e l'innaturale calma dovuta all'assenza di vita: questo è From Beyond the 8th Sphere, traccia con cui si conclude quel glaciale viaggio attraverso i sette cieli del cosmo a nome Firmament.
Due anni ci sono voluti per comporre il seguito del debut di Midnight Odyssey. Due anni solari che però, a giudicare dalla nuova opera, equivalgono a due anni luce…
Funeral from the Astral Sphere rappresenta l'arduo compito di apparire come successore di un album difficile, pretenzioso e -fortunatamente- vincente sotto ogni punto di vista.
Dis Pater ha capito che le cose dovevano essere fatte in grande: d'altronde, perché limitarsi quando si deve indagare e (tentare) di svelare il cosmo? Il nostro “deus ex-machina" fa dunque capolino di nuovo sul pianeta Terra con un doppio cd che simboleggia tutta la pesantezza, la difficoltà e il fascino della descrizione sonora di qualcosa di altrettanto vasto e occulto.
Firmament è una sorta di prova, una sorta di viaggio 0; Funeral from the Astral Sphere è invece l'esempio definitivo del perdersi nell'universo dominato dall'assenza di luce...
I sedici brani che si snodano attorno a queste due ore riprendono i temi sonori del debut amplificandone, dilatandone e desaturandone però i connotati. Il songwriting è sempre costruito sui sintetizzatori, mentre le parti black metal perdono di vibrazione, diventando più calde e rarefatte; le chitarre edificano un semplice muro di suono che smette di produrre riff per appoggiarsi alle melodie delle tastiere e alla sezione ritmica. Le urla di Dis Pater sono pungenti e strazianti all'inizio (Fallen from Firmament), per poi diradarsi sempre di più e mutare fino a disperdersi totalmente all'interno delle composizioni (sul finire dell'ascolto quasi non vi renderete più conto dei suoi screaming, oramai passati in secondo piano).
Le influenze riscontrabili sono sempre quegli ipotetici pilastri della kosmischemusik che rispondono al nome di Vangelis e Tangerine Dream; ora però le melodie sono più visibili (o meglio, udibili), quasi orecchiabili. A Death so Pure riesce benissimo a ricreare queste onde sonore che si allontanano sempre di più verso l'infinito in superbi richiami burzumiani. Against the Moonlight rispolvera la lezione impartita da Filosofem aggiungendo tuttavia delle evocative voci pulite così da creare un amalgama che, pur riconducibile alle esperienze black del passato, resta in grado di brillare di luce propria e anzi, di configurarsi come un prodotto nuovissimo (stupendo il cambio d'atmosfera praticamente trasognante a metà brano).
L'improbabile calderone dei Midnight Odyssey continua a contenere gli ingredienti di progetti come Klaus Schulze, Dargaard, The Verve, Slowdive, Burzum e Summoning.
Se ancora non siete stati in grado di immaginare questo mash-up col precedente Firmament, ora ne avrete l'occasione lungo questi centoventi minuti.
Eppure Dis Pater riesce ad aggiungere inediti tasselli al suo psichedelico puzzle: An Ode to Dying Spirits e Lost sono delle tracce acustiche con voce pulita (fra i migliori momenti del disco) che riescono a distanziarsi da qualsiasi esempio sperimentale di qualsiasi "metal band ": inserite in questo contesto, riescono ad emergere come delle mosche bianche che tuttavia si integrano perfettamente nell’album; difficilmente i due brani poterbbero trovare una posizione diversa nella storia della musica: c'è l'acustico ma non il folk, c'è la voce pulita e la melodie ma non il "pop"; di contro mancano alcuni elementi "cosmici" che però non impediscono di collocare tali titoli all'interno di questo dramma spaziale. Sono come voci provenienti dalle stelle che, scaturite dal vuoto, rieccheggieranno solo nel vuoto stesso.
Funerals from the Astral Sphere è un album fatto di antagonismi e piacevoli contraddizioni. Brani come When Death Comes Crawling, Secrets & Solitude e Silently in Shadows generano dei perfetti stati d'animo ricreando una sorta di calma interiore data dall'eterno fluttuare nel nulla.
L'anello di raccordo fra il primo e il secondo disco rappresenta uno dei punti più forti dell'intera opera: Tears of Starfire unisce dei possenti cori nel contempo tragici ed epici; l'uso dei flauti richiama alla memoria Antikrist dei Dimmu Borgir e contemporaneamente scinde ogni possibile legame con il black metal convenzionale.
Journey Across the Stars unisce il connubio Burzum-Filosfem ai Summoning, il tutto proiettato verso il viaggio astrale, rimosso da qualsiasi bagaglio storico; il climax è stupendo e al centro della traccia vi è un’escalation che contiene tutta la vuota e archetipica epicità della pesantezza immanente ma intangibile dell'universo sul mondo.
Anche ulteriori variazioni sul tema (Never to Return), che si manifestano con notevoli arpeggi acustici e voci pulite, trovano una personalissima posizione all'interno di questa opera mastodontica, integrandosi perfettamente con il resto del songwriting.
Il secondo vertice di questo cd2 si tocca con la quasi conclusiva Shores Serene. Un'improbabile spiaggia deserta, sperduta in un qualsiasi pianeta ai confini dello spazio, mancante di un qualsiasi mare o di qualsiasi onda; una controparte drammatica ma elegiaca di Underwater Sunlight dei Tangerine Dream. I synth rintoccano delicati e orecchiabili e per la prima volta la chitarra emerge dalle ombre per stagliarsi contro le melodie fluttuanti (come era successo qualche anno fa in Nocturnal Prey).
Il viaggio termina verso l'infinito: Those Who Linger at Night muta da brano ambient-kosmische a qualcosa di summoningiana e perturbante memoria; poi i cieli si aprono facendo spazio a quella sgraziata serenità che troviamo lungo tutto l'ascolto, in perfetta antitesi con le parti più drammatiche.
Dis Pater è riuscito ad oltrepassare se stesso, a creare quest'opera monumentale e senza confini che, se perseguita secondo il metodo convenzionale (cd1 e poi cd2), creerà qualche difficoltà solo ai 3/4 dell'ascolto per poi riprendersi meravigliosamente sul finale. Detto ciò, potreste anche divertirvi ad invertire i due dischi, osservando un risultato sostanzialmente invariato: una volta che ci si disperde nel bel mezzo delle stelle, non esistono più direzioni, né tantomeno punti di riferimento.
A tal proposito vorrei comunque rimarcare la non facile assimilazione di tale opera, sicuramente non consigliata all’ascoltatore comune, che si distanzia di poco dal precedente album: l'enorme durata dell'album è messa in relazione alle strutture dilatate che compongono i brani; comprimerle sarebbe equivalso a compromettere la trascendenza e l'abbandono verso determinati stati mentali. D'altra parte il debut era sorprendente soprattutto perché riusciva ad evocare le medesime sensazioni in un arco di tempo decisamente più ridotto.
Concludendo: Firmament si configura necessariamente come trampolino di lancio, un'ottima partenza dalla quale dipende questo meraviglioso svolgimento. Funerals From the Astral Sphere non è un prodotto che può essere vittima del compromesso e, per questo motivo, potrebbe non essere compreso appieno da tutti.

[85 out of 100]

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SLUG MAGAZINE
Review by
Bryer Wharton

There are memories I like to call audible memories—the mind remembers things not just from sight, but from every sense. Audible memories strike particular chords with me. Midnight Odyssey’s double album Funerals from the Astral Sphere will imprint one of those audible memories, like hearing wolves howling at the moon in the middle of a remote forest or the complete absence of sound, which in a weird way, could be considered a sound. There’s something beyond special when you first hear a piece of music that alters perceptions, makes that strange organ lodged in your skull start tingling and sending shivers and other sensations throughout your body. The musician/songwriter known as Dis Pater has already made headway with Midnight Odyssey’s Firmament and his other project, The Crevices Below. There is no avoiding the pure fact that when you decide to take on this sonic opus of over two hours of music, you need to be doing nothing else but listening to it. To slap a label on this undertaking is difficult; you could call it ambient black metal, but it pushes far beyond any genre. Forget the notion that you think you’ve heard every little bit and piece of what is considered music, this record is a firm and lovely reminder that you haven’t.

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METAL TEAM UK
Review by Gizmo

It's always interesting (to me at least!) when a work which labels itself so perfectly in both project name and album title still succeeds in offering up surprises in tone here and there. With their debut symphony 'Funerals From The Astral Sphere', Midnight Odyssey's sole member Dis Pater manages this from the first delicate, mournful woodwind notes that wander forth. When 'atmospheric', 'doom' and 'ambient' are tossed in with the Black Metal plinth in descriptions of a band, the languid neo-classical opening of 'Fallen From Firmament' is a gentle pinch awake. Filling the same kind of musical space as pioneers Elend and early Arcana it draws you in gently on a golden cord and allows the music to take shape around you for a time. It slowly conjures rather than drops everything on you at once. When the thunder comes, and it does on great Burzum tinged wings and Emperor riffs, it rises from this quiet as though you have knowingly allowed yourself to step into the path a cosmic storm and be swept away. The drum sound and style is excellent and the harsh vocals are wrapped within but never lost amidst the tempest of black metal riffs that accompany the blast.
This is a beautifully composed and performed journey; almost two hours of musical landscapes that travel from the rich clean vocals on passages such as ' Lost' gliding that line between Arcana and Dead Can Dance to the cosmic inclinations of such black metal as early Limbonic Art, recent Exiled From Light and the introspective aspects of old Burzum. Riffs colour and strengthen the keyboards in a sometimes cold, always dark swirl as though passing through the clouds of some nebula. It suggests mysteries revealed but the purpose always somehow obscured.
This is a long piece to absorb, or to fall into, but the sense of expansive melody is never lost, nor is the momentum. It flows on some dark, ethereal motion that comes to crest and then subside into quiet pools for a while before being called onwards. It blends the neo classical and the black metal in a way that never leaves in doubt the roots of the music and never puts a foot near the currently popular post-rock waters, either. Somehow this marriage, the classical and the metal, works so much better for me. There is a consistency in purpose and intent in all sides of the music here that blurs the line without transplanting the roots.
I have no lyric set here, nothing but the music to go on but that is fine for the moment. I have wrapped myself in it and just let it take me where it wills. So a long journey, yes, but a hugely impressive one and beautifully constructed into a whole.
It's been a good year for atmospheric Black Metal but the neo classical mystery of Midnight Odyssey so far holds the crown for me.

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FROM THE DUST RETURNED
Review by Autothrall

Midnight Odyssey's demo-gone-debut album Firmament was easily one of my favorite black metal releases of the 21st century to date, a wonderful expose of spacious, cosmic aesthetics given tangible flesh in the form of atmospheric, mesmeric riffing patterns dominating a solid foundation and more grandiose synthesizer than a marathon of 80s one-hit wonder episodes. But more importantly, it was enviably damned consistent, a full-on balance of darkness and beauty that transcended the relative simplicity of its concepts, arks, titles and lyrics. About the only thing wrong with that album was its original, gaudy cover art, a crime to its musical content, and a crime that has been repeated once more for the follow-up. Hopefully this will change with a subsequent release. Don't you worry though, because Midnight Odyssey is a band well worth listening to blind, or blinded by distant nebulae and an infinite void of questions.
Dis Pater has returned from his subterranean side-trek to The Crevices Below, back to the span of stars which crowded his vision a few years ago, and surprisingly with enough material in tow to cover two entire discs! Funerals from the Astral Sphere is approximately 125 minutes wide, an ambitious project for an act so young, but also running the age old risk of courting an excess of filler material. Thankfully, there is very little of such. Midnight Odyssey has the distinct ability to envelop the listener in the most simple of compositions, but he's made sure to diversify the album's roster of 16 songs, even further than Firmament. Cleaner vocals take up more of a priority here than in the past, alternated with Dis' Burzum-like, tortured rasping and often layered against itself to provide a longing, soaring choir ("Journey Across the Stars" and "Lost" being just a few of these). The synthesizers are again omnipresent, but one will note that a good fraction of the tracks here are not metal at all ("Lost", "Shores Serene"), but epic swells of shoegazer-pop rooted heavily in 80s pad tones that recall Vangelis (particularly his score for Blade Runner), Tangerine Dream and even more mainstream 80s fare (like the full bodied keys used in Berlin's great "Take My Breath Away").
But fear not, Dis Pater has not abandoned his niche audience to become the next Peter Gabriel, and there are plenty of potent, eloquent black-fueled pieces here, some of which are the most catchy on the album. Personal favorites included "From a Celestial Throne", and its damn sticky progression of chords, "Silently in Shadow", which is beyond glorious; or "Tears of Starfire", a near 10 minute colossus that runs the range which blends the vocal styles with a lot of double-bass; an incessant smear of the otherworldly, like the last sounds you'd hear internally if you were adrift in space and your oxygen supply ran out. But even the less immediately memorable structures sink themselves in after a few listens, and thus pieces like the title track have their places. What's more, despite the enormous length of the album, even the weightier, 12+ minute tracks stand out ("Those Who Linger at Night", "Fallen from the Firmanent").
Are there moments of filler, where the attention slips from the ponderous atmosphere? I'd say yes, if you're not surrounding yourself with the appropriate listening environment. Seriously, as cheesy as it might sound, try and experience this either still on some hillside gazing upon the openness, or even afloat on a rowboat or canoe, when you've got two hours to kill. Take it all in, and remain patient. Aside from the obvious textures and layers, there is not much subtlety to the album. It shimmers directly into your conscience, the heavily distorted guitars and keys immediately engaging your emotional center. But there's just so damned much of it, the attention span is unlikely to hold forever. Thankfully, even if you cut this into halves of quarters, the songs are relatively consistent. It doesn't have that same sense of exultation and surprise as the debut, since those who enjoyed Firmament will know quite what to expect. It also doesn't have that same precise flow to it. But nevertheless, Funerals from the Astral Sphere is another glorious and engrossing median between star-stuff and obscurity.
[9 out of 10]

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THE NUMBER OF THE BLOG
Review by Tr00 Nate

Some of you who read this column might recognize the name Midnight Odyssey when I briefly mentioned it in my mid-year overview of 2011. Midnight Odyssey is the project of one man named Dis Paters (who is also the guy behind The Crevices Below), and was started in 2007. Prior to Funerals From the Astral Sphere, Midnight Odyssey has two demos, Forest Mourners and Firmament (which is an hour and ten minutes long, so can it really be called a demo?).
Not only is Funerals Midnight Odyssey’s first full-length, it’s also his first double album as well. Massive in both sound and length, this album clocks in at two hours and four minutes long, and it makes use of all of that time. Pater takes his time here, letting each and every song develop in its own way. Some songs start out ferocious and continue on to the end, while others take longer to get going (the first song, ‘Fallen From Firmament’ takes about six and a half minutes to get started). Some songs (An Ode to Dying Spirits) are bereft of metal entirely.
The actual sound of this album? It’s spacey ambient black metal. Astral sounding keys are everywhere, whether their the main focus of the song or just backing up the more intense parts. By intense parts, I mean a lush wall of sound the is most reminiscent of Trist’s Hin-Fort, though the feel and atmosphere is softer and more embracing (if that makes any sense at all). Vocals are mostly shrieks that are high up in the mix yet partially obscured, though Pater also uses clean chanting/singing in several passages, and exclusively in some songs. The summation of all the elements results in a huge majestic sound that one could easily find themselves lost in.
Considering the length and pace of this double album, this is not an album for everyone. The impatient, those who want instant blast beats and aggressive riffs or tons of deedilies, will get very little out of it. But for the patient ones who are willing to invest the time into it, Funerals From the Astral Sphere is easily one of the best albums of 2011.
[5,5 out of 6]

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METAL IMPRESSIONS
Review by Radu

Ein großer Schritt für einen Künstler, ein noch größerer aus dem Underground. Hinter MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY verbirgt sich ein Solo Projekt von Dis Pater, das bereits seit 1999 mit Musik experimentiert. Konkret wurde es ab 2008, als der passende Bandname gefunden wurde und „The Forest Mourners“ in Eigenproduktion veröffentlicht wurde. Später wurde es als gratis Download angeboten, was auch beim Nachfolger „Firmament“ geschehen sollte. Später wurden beide Alben als limitierte Edition rausgehauen, bevor Dis Pater bei Voidhanger Records sein zuhause fand, um uns die aktuelle Langrille zu bescheren.
Die kosmischen Beerdigungen beginnen mit sphärischen Keyboardklängen; komplett Ambient und hypnotisch. Man kann sich bei den Klängen richtig schön fallen lassen und betritt schnell die Gedanken- und Musikwelt des Künstlers, ohne zu Straucheln. Eingängige Melodien tragen das ganze Songgerüst und bleiben auch während Black Metal Attacken konstant bestehen. Es wird durchgehend die Midtemposchiene gefahren, was dem Sound ordentlich Dynamik verleiht, ohne dabei die Melodien untergehen zu lassen. Obwohl der klare Gesang stark zu loben ist, krächzt sich der Pater durch einige Stücke ordentlich durch. Die Gitarren erscheinen an manchen Stellen etwas dünn, werden aber sofort vom Gesamteindruck wieder aufgefangen.
Hier vereinen sich hypnotische Melodien mit sphärischen Keyboards, gewürzt mit einigen Black Metal Elementen und einer Breitseite Ambient und Folk Einflüssen, ohne dabei ins Klischee abzudriften. Gerade die Eigenständigkeit und die mystische Atmosphäre machen den Reiz dieser Platte aus. Die (mitter-) nächtliche Odyssey entführt auf Knopfdruck in fremde Welten und ist der beste Beweis dafür, welche Musik die erfolgreichen Künstler groß gemacht hat und welches Potential in der Underground Szene schlummert.
Das Cover und die Tatsache, dass man sich hier auf Musik auf zwei Silberlingen verstreut freuen kann, rundet den Gesamteindruck ab. Auf hohem Niveau könnte man höchstens Produktion ansatzweise bemängeln, die noch einen Tick saftiger hätte sein können, aber das wäre dann auch schon der einzige Kritikpunkt.
Fazit: musikalisch extrem hohes Niveau, atmosphärische Klänge, top Gesamteindruck! Hier ist dem Pater der ganz große Wurf gelungen, von dem andere Bands lange Zeit träumen. Also ran an den Player und auf zur Odyssey!
[5 out of 6]

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NECROWEB MAGAZIN
Review by Blizzard

"Ich verabscheue die menschliche Rasse, und ich hoffe, dass da draußen etwas existiert, was leistungsfähiger und aussagekräftiger als die Menschheit ist."
Viele Musiker geben ja gern zu Protokoll, dass der Gedanke an den Tod etwas Faszinierendes birgt. Auch Dis Pater gehört zu jener Spezies und begibt sich mit seinem Projekt eigenen Angaben zufolge auf eine Reise, in der die Welt ihren Tribut fordert und alle Zeichen der Menschlichkeit verloren gehen. So legt uns der gute Mann nach nur zwei Demo-Veröffentlichungen, die zudem als CD-Version erschienen sind, nun tatsächlich schon eine DCD vor, die sich zudem noch gewaschen hat.
Der erste Silberling wird von wunderschönen, stimmigen Tastenklängen eingeleitet, was da anfangs durchaus den Eindruck erweckt, man habe es mit einem Ambient Werk zu tun.
Der cleane, verhaltene Gesang, der sich da alsbald hinzufügt, lässt enorm Hoffnung aufkeimen, dass man bei vorliegender Scheibe mit etwas ganz Großem konfrontiert wird. Der Auftakt ist jedenfalls schon mal fraglos ganz großes Kopfkino geworden.
Doch kaum ist man in den eigenen Gedanken versunken, offenbart sich die andere Seite von Midnight Odyssey. Was dann nämlich, für mich doch etwas unerwartet, hervorbricht, ist atmosphärischer Schwarzstahl, der von getragenen Melodien geprägt wird, welche sich in ihrer depressiven Schönheit selbst hochpeitschen - ich bin beeindruckt und hoffe doch insgeheim auf den Erhalt dieser hohen Qualität.
Und tatsächlich bleibt dieses Niveau erhalten, wurde das Gebotene doch immer wieder mit schmackhaften Ideen angereichert.
Natürlich wird entsprechend dem Black Metal Genre kräftig gekrächzt, doch der Musiker schert sich (glücklicherweise) einen Teufel darum, hier eingleisig zu fahren.
Die nächste Hammerdarbietung namens "Against The Moonlight" zeigt zugleich eindrucksvoll auf, wie facettenreich ein Stück klingen kann. Klargesang, prägende Melodien, die wiederum Emotionen aufkochen lassen - wirklich hervorragend!
Mit "An Ode To Dying Spirits" folgt dann eine Verschnaufpause, welche stilistisch aber meines Erachtens nach nicht so richtig hier drauf passt. Aber die Welt des Suicide nimmt im folgenden Stück wieder ihre gefühlvollen Formen an, die natürlich weiterhin den Verlauf dieser Reise bestimmen werden.
Auch "Lost" birgt eine ruhige Seite, indem man stilistisch gar die sogenannte Ethereal Schiene fährt - sehr interessant, wie ich meine.
Stoff zum Dahinschweben serviert man uns dann noch mal mit dem Rauswurf und die Sekunden scheinen unerträglich in der Zeit, in der man mit feuchten Händen den zweiten Silberling einwirft.
Natürlich birgt auch dieser ähnlich geartete Tonkost, bei der besonders "Never To Return" stark aufzeigt, wie schön klarer Gesang mit getragenem Schwarzstahl harmonieren kann. Und genau dies sind jene Momente, die es schaffen, den Hörer gebannt an den Muscheln zu halten und alles um sich herum vergessen zu lassen.
Also der Mann versteht es fraglos, wunderbare Tastenmelodien hervorzuzaubern und das Tolle daran ist, dass jene trotz beständiger Gegebenheit weder kitschig noch aufgeblasen wirken. Wohl dosiert und mit hypnotischem Schleichfaktor kann man sich letztendlich diesem Spektakel nur schwerlich entziehen. Wie aber depressiv veranlagte Seelen darauf reagieren werden, kann ich nur vermuten.
Der ambiente Black Metal erfreut sich ja bekanntermaßen in den letzten Jahren einer verstärkten Beliebtheit und obwohl der Künstler mit Midnight Odyssey diesbezüglich kein Neuland offenbart, so gehört jenes australische Projekt dennoch zur oberen Spitze selbigen Genres. Auch wenn ein direkter Vergleich mit ähnlich agierenden Projekten nur bedingt möglich ist, so empfehle ich dieses Werk trotzdem Verkostern von Lustre oder Burzum.
[9 out of 10]

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ROCK OVERDOSE
Review by Vivi Jd

Ο Αυστραλός Dis Pater που κρύβεται πίσω από τους Midnight Odyssey επιστρέφει με μια δεύτερη δουλειά η οποία φέρει τον τίτλο “Funerals From The Astral Sphere” και περιέχει 16 κομμάτια, δύο ώρες γεμάτες από σκοτεινές και ατμοσφαιρικές μουσικές που σε ταξιδεύουν.
Black metal είναι αυτό που θα ακούσετε με έντονα στοιχεία doom τα οποία περνάνε και μέσα από αρκετά ακουστικά folk περάσματα με καθαρά ψυχεδελικά φωνητικά. Έντονο συναίσθημα σου προκαλεί αυτό το άλμπουμ και φαίνεται ότι ο Dis το κατέχει καλά! Έντονα επηρεασμένος από τα τροπικά δάση και τα άγρια τοπία της Αυστραλίας και με την ευρύτερη έννοια του θανάτου πάντα να τον συναρπάζει και αποτυπώνοντας όλες αυτές τις σκέψεις έχουμε το αποτέλεσμα του εν λόγω άλμπουμ.
Από την εισαγωγή του πρώτου κομματιού μπαίνεις στο νόημα στο τι έπεται παρακάτω! Όλα τα στοιχεία που προανέφερα μέσα σε ένα κομμάτι με φωνητικά που μου θύμισαν πρώιμους Burzum και με χορωδία στο προσκήνιο να συνοδεύει θαυμάσια τη μουσική επένδυση. Ένα κομμάτι δώδεκα λεπτών που περιέχει τα πάντα! Τα περισσότερα κομμάτια ξεκινάνε σε πιο αργόσυρτους τόνους αλλάζοντας μελωδία από τη μέση και μετά. Φανερό είναι ότι έχει γίνει πολύ καλύτερη δουλειά στην σύνθεση κάτι που καλύπτει κάπως τα φωνητικά τα οποία παίρνουν δύναμη από τα χορωδιακά σημεία του άλμπουμ. Συνθετικά λοιπόν πιστεύω ότι ο Dis έκανε άψογη δουλειά με ήχους και μελωδίες που αν και δεν υπήρξα ποτέ φανατική οπαδός του folk τα έδεσε μεταξύ τους άψογα και το αποτέλεσμα είναι ονειρικό. Κατάφερε σε όποιον το ακούσει να τον βάλει σε μια διαδικασία σκέψεων και αποριών για ότι συμβαίνει γύρω μας.
Το κομμάτι που θα ξεχωρίσω και που κάνει τη διαφορά στο σύνολο είναι το An Ode To Dying Spirits το οποίο και αναδεικνύει τα κρυμμένα φωνητικά. Folk κομμάτι από την αρχή μέχρι και το τέλος του με τη χρήση ενός μόνο οργάνου απλά για να συνοδεύει τους όμορφους στίχους! Υπέροχο!
Είναι από αυτά τα άλμπουμ που αντιπροσωπεύουν 100% το είδος που υποστηρίζουν. Black/doom metal με έντονα στοιχεία folk! Ακριβώς όπως το διαβάζετε. Το αντέχετε? Είστε οπαδοί? Αν ναι θα βρείτε ενδιαφέρουσες ιδέες και αξίζει την ακρόαση σας.

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TOTENTANZ MAGAZIN
Review by Olaf von Ohrblut

Das 2007 entstandene Einmannprojekt MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY gibt auf der neuen Veröffentlichung "FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE" eine sehr solide und qualitative Mischung aus Black Metal gemischt mit Ambient, Doom, Folk und kosmischer Musik zum Besten. Assoziationen mit Summmoning kommen da schnell des Weges. Dennoch entsteht nie der Eindruck, dass hier kopiert wird. Es handelt sich einfach um einen weiteren Vertreter dieses Genres. Unglaublich viel Atmosphäre mischt sich mit sehr aggressivem Geschrei und bildet Schönheit und Schrecken zugleich ab. Die Musik ist sicher nicht zum Headbangen gedauert, aber für eine gute Rollenspielrunde oder traute Zweisamkeit ist dies sicher nicht die schlechteste Wahl - eben wie Summoning.
Aber Ihr Geld wert ist die Veröffentlichung umso mehr, wenn man bedenkt, dass man für normales Geld eine Doppel-CD mit satten 124:48 Minutenerhält. Also: Kaufen!

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HATEFUL METAL
Review by Aceust

Midnight Odyssey ist ein weiteres Projekt des Australiers Dis Pater, der an dieser Stelle erst kürzlich mit dem Debütalbum von The Crevices Below besprochen wurde. Musikalisch scheinen die beiden Projekte nicht sehr viel gemeinsam zu haben. Nach zwei Demos ist nun das Debütalbum Funerals From The Astral Sphere als Doppel-CD erschienen. Nicht schlecht, kommt das Werk doch auf eine Spielzeit von etwas mehr als zwei Stunden, was erst einmal adäquat gefüllt werden will. Der musikalische Pfad von Midnight Odyssey ist atmosphärischer Ambient Black Metal mit einigen experimentellen stilübergreifenden Ausflügen.
Funerals From The Astral Sphere ist kein Album, auf dem einzelne Lieder besonders zum Tragen kommen, jedenfalls wenn es um den Black Metal geht. Dieser ist geprägt von grell gestimmten und dünnen Gitarren sowie einem mit Hall unterlegten Kreischgesang. Midnight Odyssey klingt im Black Metal also stellenweise nach DSBM, was man hier aber besser als atmosphärische Variante betrachtet. Der Black Metal funktioniert auf dem Album gut, da die Harmonien überaus stimmig sind und oft eine majestätische Stimmung erschaffen. Midnight Odyssey greift dabei auf eine Vielzahl an entsprechenden Stilmitteln, wie etwa sphärisch tragende Keyboardklänge oder dezente Hintergrundchöre, zurück. An anderen Stellen wurde Akustikgitarre verwendet, was den atmosphärischen Ausdruck zusätzlich betont.
Es gibt aber eben nicht nur Black Metal zu hören. Es gibt auch zahlreiche Ambientpassagen, sowohl als reinen Ambient als auch in Kombination mit Black Metal oder experimentellen Klängen. Andernorts ist des Öfteren auch Klargesang zu hören. In An Ode To Dying Spirits ist beispielsweise durchgängig eine Frauenstimme zu hören, die von einer Akustikgitarre begleitet wird. Die Dame kann singen und mit Black-Metal-Kitsch hat das auch nichts zu tun, weshalb das Lied schön anzuhören und stimmig ist. Ein gänzlich anderer und interessanter Aspekt auf den ich noch eingehen möchte, ist das Schlagwerk, welches für solch ein Werk überraschend gut ausgefallen ist. Das Spiel an den Fellen ist abwechslungsreich und technisch anspruchsvoll. Für atmosphärischen Ambient Black Metal also eher untypisch.
Funerals From The Astral Sphere ist ein gutes Album, welches sehr stimmig ist und spielerisch und harmonisch überzeugt. Mir ist es aber einfach zu lang. Nach zwei Stunden kann ich nicht mehr sagen, welches Lied oder welche Passage ich von der ersten CD besonders gut fand; und alles noch mal durchhören um die eine Stelle zu finden, ist zu mühselig. Dies ist dann auch ein Grund, weshalb solch Monumentalwerk nur als Ganzes funktioniert und man Zeit und vor allem Muße mitbringen muss. Funerals From The Astral Sphere ist immer auch sehr atmosphärisch, es gibt viele verschiedene Melodien zu hören. Manche sind sehr gut und besitzen Gänsehautfaktor, andere sind dann hingegen etwas zu verspielt oder schwammig. Midnight Odyssey ist hiermit ein gutes und eindringliches Debütalbum gelungen, obgleich noch Luft nach oben ist - jedenfalls für meinen Geschmack. Dem Album würde etwas mehr Groteskes und Bizarres gut tun, um den melodischen Aspekt etwas zu entschärfen und eine zusätzliche Schwere und Beklemmung auszubreiten. Für Freunde des gepflegten atmosphärischen Ambient Black Metals aber dennoch uneingeschränkt zu empfehlen.
[7,5 out of 10]

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WHISKEY SODA
Review by Steve

Irgendwie muten Cover-Artworks mit kosmischer Thematik ja immer etwas befremdlich an. Das einzig gelungene Beispiel, dass mir gerade so in den Sinn kommt, ist "Sorrow Galaxies" von Mütiilation. Andererseits sind da die kunterbunten beziehungsweise schlecht designten Augen-Granaten wie Limbonic Art's "Epitome of Illusions", oder das alte Cover zu Samael's "Eternal". Ja, da wurde schon Kunstgeschichte geschrieben. Nicht gar so abschreckend, aber doch etwas kitschig ist das Cover zu Midnight Odyssey's Debüt-Album "Funerals From The Astral Sphere". Sternchen, bunte Farben und ein Weltall-Skelett - gute Mischung. Davon sollte man sich aber nicht abschrecken lassen, denn hinter diesem kleinen Fehltritt befindet sich ein musikalischer Kosmos der Extraklasse.

Die Australier verstehen sich darauf, bewegenden Ambient Black Metal zu erschaffen, der den Hörer mit einer selten dagewesenen Intensität trifft. Breite Keyboard-Teppiche und flächige Gitarren verschmelzen, um so den kompletten Raum zu erfüllen. Dennoch wird das Tasteninstrument so dezent eingesetzt, dass es sich nie in den Vordergrund drängt oder gar nervig wirkt. Die Stücke haben genau die richtige Ausgewogenheit und werden von der passenden Stimme gekrönt. So schaffen es die Lieder, ihre eigenen Längen zu überbrücken, ohne dabei Langeweile aufkommen zu lassen. Dafür sorgen bedacht eingesetzte Ruhemomente, die nur von Keyboard-Klängen getragen werden, oder cleaner Gesang, der verträumt und abwesend wirkt.
Was in den Songs funktioniert, klappt auch über das ganze Album hinweg. Mit einer Spieldauer von mehr als zwei Stunden und zwei randvollen CDs könnte man meinen, dass irgendwann die Luft raus ist, aber das bewahrheitet sich in keinem Moment. Kleine Akustik-Perlen wie "An Ode To Dying Spirits" oder reine Keyboard-Stücke reihen sich nahtlos zwischen die härteren Songs und verleihen "Funerals From The Astral Sphere" noch zusätzlichen Tiefgang, Atmosphäre und allem voran viel Abwechslung. Hier wurde sich sehr viel Mühe gegeben und immer wieder fallen kleine Details ins Auge, die dieses Werk so wahnsinnig spannend machen und stetig überraschen. So könnte der Track "Lost" mit seinem gebrechlichen Gesang auch ein Stück der Neoklassik-Pioniere Dead Can Dance sein und "Shores Serene" befördert den Hörer mit seinem anhaltenden Gitarren-Solo in andere Sphären.
Erstaunlich, wie diese Newcomer etwas vollbringen, was vor ihnen nur wenige Bands geschafft haben - komplette zwei Stunden durchgehend spannend und mitreißend zu halten. Gerade die außergewöhnlichen Stücke dieses Albums machen es zu etwas ganz Besonderem. Aber auch der atmosphärische Black Metal, der sich hier und da etwas an die Landsmänner von Austere anlehnt, weiß jederzeit zu begeistern. Wer sich also nicht davor scheut, seinen Black Metal mit Keyboard und Genre-fremden Elementen angereichert zu bekommen, der sollte sich wirklich von diesem Album begeistern lassen.

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METALSHIP
Review by Kumelia

Les grands amateurs de Black Ambiant ont déjà dû entendre parler de Midnight Odyssey. Ce one-man band australien mené par un certain Dis Pater a su conquérir par le passé les aficionados (dont notre Pit national) d'une musique longtemps menée par Burzum, ColdWorld ou Vinterriket.
L'année 2011 se voit marquée par le retour de Midnight Odyssey, avec la sortie d'un double-album portant le nom Funerals from the Astral Sphere. Une nouvelle fois, l'australien nous embarque pour un long voyage initiatique, séjour qui prend grand soin de conserver cette dose de mystère nécessaire pour contempler au mieux les astres.
Funerals from the Astral Sphere renoue naturellement avec le Black Ambiant des débuts de Midnight Odyssey. "Fallen From Firmament" ouvre ce double-album, sur une ambiance glaciale, un peu dans la veine du "Frost" d'Enslaved. Forcément, on se sent emporté, happé par ces sons qui, grâce à leur empreinte, forment une véritable hypnose, confirmée par les lointaines incantations de Dis Pater. Le Black Metal reprend ses droits sur ce même morceau, avec en guise de fin une partie 'brutale', tout en étant portée par un vent de mélancolie synonyme d'ambiances bien pensées.
D'un titre à l'autre, on retrouve cette dualité qui caractérise si bien le style. "A Death So Pure" et ses claviers saisissants, "When Death Comes Crawling" et son approche glaciale, le très étrange "Lost" ou encore le sombre "From a Celestial Throne", bref, Funerals from the Astral Sphere est une véritable hydre musicale qui demande une certaine attention pour être pleinement appréciée.
En cela, le choix d'un double-album peut s'avérer risqué, d'autant que les non-initiés auront bien du mal à appréhender une telle œuvre qui dure plus de deux heures...
Quoiqu'il en soit, Dis Pater parvient à retenir l'attention, en mettant en place des ambiances travaillées, alliant tour à tour des passages sombres et torturés ("Against the Moonlight") à d'autres bien plus avenants, qui sonnent comme une contemplation de toute la beauté céleste. Et c'est bien là que réside la force de Midnight Odyssey: le groupe ne s'enferme pas dans un seul carcan, il n'hésite pas à piocher dans différents univers (cette mélodie japonaise dans "Against the Moonlight" justement, ou le clinquant "An Ode to Dying Spirits", limite western dans l'âme!), avec plus ou moins de réussite, mais l'idée est bien là.
Côté production, on retrouve là encore tous les ingrédients du style, à savoir un son voilé par un effet que je compare au vent, bien aidé par les guitares. Côté artwork, il parait évident que Funerals from the Astral Sphere ne restera pas dans les annales...
Au final, Midnight Odyssey livre ici une sacrée pièce. Les amateurs seront ravis de redécouvrir la musique de Dis Pater, tandis que les autres auront bien du mal à se lancer dans le second CD de ce double-album. Car avec plus de deux heures de musique ambiante, on peut vite se lasser...
Ceci étant, Funerals from the Astral Sphere est bourré de bonnes idées ("A Death So Pure"...), d'ambiances prenantes et de savoureux détails, que seuls les plus téméraires sauront apprécier à leur juste valeur!

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EVILIZED
Review by Wolfsblut

Nach zwei viel versprechenden Demoveröffentlichungen, die vor Kurzem professionell neu aufgelegt wurden, meldet sich "Dis Pater“, besser bekannt als Kopf von MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY mit einem 2 CDs umfassenden Machtwerk zurück.
"FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE“ lautet der Titel des neusten Werkes, welcher die Klangwerke des Meisters trefflich zu charakterisieren weiß. 16 Stücke und satte zwei Stunden Spielzeit sprechen eine deutliche Sprache – Ambient Black Metal Vollbedienung. "FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE“ fordert den Hörer stärker als die beiden Vorgängen. Die Stücke bewegen sich fast ausschließlich im Midtempo-Bereich, driften ins doomige und verfügen zudem über einen deutlich gesteigerten Ambient-Anteil. "Dis Pater“ greift hierbei stets auf ähnliche Strukturen zurück, was hin und wieder anstrengend wirkt, die atmosphärisch um sich greifende Wirkung des Werkes aber verstärkt. Das Individuum driftet aus der realen Welt, hinein in besagte astrale Sphären um sich fernab des Alltages treiben zu lassen.
MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY genießen ihren Ausnahmestatus in der Szene spürbar und scheren sich nicht um Konventionen. "FUNERALS FROM THE ASTRAL SPHERE“ baut bekannte Trademarks aus und verschmilzt diese mit neuen Einflüssen. Traumgleich treibt man hinfort…

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METALITALIA
Review by Marco Gallarati

Una lunga e incessante colata di cielo stellato. Nubi giganti e dense, ricoperte di pece, che transitano davanti ad una Luna silente e glaciale. Tremori nudi di bestie antiche, demoni che infestano i sogni e li oscurano. Un coacervo ipnotizzante di deserto raggelato e costernazione cosmica.
Ci viene da descrivere così, in pieno trip astrale, il black metal ambientale e atmosferico promulgato dalla one-man-band australiana Midnight Odyssey, al rientro sulle scene dopo le buone ristampe dei suoi primi due lavori, in partenza auto-prodotti, “The Forest Mourners” e “Firmament”. Dis Pater, la mente musicale e concettuale del gruppo, sa certamente il fatto suo, non solo nel portare avanti da solo un progetto intimo, personale e quasi riservato come quello in questione, ma anche nel brillante connubio tra il dark ambient catartico e d’atmosfera ed il black metal ancestrale, depresso ed evocativo, raramente sorretto da cieca violenza ma atto semplicemente a trasmettere il malessere e il fastidio generato dall’Uomo Moderno in anime misantrope, solitarie e perennemente schifate. Si raggiungono elevatissime vette di coinvolgimento – a tratti ci si commuove oppure si rabbrividisce – durante l’ascolto di “Funerals From The Astral Sphere”, impegnativo e lunghissimo doppio disco, però davvero poco annoiante, soprattutto se si è portati alla fruizione del genere e se si scelgono condizioni e momenti adatti della giornata – ad esempio: cercate di sentire l’album di sera, da soli e in penombra, magari immaginando che fuori diluvi. La produzione è per forza deficitaria e corrosa: le chitarre non sono neanche zanzarose, bensì suoni sfrigolanti e vagamente riconducibili a melodia; con sotto il tappeto ambient e sinfonico, però, l’effetto ipnotico e straniante è micidiale e la ricerca del suono potente e pulito vi sembrerà una stupidata da ragazzetti limitati di cervello. Gli arrangiamenti sono sopraffini e, nonostante si parli qui di ambient black metal, “Funerals From The Astral Sphere” è un platter vario e formato da canzoni riconoscibili: non solo perenni cavalcate sospese tra ipnosi e cacofonia, ma anche due ballate acustiche, un brano completamente ambient e tutto sommato una cospicua alternanza di soluzioni. Un lavoro che è inevitabilmente per pochi: ci vuole abitudine al genere, capacità di godere della depressione musicale e, infine, due ore di tempo. Se possedete tutto ciò, allora per voi i Midnight Odyssey hanno scritto probabilmente un piccolo capolavoro!

 

      

MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY : INTERVIEWS



ARISTOCRAZIA

Interview by Bosj

In Italian

In English:

Taking advantage of a saturday night ended quite early, at 1 AM I find myself writing down questions inspired by the listening of the beautiful, gloomy "Funerals From The Astral Sphere", latest mindblowing work (to me, album of the year) by Dis Pater, complete musician coming from Australia. To those of you who might not have listened to his works yet (make it up and give him a chance), and of course to those who already faced his leading-astray works, we hope you find something useful in this talk.

First of my questions is: who is Dis Pater? Moreover, what is the meaning of your nickname and what led you to choose it? Is it Father of Pluto, god of the dead world?

I chose the name Dis Pater for two reasons. Firstly it represents an ancient Gallic-Roman god, acquainted with Pluto/Hades, as god of wealth and fertility originally, then god of the underworld in general, first described by Julius Caesar in his conquest of Gaul. The second reason why I picked the name is because the very name Dis Pater represents something of a stark resemblance to the ancient Indo-European proto-god of the sky, i.e. sky father, who in Greco-Roman terms is Zeus/Jupiter. This to me is a perfect example of how we as humans, try to reconstruct our past, and how over time, true meanings can be lost, which is actually the very story behind the Midnight Odyssey ethos.


You have two projects of which Midnight Odyssey is the first one: how was it born?
Midnight Odyssey came from many years of writing black metal and ambient/neo-classical music. It was the culmination of about 8 years of writing and recording, and if you like, awaiting the right time when I felt I understood myself and the world a little better. It officially began in 2007, though there are recordings I have with the name of Midnight Odyssey done well before that, but that wasn't a serious "band name" as such back then.

Your works as Midnight Odyssey deal with cosmic energies, reaching the firmament, generally with something much bigger than men. Where do you take the inspiration for such themes from and how did this research begin?
I'm very interested in the mythologies that have been created by all cultures of the world, all of which point to a somewhat appropriateness of placing humans on a scale of lesser significance to other things/beings. After all, we are not the only holders of our fate, there are outside forces that work both against and with us, for example, the existence of our sun is not something a mere mortal has control of. It is of more importance than we are. It is these outside forces, natural forces of the cosmos, which I'm sure many still remain unknown, that the lyrics and music take their form.

"Funerals..." is your first full lenght, since "Forest Mourners" and "Firmament", despite their lenght, were just demos: what changed from those works? I hear a more complex, complete approach to the genre, besides a more functional production. The sound here is richer, more "aware" I would say, am I wrong?
"Funerals…" is a much more mature attempt, a refinement. I wanted Funerals to be a more complete, and maybe perhaps also a more abstract chapter in Midnight Odyssey's story. The sound is much richer, there are a lot more layers for each song than on the previous releases.

Let's talk about your other project, The Crevices Below. Its debut "Below The Crevices" sounded as the complementary part of the research you are doing with Midnight Odyssey: the latter dealing with the whole cosmo, the former concerning what is under the ground, presenting more "cryptic" sounds and clean vocals. Would you tell us something more about it?
Yes, The Crevices Below is meant to actually be conceptually the exact opposite to Midnight Odyssey. Not musically of course, but lyrically and thematically. As Midnight Odyssey deals with the cosmos and the sky, The Crevices Below exists in a world where you can't see the sky, and may not know its existence. It is the "earth" element if you like, and is meant to be about the subterranean darkness, and the madness that ensues the ruler below (I will let your readers elaborate on the these topics with the reasons I gave for choosing the name Dis Pater).

Metal Archives states that you are also the live vocalist for Wedard, a german black metal band, is this correct? What kind of cooperation is this?
Live vocalist? Definitely not. I live in Australia, he [Sternefrost, Wedard mastermind] is from Bavaria. I did session vocals for two songs on the Eiskrieg II MCD which came out earlier this year I believe. The song "Diminished" is the one floating around the webs with the youtube video.

You are from Australia, a land which, in addition to the "big names" like Disembowelment, Mortal Sin and so on, is lately giving a great contribution to the underground black metal scene with names like Portal, Erebus Enthroned and many others. What is going on down there?
(Haha) I have no idea. Isolation? Seriously, there has always been a small and dedicated scene in Australia, with some great bands that have existed for a long time, only to recently gain attention overseas in the last couple of years. I think the fact that we are so far away means we have to work harder if we want to be recognised. Maybe there is an exotic factor to it as well, I don't know really.

How did you end up with an italian label, I, Voidhanger?
I, Voidhanger contacted me after hearing the demo albums somewhere in the vast emptiness of the internet. It came completely out of nowhere really.

What shall we expect from you in the immediate future?
The immediate future is going to be focusing on another new project of mine, soon to be announced, as well as releasing some unfinished Midnight Odyssey material on one or two split releases. There is no plan for a new Midnight Odyssey album just yet, but maybe we will see a new The Crevices Below album.

Both of your projects are one man band. Should we assume you do not intend to play live gigs and, most of all, have to deal with others in the songwriting process, just focusing on your artistic urge?
Yes, absolutely. Neither band will be live, and no other members will be drawn into these projects. It's good to have complete control of your music, not have to go teach it to someone else, and not be held back by the daily lives of other people. Besides, I am quite a spontaneous writer, songs seem to come to me very quickly.

My tipical, banal but (I believe) meaningful question: the five albums you cannot live without.

5 albums are tough. I would list them as:

1. Dead Can Dance - "Spleen And Ideal"
2. Emperor - "In The Nightside Eclipse"
3. Dimmu Borgir - "Stormblast"
4. Type 0 Negative - "October Rust"
5. Arcana - "Dark Age Of Reason"

Well, here it is, we are done with questions. Thank you very much for your kindness. One last thought for our readers?
First of all thank you for your tremendous support. I hope your readers will go out and listen to the new Midnight Odyssey album with open ears and an open mind, under the stars, somewhere alone...

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ROCK HARD ITALY
[November 2011]

Interview by Roberto D'Errico

I’d like to start this interview with a simple question: Dis Pater, will you please introduce, generally speaking, Midnight Odyssey to those who still don’t know you? How was the Midnight Odyssey project born?
Midnight Odyssey was officially formed as one-man project of mine, in 2007. Though I had been writing material before that, it wasn't until the 2008 demo The Forest Mourners that I began taking it more seriously.

Talking about music, what is your musical background and the goal of the band? From this point of view, what are your main influences?
The musical background  of Midnight Odyssey is vast and not bounded by genre tags. I personally take influence from black metal (obviously), as well as everything from doom, dark ambient, folk, post-punk, etc. My goal is to create a kind of music that is the transcendence of fusing these types of music together, and binding them all in a vast swathe of dark and haunting atmospheres.

...And what about the lyrics? What inspires you when you write a song? What do you like to talk about in your songs?
My lyrics are focussed around a conceptual story. It is about the discovery of an ancient past, the passage of death, the destruction of man's existence, and the return of the primordial nature. I base these lyrics on a combination of personal experiences, mythology, and my own beliefs on the future of mankind in this universe.

In your music you cross black metal with some different influences: ambient music, doom, dark and cosmic music... but, in your opinion, how do you define the “cosmic” music? What is your meaning of “cosmic” music? Can you please introduce it to us...
Cosmic music to me is a kind of ambient, electronic or industrial music that is conceptually based on the cosmos. Sounds are used to create the imagination of the birth of stars, meteors passing by, etc. It is basically a modern interpretation of the old black and white sci-fi movies, and the sounds created by various synthesisers. I'm sure if you have watched any ufo related movie from the 1930's-1960's you would know what I am talking about. Anyway, bands like Tangerine Dream furthered this as a form of ambient music and would be a prime example.

Why did you choose to release a double album? Wasn’t it easier (especially for the listeners) splitting up the album in two different parts?
The reason this is a double album is because my last actual "new" release was in 2009, with Firmament. 2010 saw both Firmament and The Forest Mourners being re-released, so I was not able to release a new album as well. By 2011, I had so much material that was of the same production, sound and lyrical concept, that I would not have it released as two separate albums. Would it be easier for the listener? Maybe, depends on how long of an attention span you have. Besides, you can always only listen to one disc anyway, so I don't think it matters.

If I'm not mistaken, you are also a painter and you designed the entire artwork of the album. What represent for you this art form? Is it complementary to the music, or is it a completely different way to express yourself?
Yes, I painted all the paintings in the booklet. I am not a professional artist, I have no training, and I don't consider myself as an accomplished painter/drawer. It expresses what I feel about artwork, as I have always preferred paintings to photoshop album covers. Digital "photos" look so generic and ridiculous. Every metal band has them. It goes with my same belief for music, which is all so bland and vacuous, having crisp digital sound and highly compressed production. It is me saying no to the modern ways of creating an album, I will do the artwork and music MY WAY 

The Australian black metal scene is not that notorious, but it has without a doubt some excellent acts: Drowning The Light, Destroyer 666, Woods Of Desolation, Nazxul and many others... What do you think about that? Are there others interesting bands that you would like to suggest us?
No, you are right, it is not very well known, nor is it very large. All the above bands you mentioned are excellent in my eyes. We all, in fairness, live in a much more isolated environment then in Europe. There aren't gigs to go to every week, there are few metal venues, there are a handful of labels. It is a perfect environment for creating unique bands. Two bands I have to say to check out, both from Brisbane, Australia - Spire - excellent atmospheric black metal and - Paroxysmal Descent - regressive and suicidal masters.


       

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MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY  MYSPACE

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