all instruments and vocals

Midnight Odyssey's debut album Firmament is a monument of ambient/doomy black metal built on visionary sounds. A pagan ritual of night adoration, a scanner darkly with new eyes.
For fans of Burzum, Manes, Summoning, Lustre and Coldworld.


1. From Forest To Firmament (9:27)
2. Nocturnal Prey
3. Departing Flesh And Bone (5:14)
4. A Host For Ghosts (5:16)
5. As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds (9:39)
6. Salvation Denied
7. Storms Of Fire And Ice (5:10)
8. From Firmament To Forest (9:14)
9. Beyond The Eighth Sphere (8:33)

    Total time 69:33

Jewelcase CD
12-page full color booklet with lyrics

    Released April 16th, 2010


Australian one-man band MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY combines depressive black metal with doomy and ambient music.
Apparently based on primitive structures and melodies, Firmament builds itself on layers upon layers of monumental guitars, enchanting keys, hypnotic rhythms, and burzumish vocals.
Epic and symphonic without being self-indulgent, MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY enshrouds the listener in a mystic and mesmerizing sonic fog, involving him in an exalting ritual of night-adoration.
This is the majesty of the nightsky renewed, a dark observation on the mystery of existence while searching for a higher truth.






As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds
(Unofficial video intended as a tribute to the director Sergei Parajanov)

Departing Flesh And Bone
(Unofficial video intended as a tribute to the director Sergei Parajanov)




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)



Review by
Chaim Drishner

Recorded as a seventy-minutes long (!) demo in the year 2009 and independently released, _Firmament_ had to be properly re-issued, so in 2010 it was, by the excellent Italian (sub)label I, Voidhanger Records -- which later also released the band's official debut (double) album, _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_, a monumental and extravagant work in itself, that was reviewed for Chronicles Of Chaos and even nominated as 2011's best musical output.
Listening to the re-issued copy of _Firmament_ now, after getting acquainted with the band's _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_, a strong feeling of deja-vu engulfs me, due to the fact that to these humble ears of mine, _Firmament_ sounds exactly like a more primitive, less-polished and an under-produced a version of _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_.
Not that it sheds off any of the recording's greatness, and seeing it as being easily obtainable one click of a computer's mouse away, is good a chance to get acquainted with this unique recording, and unique _Firmament_ indeed is; an ethereal and utterly beautiful black metal opus almost without being metal at all; it shares similarities with none of its peers, removed altogether from the 'scene', the album, being the brainchild of one, enigmatic Dis Pater, is characterized by extremely high-pitched vocals, a plodding pace, strange arrangements and a gritty, almost crude a production that stands in stark contrast with the celestial soundscapes the album conjures, what with its ultra symphonic and astral keyboards and its heavenly, thick atmosphere.
_Firmament_ is beautiful beyond your mundane imagination; the thing is, it is just that: simply beautiful, divinely crafted but slightly sloppily executed. The sheer beauty of the album does not leave any room for truly challenging music to enter the stage. Its astral radiance as if swallows everything else and like quicksand it devours everything in its midst, so what you eventually get is a quick fix of almost unbearable beauty, heavily synthesizer laden, and then the effect is over, the overpowering sweetness fades, and one is left wondering what they just listened to.
I know, not all music is bound to challenge the audience, and that is OK. Some music is there just to entertain. Yes? In this counter-culture we consume, entertainment is only a side effect, a bi-product, not the main issue. So listening to a radiating beauty such as _Firmament_, with only very little of those ugly, insidious and sinister elements incorporated in the recording to equalize this sweetness, does not allow the album to become a complete experience. It is very close to being there, a marvelous piece of work that it is, but not quite, not quite.
The only thing that might rebuff the statement above is, again, the bizarrely adequate production which is gritty, grainy and somewhat dirty, lending the music an underground authenticity, but just a tad.
Bottom line, if you are familiar with the band's debut double album _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_, it is by no means mandatory to check out _Firmament_; if you are not, _Firmament_ is an experience you must try for yourselves, at least once, as it will almost blow your mind. Either way, shall we say both _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_ and _Firmament_ are two sides of the same coin; wait, not even two sides, it's more like twins, one is evil and the other is even more so. Both are worthy, although _Funerals From the Astral Sphere_ is a more accomplished work, whereas _Firmament_ will probably appeal more to the aficionados of the underground sound. Recommended
[8 out of 10]


Review by J
onathan Smith

Midnight Odyssey’s debut album for I, Voidhanger Records is an extremely impressive but extremely dense piece of work, sure to please those who are looking to embrace it. There’s little reason to doubt that its difficult and potentially-alienating nature isn’t intended to be part of its charm. A re-release of an earlier full-length demo, Firmament comes from Australian-based solo musician Dis Pater. The opening track, “From Forest To Firmament,” begins with the haunting, echoing plucks of a lone guitar before the musical world comes crashing in on itself. “Nocturnal Prey” continues the momentum with a surprisingly “cheerful” but demented tremolo riff that serves as the song’s guiding force overtop of a strong rhythm backbone. “Salvation Denied” shifts back and forth in its tempo and tone, but its central riff is almost trance-inducing. Certain tracks, such as “From Beyond the 8th Sphere,” are lengthy, moody instruments that provide a break from the gale. Pater’s banshee vocals are completely incomprehensible — they act more as an additional instrument more than anything else, adding another eerie layer to the lengthy songs. The heavy synth sections and slow, doom-like moments mean that the album works best as sublime atmosphere, best experienced while slightly distracted by something else so that the music can haunt the space around you. Firmament’s sound places the album squarely within ambient black metal territory, more Drudkh than Darkthrone. As such it’s probably more likely to appeal to those looking for something like the former than the latter. Think Circle of Ghosts but with more thunderous kick. With a 60+ minute running time, Firmament is well-worth the time one puts into it and hopefully a sign of many wraith-filled apocalypses to come.
[9 out of 10]


Review by Jordan Itkowitz

With only 100 copies pressed, I never would have heard about Midnight Odyssey had it not been for TOTD-forum member timshel, who has a bloodhound’s knack for sniffing out obscure, arty avant-garde black metal gems. In this case, it’s a one-man ambient black metal project from Brisbane, Australia that blends the mysterious wanderings and tortured screams of classic Burzum with a black/shoegazer approach.
Speaking of Burzum, I recently gave the long-awaited Belus a few spins, and although I appreciate the thickened production and renewed intensity, it’s never as atmospheric or as haunting as some of my favorite tracks like “Dunkelheit,” “Tomhet” or “Det Som Engang Var.” So I have to say that Midnight Odyssey’s Firmament is the more transportive and affecting of the two.
Starting with “From Forest to Firmament,” and ending with “From Firmament to Forest,” the album suspends the listener in a dreamlike twilight for nearly an hour. Glittering stars, blazing coils of Aurora Borealis and endless forest, like a phalanx of shadows and sentinels stretched to the horizon: all are conjured by Dis Pater’s mesmerizing compositions.
His palette is simple, but effective. Chiming tones, the soft ebb and flow of synths and ambiance, and crashing, rhythmic waves of guitar. Sometimes they slow to a funereal drone (“Salvation Denied”) and occasionally they scramble forward on icy fingers (“As Dark and Ominous as Stormclouds”), but their melodies are always fluid and hypnotic. A warmer, early 90s shoegaze tone blooms out on “Nocturnal Prey,” whereas follow-up “Departing Flesh and Bone” returns to a more subterreanean and martial sound, which recalls Dol Guldur-era Summoning. And a couple of tracks – “A Host for Ghosts,” “Storms of Fire and Ice” – are almost completely ambient, like Tangerine Dream or Vangelis in their darkest moods.
In fact, Firmament would be a very soothing experience if it weren’t for the vocals, which are definitely the darkest and most aggressive element here. They’re a ragged, hollow yowl, drenched in feedback and echo, and certainly on the weirder side of black metal vocals. They go beyond early Varg towards the shrieks of In the Woods or the insane Elmo-scream of Japan’s Gnome, and as the voice of a lost spirit (or a crying orc, if you will), they fit the music perfectly.
Needless to say, Firmament is not the kind of album you’re going to randomly throw on during a sunny drive or if you need to jam out some energy. This is strictly late-night, quiet time or solitary listening, when your mind is most able to wander and explore. I, Voidhanger Records, a spin-off of Italian label ATMF, has signed Midnight Odyssey for distribution, and it should be more widely available come March. If Belus left you a bit cold but you’re still looking for your next black metal reverie, look skywards towards this Firmament.


Review by Erik

Es trifft mich in letzter Zeit erstaunlich oft. Dieses "Whoa, wo kommen die denn auf einmal her?"-Gefühl. Unglaubliche Bands, die praktisch aus dem Nichts auftauchen. So wie Skagos, die mich nach wie vor begeistern. Und jetzt eben Midnight Odyssey, ein Projekt, das ich erst vor kurzem mit dem Demo "Forest Mourners" entdeckt habe und das mittlerweile schon sein Debütalbum in den Startlöchern hat.
Und was das wieder für ein Kracher ist! Ambient Black Metal ist ja genauso wie DepriBM allzu oft nur ein Vorwand, langweiligen und überflüssigen Unsinn zu fabrizieren, doch wie kürzlich erst Lustre, erfüllen auch Midnight Odyssey diese Schublade mit prallem Leben. Die Stossrichtung ist dabei erfreulicherweise eine etwas andere, das ewig Gleiche wäre schliesslich nicht sonderlich spannend. MO anhand einiger hörbarer Parallelen zu umreissen, ist nicht so kompliziert: Nicht wenige der zutiefst melancholischen Melodien könnten von Summoning stammen, allerdings wird nichts geklaut, und ausserdem sind Midnight Odyssey Drama und Pathos der Österreicher fremd. Hinzu kommt die von einer gewissen mechanischen Kälte geprägte Atmosphäre von "Under ein Blodraud Maane", die schrill flirrenden Gitarren von Argar und ein winziger Hauch alter Limbonic Art, wobei MO deutlich gitarrenorientierter ist und die Keyboards in erster Linie Klangverdichter und Stimmungsverstärker sind.
Doch - und das muss ich ehrlich zugeben - unterm Strich ist obige Verortung wohl vor Allem Bandsalat, der zwar Anhaltspunkte geben mag, "Firmament" aber nicht wirklich zu erfassen vermag. Und das ist auch gut so, denn Musik will gehört und nicht beschrieben werden, da macht der unglaublich sphärische Black Metal von Midnight Odyssey keine Ausnahme. Lieder wie "Nocturnal Prey" oder "As Dark and Ominous As Stormclouds" sollte sich jeder zu Gemüte führen, der mit wenig extremem, dafür aber umso stimmungsvollerem Black Metal etwas anfangen kann. Vollen Genuss bietet aber natürlich nur das komplette Werk, denn gelungener Ambient BM ist einfach nichts für schnelle Zwischenmahlzeiten.
[9 out of 10]

(English translation)
I get it a lot these days. That "Whoa, now where do these guys suddenly come from?" kind of feeling. Amazing bands which virtually come out of nowhere. Just like Skagos that still manage to fascinate me. Now it is Midnight Odyssey, a project that I have just discovered through their "Forest Mourners" demo and in the meantime, they have released their debut album.
And what a delight this record is too! Ambient Black Metal is, like Depressive Black Metal actually, too often just an excuse to make boring and redundant nonsense. But just as Lustre did only recently, also Midnight Odyssey fill this musical frame with plenty of life. Luckily, the general direction here is a bit different because after all, it is not very exciting listening to the same stuff over and over again. It is not complicated to sketch out Midnight Odyssey's music with some audible parallels: Not only a few of the profoundly melancholic melodies could have been written by Summoning, although the Australians do not copy them at all and furthermore, they are strangers to the drama and pathos of the Austrians. There is also the cold, mechanic atmosphere from "Under ein Blodraud Maane", the chilling guitars from Argar and a small touch of old Limbonic Art, even though Midnight Odyssey are much more focused on the guitars, while the keyboards primarly thicken the sound and emphasize its overall mood.
But - and I really have to admit that - when all is said and done, this listing of references is rather a mere mentioning of bands which, although giving hints of what to expect here, do not exactly capture "Firmament" properly. This is actually good since the music wants to be listened to, not to be described and the unbelievably atmospheric Black Metal of Midnight Odyssey does not make an exception here. Everybody should take a listen to songs like "Nocturnal Prey" or "As Dark and Ominous As Stormclouds" if one likes not utterly extreme but therefore much more atmospheric Black Metal. However, only the full album guarantees full enjoyment because well done Ambient Black Metal is not something to be consumed as a sonic snack in between other activities.
[9 out of 10]


Review by Obscura Hessian

It’s almost impossible for some Black Metal bands, breathing only the contaminated air of darkness, to escape the grasp of Burzum’s music. Midnight Odyssey’s ‘Firmament’ is another highly Burzum-influenced album, but this one from down under refers to the Count’s most accessible work so far, ‘Filosofem’ with some hints of the earlier albums. This amounts to revisiting those thick but purposeful, contra-shoegazing, melodic guitars, distorted screams and the rolling, equitarean kick-drumming.
Countless bands have tried and failed to capture the Romantic visions that first gave rise to this style, because it’s technically quite easy to execute, but such simplicity doesn’t demand technical ability (mimicry) nor even a thorough understanding of such visions (erudition) but possessing the sight itself, so that the music can live and emanate as simply as we breathe. ‘Firmament’ fills this role excellently as a series of interactive sonic portraits that are laden with a sense of ferality amidst the cosmos. Epic melodies ring sharply like the emotions of a soul that finds beauty and the true conditions of life in the unknown, wild and organic frontier, far away from the constructions of our artificially-induced desires. These emotions become enmeshed in the depths of the night and senses heighten to an active sense of awareness, re-uniting struggle and survival with a cosmic context, and in a manner highly reminiscent of 'Jesus' with an increasing sense of immersion created by a focus on guitar ambience rather than phrasal (though continual), percussive or rhythmic elements. Infact, even though the drums are very well applied to create an engaging sense of pace, it would be interesting to hear the entire album sans percussion. Keyboards are applied both in the manner of Burzum’s reflective ambient pieces, and as a subtle, ethereal layer over the woods-shrouded Black Metal music, giving the album its reflective and almost panentheistic (like the American Transcendentalists) dimension.
A great debut album and although its form is very familiar and pretty easy to grasp, this is one which will have the biggest impact on those that have two feet grounded in the mud and grass, covered in bruises and wounds from bushes and thickets, but still with their eyes on the stars beyond the heighest leaves, breathing deeply in the all-embracing darkness of the night.


Review by Autothrall

...Firmament has a lot to offer the fan of simple, laid back, but beautiful atmospheric black metal. It's the debut of Australia's one man Midnight Odyssey, that sole composer being Dis Pater. While it may not come off as impressive initially, Dis Pater's ability to craft bleak sonic nightmares and imbue them with his bleating vocals (in the vein of Weakling or Burzum) is outstanding, and Firmament is an amazing debut album.
"From Forest to Firmanent" is a graceful indoctrination to the album's dark, starry sky as you sit aside an ocean of pain swept memories. Like most of the great atmospheric black metal albums of olde (In the Nightside Eclipse, Det Som Engang Var, Ravendusk in My Heart, etc.) it grasps your black heart and never lets go. Each track is gorgeous, glittering with sadness and pain. The breakdown at 2:40 of this song is magnificent, I could feel the tears welling up. How could a man create such sorrow? Suffer well, my friend. "Nocturnal Prey" creates almost an early 90s shoegazer atmosphere with its wailing stream of guitars, conjuring a starfall, the great dust of the heavens descending upon desolation. "Departing Flesh and Bone" is stunning, with yet another unforgettable moment of carefully crafted melody and shimmering synth. "A Host of Ghosts" is a synth piece, despite its lack of guitars the rival of any other track on this album. "As Dark and Ominous as Stormclouds" is again beautiful, but more bloodthirsty in its longing rhythms. "Salvation Denied" is slow, pondering, painful. "Storms of Fire and Ice" is another epic masterpiece of synth orchestration. And the album concludes with the inverse "From Firmament to Forest", which struggles to compete with all that came before but still comes out on top.
Firmament is as raw as any other cult black metal record, but it's a gorgeous type of raw. The name of this band could not be any more perfect at describing the style of composition. This album is hopeless and barren yet at the same time...full of longing, adventure....the very faint fire of life. It represents the very best of what a single individual can accomplish with an imagination and a basic knowledge of genre, and exactly which chords to pick out. Australia has produced two of the year's best black metal albums: Nazxul's Iconoclast, and this. The accolades I could rain upon this release seem to only grow with time, with each repeated listen the sorrow only grows. I could die to this album knowing what I know and what I don't, maintaing the endless equilibrium of human futility in a staggering, unforgiving universe.
[10 out of 10]


Review by Perplexed_Sjel

The more one listens to a genre, or sub-genre, the more we become accustomed to the inner and outer workings of it. We begin to understand its methods and why it practises what it preaches. There are, of course, always going to be sporadic surprises along the way on our adventures into the depths of the unknown, but we can safely assume, by way of generalising, what will or won’t happen during a musical experience. However, there are very few sub-genres, like ambient black metal, which evade the generalisations that are impolitely imposed upon them to no avail. The ambient sub-genre likes to shrug off any suggestions about its methods and is largely unmoved by the public perception on it. This callous sub-genre likes to spring traps on unsuspecting folk and toil with their emotions by deceiving them in terms of the portrayal it decides to take upon its opinionated self. This moody sub-genre is one which continues to surprise me, a self-proclaimed black metal veteran and is a difficult spectrum of the main genre to move around in. This sub-genre has the ability to act like a twister.
It starts off as a mild storm, but quickly transforms into a raging one, picking up the listener and throwing them around like a rag doll, without giving a second thought to the emotions of the plagued soul who is within its strong grasp, like a fragile animal caught between the jaws of death. Ambient black metal is the predator and we are the prey. It feasts upon our emotions, sucking them up into its vacuum and twisting them in a distorted and grotesque manner to suit its own portrayal. This area of black metal is a heightened version of the numerous others. Though it does what they all do, it tends to do it in a way that is exaggerated. I find it hard to become accustomed to its ways because it is, essentially, a shape shifter, squeezing itself into many different shapes and sizes, various forms and content that cannot be second guessed, even by the most analytical people. As I’ve become more in tune with black metal, on the whole, I have become more segregated away from sub-genres like ambient black metal because they continue to defy the perceptions and perform various illusions that make them hard to trace the roots of. Much the same can be said about this ambient black metal band, Midnight Odyssey, a one man Australian band performing a hybrid service between two similar sub-genres; ambient and atmospheric.
Try as I might, I seem to be unable to distinguish between the possible influences of this majestic venture into the darkness of the night skies. The ambient side seems to refer to the largely keyboard based symphonies that occur in and around the base of the material, which is strongly related to the iconic second wave bands like Burzum, most notably. However, though this might seem clichéd, Midnight Odyssey also seem to take influence from a rather newly established force within the depressive field - ColdWorld, a German band considered to be one of, if not the best depressive band in the history of the sub-genres short lifespan. Though ColdWorld could be considered to be influenced also by Burzum, I cannot shake off the feeling that Midnight Odyssey are directly inspired by the German one man outfit. Similarities seem to be both loosely established and based on a concrete belief that resonates not only in myself, but in others. I have read the opinions of others and, though it does not influence my own, we seem to share the belief that Midnight Odyssey sound similar to ColdWorld - which is no disparaging remake. Similarities range from akin textures, to the intermingling black metal epics with the ambient sideshows.
Songs like ‘A Host For Ghosts’ indicate to the listener that Dis Pater, the bands only member, is a man with a vision who creates his lush abstract ambient pieces based upon some of the most haunting and moving feelings known to man. The keyboards, in this instance, become the central figure to the beauty that ensues as he takes this journey on to a more astral, or cosmic level that was previously unheard of during the black metal madness that corrupted the airways beforehand. The idea behind these all instrumental songs seems to be a way of showcasing the pain that is felt throughout the songs in the lyrics, or so I assume. Although a number of ambient black metal bands intermingle fully ambient songs with those with vocals, a vast amount seem unable to distinguish how much one section needs to be imposed, and how much another needs to be relaxed. Far too often, ambient bands tend to overwhelm the listener with dire, slow moving ambient songs that evoke no real emotion from the audience and by doing this, they neglect the black metal side of the spectrum. Thankfully, Dis Pater has recognised my own specific needs by allowing more black metal elements to seep through to the listener, as opposed to overwhelming me with lacklustre ambient sections that give the band a directionless and passionless feel.
Dis Pater recognises the fundamental errors these bands make and takes it upon himself to avoid doing them himself. Thankfully, once again, he has gotten the mixture between ambient and fully fledged black metal correct with this accurate portrayal of the eerie nights, particularly portrayed well by the sparsely used clean chanted vocals, over the lush forestry that dominates parts of the globe where man exists no more. This stirring effort moves from ambient to black metal with grace and a professionalism that is lost on most unsigned bands. We, the listener, are always running the risk when dealing with unsigned acts because numerous bands are bedroom bands, or just lack the talent for being picked up by a record label. Of course, as Midnight Odyssey prove, there are a number of unsigned bands who deserve record label recognition and a global release of their records. Dis Pater’s professionalism in terms of his song writing, portrayal and subtle ambient references is deserving of plaudits and a place in the canon, which neglects outsiders like a small town community in the middle of nowhere does in cheesy horror movies. Another underground gem with a perfected production that ignites the majesty in the soundscapes and highlights all elements of this widely successful interpretation of the beast that roams the night plains.
[90 out of 100]


[Album "Dynamit" - April 2010]
Review by Alessio Oriani

I Midnight Odyssey sono una one-man band proveniente dall'Australia che si muove tra black metal, funeral doom e dark ambient, ripercorrendo l'approccio creativo dei propri connazionali Striborg, Abyssic Hate e Drowning The Light. A livello musicale in Firmament appare evidente l'impronta del Burzum di Filosofem e Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, che viene però unito alla vena drepressiva-suicida svedese che fa capo a Silencer, Shining e Lifelover. Inoltre, Firmament propone un uso delle melodie assai più ampio rispetto alle sopraccitate black metal band, sfruttando una stratificazione notevole tipica dell'ambient che sconfina in momenti molto accessibili - quasi darkwave - incastonati in una lenta progressione ipnotica che ricorda band come Lunar Aurora o Wolves In The Throne Room. In generale, i Midnight Odyssey possono ricordare da vicino i tedeschi Coldworld, ma si tratta di una coincidenza e non di un'influenza reciproca perché questi ultimi riflettono un deciso influsso di Katatonia ed Epyrium, ma soprattutto perché le radici di entrambe le band vanno molto più indietro nel tempo. Il contrasto tra grandi tappeti melodico-atmosferici e le terribili vocals di Dis Pater (lancinanti, iper-distorte e indecifrabili a causa di un riverbero volutamente esagerato) è portato al limite estremo in Firmament e serve a creare una sensazione di instabilità, dissonanza e malessere che solo gli esperti del genere potranno apprezzare. Ma d'altronde è ovvio che la musica dei Midnight Odyssey non sia rivolta a tutti, visti i punti di riferimento così particolari e specifici. Per chi invece è avvezzo a certe sonorità Firmament rappresenterà uno dei migliori lavori degli ultimi tempi, al di là di alcune pecche di ingenuità ed inesperienza che restano comunque accettabili in un debut album. Da ascoltare con attenzione.
[80 out of 100]


Review by Kaveh

In music, phrases like “Atmospheric” and “Ambient” tend to refer to techniques used by the musician to envelope the listener into a meditative state of mind and thus allow for the journey to happen in an alternate, transcendent state of being. In the context of black metal, bands like Burzum and Summoning have been pioneers in introducing this practice to “awaken the fantasy of mortals”. Out of Australia comes “Midnight Odyssey”, persevering this approach and building up on it with layers of sound which invoke images of grand infinite space.
The guitars are thin with high treble and reverb while the layered keyboards fill the sonic void in both the mid and low end of the spectrum. As a whole, the music is heavily coated with these resonating layers, and while perhaps not harmoniously as adventurous as it could have been, it provides a very wholesome and satisfying texture. The songs are at their best when they take their time, slowly adding layers and building up. There are two fully ambient tracks which tend to be more reserved and contemplative compared to the wildly Romantic nature of the rest of the album.
At a time when the chaotic flame that gave rise to the original black metal movement seems to be dying down even in hearts of the most prominent musicians of the genre, “Firmament” is a breath of fresh air, fearlessly dashing into the void of the unknown and embracing the monumental weight of being. For that, it deserves to be praised.


Review by Andrea Moretti

Midnight Odyssey è il progetto solista dietro il quale si cela Dis Pater, misteriosa figura dell'estremo oriente australiano.
Da questa terra ambigua proviene questa ristampa di Firmament, album autoprodotto e rilasciato l'anno scorso che finalmente gode di luce migliore grazie alla nostrana I, Voidhanger/ATMF. Terra ambigua si, perché mentre l'Australia nella nostra immaginazione viene descritta di solito come uno scenario esotico e ludico, la manifestazione che ne esce da questo album è invece quella di una terra senza troppe differenze con la nostra Europa. Il vero esotismo risiede in una concezione musicale che abbraccia quanti più possibili generi musicali pur di centrare l'obiettivo prefisso.
Firmament è la descrizione di un limpido e sereno paesaggio notturno, che si articola in nove costellazioni fatte di un meraviglioso black metal melodico dalle tinte spaziali: non ci sono atmosfere ottenebranti o marziali ne' vi è presente alcuna sensazione di schiacciamento; siamo piuttosto in una privilegiata posizione fra cielo e terra dalla quale possiamo godere della bellezza dell'una e della magìa dell'altro.
From Forest to Firmament traccia le basi ambient dell'ultimo Burzum (Hlidskjalf) per poi volgere le proprie melodie verso un cadenzato blackmetal tinto dalla luce lunare. La voce riecheggia fra mille echi e riverberi fondendosi con la musica, la quale si dilata in particolari trame che intrecciano i Lunar Aurora con i My Dying Bride. Sia chiaro che non ci troviamo di fronte a un disco che esalta la morte o la decadenza, ma che descrive in modo romantico ogni elemento della natura. Questa magnificenza visiva è tradotta in musica da Nocturnal Prey: un'estremizzazione canonica di una matrice dream-pop (Slowdive, Pale Saints...), dove i fraseggi delle chitarre acquietano le sezioni ritmiche per stagliarsi verso il cielo.
La componente spaziale risulta chiara in Departinng Flesh and Bone, dove la cosmiske-musike dei Vangelis o degli Harmonia prende le tinte blackmetal unicamente dalle distorsioni chitarristiche che ricalcano questo spazio cosmico. Neanche la voce preferisce intervenire e si limita ad accompagnare di tanto in tanto il brano con qualche urlo che accentua la tematica notturna.
Questa perfetta integrazione con il krautrock più oscuro viene esplicitata clamorosamente in A Host for Ghosts, brano ambient di sole tastiere che ci fa ricordare tanto le parti più rilassanti di Filosofem quanto i Tangerine Dream. Come la notte che si rabbuia e si rischiara, il disco procede secondo questi moti. La calma As Dark and Ominous as Stormclouds prende presto dei toni epici alla Summoning seguiti da minimali e ripetuti rallentamenti che cederanno di nuovo il posto alla contemplante fuga cosmica. Il riecheggiante rullante di Salvation Denied lascia filtrare i soliloqui chitarristici dei My Dying Bride in un brano che suona tutto come una riproposizione dei Popol Vuh; i riff prendono una celeste consistenza che muterà nella gelida Storms of Fire and Ice, dove -ancora una volta- le tastiere descrivono un ambiente silenzioso, nel quale la luce scorre sul pareti ghiacciate. La shoegazing From Firmament to Forest distorce presto i suoi sognanti riff per riportarci indietro in questa umana visione cosmica della natura che avevamo intrapreso all'inzio dell'album. From Beyond the 8th Sphere è una calma descrizione ambient che prenderà dei toni poco rassicuranti: la colonna sonora di un solitario viaggio a ritroso dall'Ottava Sfera alla Terra. Per la teosofia steineriana, il sistema solare si muove a circoli settenari, che nell'antichità erano chiamati "cieli"; la sfera celeste più alta spettava a Saturno, che prima di identificarsi con la Morte e col Tempo, era ritenuto il guardiano dell'intelligienza e dell'erudizione. Tutto ciò che sta oltre a questa sfera, cioè tutto ciò che risiede dall' Ottava Sfera in poi è un magma di spiriti luciferini e infernali.
Impressionante prova d'abilità questo Firmament, che pone i Midnight Odyssey nella cerchia delle più interessanti e recenti bands blackmetal che usano questo genere come un pretesto per comunicare un sapere molto vasto che si è snodato nella storia della musica degli ultimi quarant'anni.
Firmament è la perfetta trascrizione notturna di una terra incontaminata descritta dallo spazio più vicino all'atmosfera; un disco -che quasi definirei- neoplatonico, capace di mettere in musica una silente sinfonia ecatina che esorcizza i terrori spaziali dell'ignoto in favore della contemplazione naturale.

[86 out of 100]


Review by Sargon The Terrible

This one caught me by surprise, as on first spin I was not impressed at all. Some days my tolerance for ambient music is just a bit low. Not that this is an ambient album, but it does have a lot of those elements. This disc was originally released as a self-produced album last year, but now it is getting a proper pressing, and it should, as this is really a fine example of how to mix ambient with Black Metal properly. Very much in the vein of Blut Aus Nord and similar bands, Firmament is a long, drawn out album rich in keyboards and ambient music but not overloaded with them. There are only a few ambient-only tracks, and the rest is all sweeping, melodic Black Metal with a lot of epic feeling in the riffing and sparse vocals. The vocals are a problem for me, as they are of the falsetto-screech variety that I find, frankly, ridiculous, and so their lack of presence for most of the running time is just fine. The flaws on this disc are ones common to this sort of music: the compositions sometimes drag, and the slow, moody approach is not always capable of sustaining interest through the entire song. I think Midnight Odyssey are definitely onto a good sound, and I will be looking for more output from this band, as there is some great talent on display in the songwriting. Firmament is not a masterwork, but I can hear that this might be a band capable of great things in the future, and so I highly recommend that fans of this kind of intellectual, moody music check this disc out.
[4 out of 5]


Review by Zadok

A one-man band hailing from Australia, it took me a few tries to be in the mood to write about Midnight Odyssey. Firmament is the kind of daunting listen that makes little effort to draw the listener in, but sits and waits patiently for you to take an interest, and really once you've started listening you'll either sit through the whole thing or turn it off in boredom. Sole member Dis Pater is clearly a fan of early Burzum, the simplistic drumming, the slow yet strident riffs, the shrieky vocal style, the gallons of keyboards... the music is slow and mournful and majestic as you'd expect, the kind of thing that you can't really write unless you've spent a lot of time on your own staring into the night sky. It's not original, but hey, it's effective, and considering that this kind of Black Metal is very easy to find, I can see why I, Voidhanger have re-released it for a worldwide audience.
Is there a huge reason that you should be listening to this over another, similar band? Not really, to be honest, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid Firmament if you do enjoy the style, as Dis Pater is good at it. The synths have a warm, ambient feeling that works well with the slightly fuzzy guitars - only the vocals have any sort of 'typical' bad production, and to be honest the music would have worked better instrumentally. Dis Pater's shrieks are hard to interpret, and it sounds to me as if he's just going 'woooooooooh!' a lot of the time, whilst the surprisingly complex and layered music weaves a hypnotic web underneath that would be much more interesting laid bare - even the bass is audible. Moments like Nocturnal Prey's galloping shimmer are little short of beautiful, and the melancholic to and fro of Departing Flesh And Bone works excellently. As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds doesn't really live up to its name, but Salvation Denied is great, one of the few tracks where the vocals work as intended.
Overall, the vocals are limited enough to make Firmament enjoyable despite them, and my problem with them is probably not one that those real fans of this sort of thing will have. Anyone into keyboard-heavy Black Metal in general will appreciate this, so Summoning fans take heed as much as Striborgers. It's not as eerie and impressive as the best examples of this music, but it's certainly worth a listen.
[74 out of 100]


Review by Octavio Ramos Jr.

In Job 37:18, Elihu asks Job, “Can you beat out the vault of the skies?” And he does, hard as a mirror of cast metal. Such is the essence of firmament.
Hailing from Australia, Midnight Odyssey is a one-man band that combines facets of funeral doom with drone and ambiance. Although others have walked this path before, Midnight Odyssey does not wallow in drone, instead maintaining control of the music so that it continues to have cohesion. Think of it as cultivating clouds for the purpose of rain. Yes, you can wander freely among the clouds, but there remains rain to bestow life below.
Handling all instruments and vocals on Firmament is Dis Pater, who knows well the likes of Burzum, Coldworld,Catacombs, and Sunn O)). However, Pater deviates from the path, fashioning his own distinct style. A drum machine is used to good effect, as the percussion is merely there to keep time while guitars and keys flood the senses with an eclectic mix of catchy rhythms, cascading and dreamy interludes, luscious melodies, and heavy and at times aggressive riffs.
As expected, distortion plays a pivotal role, but so does harmony. At times, the two clash, but during other sequences the two find a middle ground. Holding the chaos and conformity together is Dis Pater’s mournful bay, which is painful, distorted, and harsh.
Lyrically, Midnight Odyssey is inspired by the darker elements of nature. Thus, there are songs such as “Nocturnal Prey,” “As Dark and Ominous as Stormclouds,” and “Salvation Denied,” all of which hint at the beauty and lethality of nature. There are also songs dedicated to the violence of nature, such as “Storms of Fire and Ice,” as well as those dedicated to the cosmic mysteries of the world, such as “A Host for Ghosts” and “From Beyond the Eighth Sphere.”
Fans of outré black metal, funeral doom, and avant-garde drone metal will bask in the sonic fog emanated from this album. Within the black there is light. Don’t blink, for its mystery saturates our very souls.
So, what touches you during the darkest of nights?
[4 out of 5]


Review by Mordant

This is actually a re-release, "Firmament" was initially released by the band themselves back in 2009. Now it will be officially released by I, Voidhanger Records. Midnight Odyssey is a an Australian one-man band formed in 2007, their first release was a demo called "Forest Mourners" released in 2008, and then came this album. "Firmament" is a quite raw and slow album, the music is very minimalistic with a lot of repetition, all played in a very slow pace, the riffs are quite simplistic, but quite effective and there are melodic keyboard layer in the music. The vocals are harsh screams and I can only guess what the lyrics are about (hint: despair and death). The music is quite reminiscent of the music bands like Xasthur and Leviathan spear headed a couple of years ago. Raw, slow, monotonous Black Metal with a dark Ambient element. I think Midnight Odyssey has taken some inspiration from those bands, but there is also a bit more ancient aspect to the music, there are traces of Burzum and Manes among others in Midnight Odyssey's music. This album has an older feeling to it which I definitely like. This is better then most of the Ambient/Black Metal being produced these days.


Review by Dark Emperor

Quand un groupe se fait repérer par le label Italien ATMF en étant encore au stade de démo, c’est en général bon signe… Si Midnight Odyssey n’est pas encore très connu par nos contrées européennes, la sortie de sa précédente démo, Firmament, sous la forme d’un album devrait lui permettre de rayonner dans le cercle très fermé du Black Metal Ambiant.
Après une immersion totale dans le monde froid et enténébré de Midnight Odyssey on en retiendra un voyage aux multiples saveurs.
Mené par des claviers très présents et une base Black Metal bien sentie, l’auditeur sera porté, vagabondant dans un monde à la fois onirique et proche du chaos. Un cri lointain, plaintif et écorché fait irruption de ce bas-monde pour nous entrainer dans sa chute. Ainsi, on pense par moments à un vieux Burzum qui aurait ajouté quelques claviers éthérés, ou encore, on pense à des œuvres de Janvs ou encore de Jääportit pour l’approche envoûtante et enivrante des sonorités diverses.
Au long de ces neuf quêtes illusoires, Dis Pater, unique maitre à bord de ce vaisseau de l’angoisse, nous présente un univers apocalyptique et dénué de tout espoir. On imagine avec aisance, mais en même temps avec trouble, un paysage lunaire froid, dévasté par la folie de l’humanité. Un paysage dans lequel il ne resterait plus que la voûte céleste étoilée à admirer. Un paysage entièrement nocturne qui ne verra plus jamais la lumière du jour…
En définitive, c’est un sentiment de terreur, voire d’oppression qui nous anime à chaque note qui surgit de cette musique glauque et suffocante.
Mais là ou Midnight Odyssey arrive à se démarquer des autres groupes, c’est par sa capacité à aller au-delà de la simple musique en se lançant dans un travail d’interprétation des sentiments humains à travers une musique riche et variée tout en restant très intimiste et mystérieuse dans son approche.
L’auditeur appréciera l’acharnement à proposer des atmosphères très travaillées et qui ne font pas l’erreur de tomber dans les ambiances les plus kitsch du genre, mais en proposant vraiment un réel décor musical. Du désespéré From Forest To Firmaent au morbide As Dark And Ominous as Stormclouds, en passant pas le très posé et inquiétant A Host for Ghosts, Midnight Odyssey explore toute une palette de sensations négatives, sans tomber dans le caricatural ou le DSBM.
Et c’est avec le très mélancolique et éthéré From Beyond the 8th Sphere que se conclut ce premier opus, sur une touche calme et apaisante, et toujours avec cette petite dose de perfidie que l’on retrouve chez Blut Aus Nord ou Darkspace.
Avec cette démo, on comprend aisément comment ATMF a vu espoir en ce groupe. Et la réédition de celle-ci sous forme de cd est une excellente initiative qui permettra au groupe de combler un public plus large.
Avec une production qui colle parfaitement à l’ambiance générale de l’album, des atmosphères pesantes mais variées, Midnight Odyssey nous livre-là un disque émouvant, envoûtant et qui incite au voyage. Se plonger dans ce disque ne vous laissera pas indifférent!
[7,5 out of 10]


Review by Conor Dow

The landscapes of Australia are easily as bleak as Norway in their own special style. This could explain why much of the black metal that grows from that region tends to be some very desolate shit. Firmament is the second release of this one-man project and it is some of the most mournful stuff I’ve heard in some time. The hollow atmosphere is comparable to Elysian Blaze, which is a major bonus for me, because reverb done carefully can add so much more mood to a song. Each instrument contributes just enough to the songs without overwhelming each other. Though guitar and vocals are the prominent force in each song, there’s also a hidden layer of keys behind most of the tracks, including two fully ambient interludes, creating a pretty unique atmosphere without jumping off into Limbonic Art territory. As someone who enjoys, and almost prefers introspective music, listening to this one is a no-brainer decision.


Review by Kremathor

“Firmament”, full length d’esordio per Midnight Odyssey, ha rappresentato per il sottoscritto un’inaspettata e gradita sorpresa, anche se non un fulmine a ciel sereno, visto il buon stato di forma della scena underground australiana, paese dal quale proviene Dis Pater, factotum che si cela dietro questa one man band. L’album in questione viene ristampato e distribuito dalla I, Voidhanger Records dopo essere stato autoprodotto nel 2009 e propone quello che si potrebbe approssimativamente definire come un convincente misto di black metal atmosferico, partiture vicine al funeral doom più cupo e momenti ambient di più ampio respiro. Sia a livello di sonorità che di feeling questo disco é accostabile senza difficoltà a lavori come “The Sad Realm Of The Stars” degli Odium o “Moon In The Scorpio”, folgorante esordio dei Limbonic Art, grazie soprattutto ad un egregio uso delle tastiere, quanto mai efficaci nel dipingere scenari di cosmica immensità. Ma i possibili paragoni non si fermano qui: é sufficiente ascoltare la cavalcata “As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds” (oltre nove minuti di pura poesia arcana) per cogliere immediatamente richiami più o meno espliciti tanto alla magniloquenza sinfonica degli Emperor di “In The Nightside Eclipse” quanto alla malinconia notturna dei Lunar Aurora di “Elixir Of Sorrow”. La grandezza di questo disco sta nella capacità di Dis Pater di maneggiare con estrema disinvoltura le proprie influenze, ricavandone un prodotto sorretto da una possente ispirazione che davvero non conosce momenti di stanca, riuscendo pienamente a rapire l’ascoltatore in un viaggio mistico e siderale. L’orecchio allenato potrà poi dilettarsi a riconoscere ulteriori sfumature, più nascoste ma comunque presenti sottotraccia nel tessuto dei pezzi, che vanno dagli Empyrium di “Songs Of Moors And Misty Fields” fino al Burzum di “Filosofem”. Dal riff più secco e crudo ai tappeti tastieristici più ariosi ed evocativi, dai passaggi più intimisti e sofferti agli assalti frontali più rabbiosi: tutto in qualche modo é già stato sentito, ma tutto viene qui reinterpretato con geniale perizia e collocato all’interno di un insieme cangiante; ogni elemento é bilanciato con equilibrio e rappresenta un tassello di un mosaico assolutamente compatto e personale. La produzione non é per nulla patinata né potentissima, ma anzi leggermente soffocata, specie per quanto riguarda la voce, con chitarre e tastiere, le vere protagoniste di questa release, in primo piano. É sorprendente come, a pochi anni dalla sua nascita, questo progetto sia riuscito a partorire un debutto sulla lunga distanza così variegato e completo, un ottimo lavoro che potrebbe aprire nuove prospettive per il black metal “sinfonico” in senso lato. Da ascoltare.
[7,5 out of 10]


Review by Clare Buchanan

This is one of those records that could be described as "otherworldly." Uniting the intrinsic melancholy of black metal with the hypnotic drone and beauty of ambiance, Midnight Odyssey are an example of what can go horribly right in ambient black metal. Desolate, echo-y vocals emerge from the forlorn backdrop, while the thick, warm distortion of the guitars and lapses into ambient synth passages wash over the listener. The production is also outstanding ― although everything is audible and distinct, an overall haze gives the illusion of all the instruments being a single, haunting, despondent entity (perhaps this effect comes from Midnight Odyssey being a one-man band). Firmament is like walking around in your head and finding forgotten fears, dreams, beauties and nightmares lurking in dusty corners. Even for fans of black metal without an ambient bent, Firmament is definitely recommended.


Review by Michael Bambas

Für jeden Geschmack, für jede ganz besondere Stimmung gibt es mittlerweile eine Fülle von Platten aus dem schwarzmetallischen Bereich. KVISTs einziges Album zum Beispiel ist - mitunter durch das Backcover begründet - der ideale Soundtrack für das nächtliche Lagerfeuer in einer gottverlassenen Waldlichtung. Aus Australien kommt nun "Sternengucker Black Metal" oder besser gesagt MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY, ein blutjunges Projekt aus Brisbane, welches sich quasi aus dem Stand heraus in eine Liga mit den alten, vorüberwiegend auf sphärischer Synthetik aufbauenden Klassikern anno dazumal katapultiert.
Erfreulicherweise hat der Aussie daran gedacht, dass Metal im Allgemeinen auch von strombetriebenem Klampfen angetrieben und getragen wird, sodass diesen auf "Firmament" erfreulich viel Raum geboten wurde, um eine standesgemäße Atmosphäre kreieren zu können. Anders als die wahrscheinlich offensichtlichste Referenz SUMMONING aber [was die Bedeutung der Keys wie Knöpfchendreherei für den Gesamtsound betrifft] nimmt man Abstand von feierlichen Streicher- und Bläser-Overdubs, begnügt sich stattdessen mit einer Extra-Portion Tiefe, Introvertiertheit, Sehnsucht als auch nicht zuletzt einem enormen Händchen für stockdunkle sphärische Momente, welche über die gesamte Stunde Material verteilt wurden. Als Exempel dürfte das Instrumental "Departing Flesh And Bone" dienen, dessen eiskalte Aura den Hörer im Sturm nimmt. Noch besser wird das eindringliche Schauspiel allerdings, wenn Alleinunterhalter Dis Pater zu seinem Mikrofon greift und in bester Varg-Manier - wenn auch nicht so dermaßen schmerzzerissen - die malerisch schönen Szenerien mit seinen kraftvollen Schreien bereichert. Das gilt für den blendenden, episch ausgelegten Opener wie für meinen persönlichen Favoriten "As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds", welcher genau die Sorte aus packender Eingängigkeit sowie genialer, nie öde werdender Melodieführung beinhaltet, von der ich einfach nicht genug bekommen kann. "From Firmament To Forest" hingegen stellt den mit Abstand dramastischsten Abschlusstrack seit langer, langer Zeit dar, auch aufgrund seines langen, melancholischen Anlaufes, der dann in einer vierminütigen emotionalen Explosion des Australiers mündet. Brilliant!
Es ist schlichtweg erstaunlich, wie unterschiedlich acht Nummern klingen können, obwohl der sich selbst gesetzte stilistische Rahmen denkbar eng gesteckt wurde. "Firmament" offeriert Anhängern von schwelgerischer, schwebender Musik das Beste aus den nicht furchtbar extremen Welten des Black-Metal-Kosmos. Dass es von dieser Art heutzutage nicht mehr gibt, stimmt mich zwar traurig, doch sind MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY momentan im Stande, mich darüber hinweg zu trösten.
[6 out of 7]


Review by Michael Wuensch

Not too shaby a slabby for those black metal enthusiasts whose pants tighten at the mere thought of a fresh, fledgling "shoegazer" project. Australia's Midnight Odyssey is the latest (one-man) band to foray into the raw metal realm that frankensteins limbs 'n' organs from Burzum (especially vocally), Tangerine Dream and Jesu-by-way-of-Swervedriver into a moss-cloaked, corpse(ier) painted Robert Smith Beast tramping through a pitch forest with bulging eyes dreamily determined to bare witness to illumed nightsprites in the welkin. The project's passage is fairly conventional, however, so those looking for the latest endeavor that convincingly discovers the next clandestined trail (Bläck Metalling Shoeklezmer, perhaps?) on this already well-worn path will not find abundant novelty within Firmament, but it's a damn-solid soupe du jour, nonetheless. Most every tune follows a similar mid-paced (and at times funereal) stroll that mishmashes sharp, shimmery tremolo guitars mingled with reverberant, nightsky keys and what appears to be some of the finest drumming software currently on the market (stated with mild trepidation, as I found zip-o evidence of a living, breathing beast behind the kit).

The brightest star amongst the bunch glimmers early with "Nocturnal Prey," a tune with the closest dream-pop sensibility that would likely raise the Cocteau Twins from their dirtnap were it not filtered through Firmament's adamant Hviscerator. Beyond that, the remaining black meddling fare remains true to the aforementioned credo, but gets diffused and infused by three songs and nearly 20-minutes worth of instrumental keyboard meteorology -- a nice break from the occasionally "ditto'd" bouts of blacker numbers on a very long album. Overall, I'd call Firmament a very promising slab cut from yet another auspicious avante-garde project with the chops and empyrean vision necessary to make plenty of underground "iridescent" black metal enthusiasts happy. Perhaps not as essential as, say, ColdWorld's Melancholie2, but undoubtedly worthy of further investigation and meditation.
[7 out of 10]


Review by Paolo "Cernunnos" Vidmar

I Midnight Odyssey sono una delle band più ispirate del black metal pervaso dall'ambient di ultima generazione. Si tratta di una one man band australiana proveniente dalla città di Brisbane, ideata da tale Dis Pater. In realtà quello che viene presentato dalla nostrana I, Voidhanger come un debut album, altro non è che la ristampa dell'album autoprodotto ed omonimo ("Firmament") uscito nel 2009, presto ristampato e distribuito con il marchio l'etichetta. Unica eccezione è la versione del brano "From Beyond The Eigth Sphere" qui leggermente accorciata, anche se rimaniamo come minutaggio oltre gli otto minuti abbondanti! Ma questo non è l'unico brano a durare così tanto, del resto i Midnight Odyssey hanno bisogno di tempo e spazio per dar vita alle proprie fantasie musicali. Pochi sono quelli che riescono ad inserire in maniera così armoniosa e misterica le parti ambient ad un black metal tendente al depressive, e ancor meno sono quelli che sanno creare una musica di grande respiro anche se l'atmosfera di base è contorta e non di certo serena. Interessante, inoltre, notare come i gruppi australiani riescano a creare dalla loro vita quaotidiana dei veri e propri buchi neri temporali e spaziali in cui inserire le loro creazioni musicali, spesso tra le più cupe od estreme dell'intero pianeta. L'album di debutto dei Midnight Odyssey è un viaggio coraggioso da affrontare, una lunga odissea nei meandri del cielo stellato, una notte suadente, ma pericolosa perché rischia di rubarvi l'anima e di non restituirvela più. Un album carico di emozioni e che lascia spazio (e tempo) alla voglia di sognare. Una culla insidiosa in cui però non è peccato coricarsi. Esperienza da fare!
[7,5 out of 10]


Review by Heimdallr

Le atmosfere notturne proposteci dai Midnight Odissey scivolano sapienti attorno all’ascoltatore, coinvolgendolo in un viaggio al di fuori della sua forma corporea per raggiungere le stelle. Un disco ricco di sfumature che richiama immagini di un black metal arcano, in cui l’acido stridere di distorsioni sussurranti si fonde con il sapiente uso di tastiere ambient. Rallentamenti doom improvvisi donano profondità al sound, ampliando la percezione di brani lunghi e mutevoli che non mancheranno di attrarre a se i gusti di ascoltatori di generi anche molto diversi tra loro. Su tutti il richiamo che ci si impone di citare parlando di questo debut, al di là di quello all’ovviamente indimenticabile Burzum (senza il quale, molto probabilmente, questo tipo di black metal oggi non esisterebbe, nda), è quello ai Blut Aus Nord, seppure con una ricerca rivolta maggiormente all’oscurità primigenia del genere, piuttosto che alla sperimentazione. In ogni caso influenze altolocate, che non mancano di ricevere un’interpretazione, a tratti, davvero convincente. Da ascoltare!


Review by Xalpian

O znovu vydanie na oficiálnom nosiči austrálskeho projektu Midnight Odyssey sa postaral Luciano z I, Voidhanger Records. Deväť skladbový album, ktorý bol pôvodne nahraný v jeseni roku 2009 si právom zaslúži lepšiu propagáciu, ktorú snáď tento label dokáže Midnight Odyssey i zabezpečiť!
Nasledovník dva roky starého debutu nazvaného „Forest Mourners“ je, ako sa to patrí o niekoľko tried vyššie, jednoducho Dis Pater sa kvalitatívne vyvíja. Niečo cez jednu hodinu atmosferickej hudby, ktorá Vám bude evokovať mená ako – Summoning, Burzum a iné. Určite je v dnešnej dobe veľmi ťažké skomponovať niečo nové, nepočuté, a práve preto možno budete mať i vy pocit, že počúvate niektorú z už zmienených kapiel. Podmanivé tóny kláves a dlhé skladby, to je to, čo si dokážete naplno vychutnať najmä v pokoji domova, sledovaním nočnej oblohy. Presne takto na mňa pôsobí tvorba projektu Midnight Odyssey, i ona sa mení ako tento „nádherný nočný úkaz“. Oproti debutu ubudli jemné náznaky folkových elementov, ba práve naopak „Firmament“ je hudobne omnoho viac atmosferickejší a metalovejší. Presvedčí Vás o tom ihneď prvá skladba „From Forest To Firmament“, ktorá Vás ofúkne svojou chladnou atmosférou, ako tie holé konáre na obálke. Tu – tam však iste započujete i pár „veselších“ momentov, ktoré boli príznačné skôr pre debut. Vtedy šlo o vyslovene folkové elementy, teraz skôr prvky evokujúce kvalitné pagan metalové kapely.  To naopak nasledujúca „Departing Flesh A Bone“ pôsobí celkom skľučujúcim dojmom... Ambientné a atmosferické skladby „A Host For Ghost“, „Storm Of Fire and Ice“ a „Beyond The 8th Sphere“ - ktorej stopáž je oproti originálu skrátená, dopĺňajú chladné tóny gitár, ktoré Dis Pater vrství na seba veľmi profesionálne. Ukážkou toho môže byť predposledná skladba „From Firmament To Forest“, ktorá sa vyznačuje i skvelo zvládnutými vokálmi. Posledná, už spomínaná „Beyond The 8th Sphere“ je až nápadne podobná hudbe rakúskych Dargaard.
Obal CDčka zdobí konečne už i nové logo, ktoré vytvoril Nachtzeit (Lustre) a celý booklet je prácou Dis Patera. Ak máte radi tvorbu už zmienených kapiel, ktoré v sebe snúbia prvky zasnenej atmosféry a chladných gitarových tónov je určený album „Firmament“ práve Vám!
Dodám už len, že sa pracuje už aj na znovu vydaní debutu „Forest Mourners“ a to pod značkou Kunsthauch.
[4,5 out of 6]



Review by Loris

Uno spleen filigranato di nero che aderisce lungo tutte le concavità/convessità dell’album come da magistero funeral doom, ma con un qualcosa in più sul piano edilizio… Voce che pulsa maniacale dentro una bolla/ronza a combustione continua. Mozziconi di melodie in lento disfacimento organico – dacché la morte è già avvenuta poco serve curarsi del vestito. Cupi bordoni meditativi proditoriamente spezzati da impennate di doppio pedale. Chitarre apparentabili all’incedere pugnace black metal che reclamano il proscenio per alzare la posta in gioco. Se nella vostra collezione di dischi compaiono Blut Aus Nord, Burzum, Striborg ed Esoteric allora andate a colpo sicuro, non vi deluderà!


Review by Mirror

In Italia abbiamo un’etichetta che è garanzia di qualità: ATMF. È bene sottolinearlo, sempre, poiché si tratta di un caso raro, anche a livello europeo, di serietà e oculatezza, nel scegliere i gruppi giusti. Midnight Odyssey è l’ennesima sorpresa, sotto il vessillo della divisione Voidhanger, derivata della ATMF stessa e che tratta prodotti un po’ più “vasti” dal punto di vista delle interferenze musicali. Non si tratta quindi solo di black metal, ma di un genere musicale che Midnight Odyssey tenta di fare proprio, inserendo musicalità diverse, ma provenienti da filoni che hanno atmosfere simili.
Così, la one man band australiana, si muove sul filo sottile che divide il doom / funeral più misantropico ed il black metal più depressivo. Le atmosfere che emergono in questo disco sono però molto particolari; sognanti, misteriose, ci proiettano immagini di foreste incontaminate; di notti infinite, colmate da un tappeto di stelle. Sì, l’infinito mistero dell’umanità, lo spazio, è proprio la sensazione che si prova ascoltando le parti di sintetizzatore che conducono le chitarre di Midnight Odyssey e che spesso sono anche più importanti dei riff di chitarra stessi.
La componente “ambient” è quindi altresì importante, nella “scacchiera” musicale di “Firmament”. Non si tratta perciò di musica che cerca di graffiare, no, piuttosto è la colonna sonora di momenti melanconici ed intimi, in cui il pensiero riempie ogni meandro della stanza nella quale ci troviamo e ci lascia inermi, scioccati dall’infinità stupidità del mondo che ci circonda. A quel punto, solo le origini, solo la natura, più sconfinata, ci regala momenti di sollievo e di speranza.
Negli ultimi tempi, non ricordiamo dischi più azzeccati nell’ambito black metal atmosferico. Midnight Odyssey dà nuova linfa vitale a quel black metal più raffinato, ma non per questo sinistro e lugubre. Non c’è spazio per la violenza in “Firmament”, perché la violenza è giù passata ed ora non resta che l’oblio.


Review by Scott Alisoglu

The Myspace page for Brisbane (Queensland), Australia’s MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY begins with the quote “The forest mourners are forever heard…” Based on that quote alone, those at least modestly seasoned in the ever expanding world of metal could surmise that the style of music played on Firmament is neither grindcore nor death metal; sludge nor hardcore punk. If you guessed that the musical neighborhood within which Firmament resides is black metal then you should reward yourself handsomely with a package of gingersnaps, the prize designated for the contest’s first runner up. If in your answer the word “ambient” preceded “black metal,” then congratulations are in order, as you are the grand prize winner and should immediately find someone to buy you a family-size package of dryer sheets.
MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY is not a “band” in the common usage of the term, but rather one individual, Dis Pater, who is responsible for vocals, guitars, bass, and keys on Firmament, an album of long compositions drenched in a kind of doomed shrouded, lushly arranged, and vaguely folk infused brand of ambient black metal. In fact, save for the moments of moderately dissonant guitars and sparse use of vocals that sound more like the utterances of a dying man, the average fan of the form would barely recognize it as black metal.
The songs of Firmament then collectively work as a soundscape of sorrow, a soundtrack to one’s deepest, darkest thoughts. Though the keyboard arrangements of what is predominantly an instrumental album are often quite beautiful, one cannot mistake the sense of dread that hangs in the air like a fine mist. Super charged and ready for action it is not. As such, the odds are that the album will appeal to isolationists, introspective types, those more enamored with the works of ULVER or MARBLEBOG rather than IMMORTAL or DARKTHRONE, and the person who simply likes a mellower, change of pace from the aggressive end of the style. In other words, whether Firmament will ring your bell will depend to a great extent on your frame of mind on that particular day. If you’ve already traded in electric lightning for candles and whiskey for valium, then you can consider yourself sufficiently prepared for Firmament.


Review by Bulletrider

MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY’s album Firmament once again proves the fact, that reviews of brilliant albums basically don’t need many words. What to say about an album that is just apart from that it’s just wonderful, magical, breathtaking and, in the case of MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY when sticking to their name, beautiful like the midnight sky itself?
Surely - I could say that the music on Firmament mixes Ambient Black Metal in the vein of Filosofem with the heavy, melodic Dark Doom of long gone Katatonia days in a genius like way. But with this description hardly even grapping the real dark, dreamy sound of MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY. Firmament is so much greater than the sum of it’s parts!
I also wouldn’t miss to suppress the fact that Firmament contains two perfectly placed and, in terms of length, ideally dosed purely ambient synth tracks. But the real experience then comes in the completely instrumented songs. The emotions evoked by the hypnotic riffs (yeah, quite an exhausted term – but it just fits here better than ever), the screaming vocals mixed slightly in the background and the Dark Doom passages full of enraptured and blissful melodies, shining like stars on the nightly firmament, just can’t really be put in words. Songs like From Forest To Firmament, Departing Flesh And Bone and From Beyond The Eight Sphere have to be heard to be fully taken away to a voyage into the beauty of a lonesome night. A black dream of an album! Essential!

[9,5 out of 10]


Review by Apoch

Originally a demo back in 2009, Firmament by Midnight Odyssey was picked up by I, Voidhanger Records for an early 2010 release. It's odd to see a demo be picked up by a label, small or otherwise, and marketed as a full-length release by a band, but in the world of Black Metal, where bands consist of just one member sometimes, it's not all that shocking. However, when you sit down and listen to the demo, it becomes quite clear why it was picked for release, but at the same time it leaves you wishing that it were re-recorded to a better quality so some of the issues behind the release were worked out.
Firmament is a pretty good demo that extends well past the one hour mark. The music on this release isn't anything too astonishing in it's self, being mostly simple, typical Black Metal riffs and drumming and a somewhat slower pace with vocals heavily distorted and echoed. What you get would actually be considered a rather boring and very raw quality piece of metal, and it honestly would be something to just completely dismiss if it weren't for some of the keyboard-based ambient elements thrown into the mix that really makes the overly distorted guitars and vocals work together. The openning track "From Forest to Firmament" may leave the listener confused as to what exactly is going on thanks to the quality of the music, but by the time "Departing Flesh and Bone" is reached, the way the music works together becomes clear, as the latter is far heavier on the ambience side then the actual Black Metal, which is really where this release shines for more then just one reason.
While the ambience heavy tracks on this release really pushes the whole thing along nicely and let's you just lay back and drift away to the album, much like the aforementioned track "Departing Flesh and Bone", as well as "A Host for Ghosts", manage to do so easily, they are also the easiest to listen to, and can often sooth your headache from the not-so-ambience heavy tracks. The only real drawback to this release is the production quality on the vocals and the guitars. Both of these are just heavily distorted, and with the vocals there is even an echo effect thrown in. While they work nicely in the final mix amidst the ambience, the high distortion simply makes both aspects sound insanely over modulated, and after a short while, such as after "From Forest to Firmament" and "Nocturnal Prey" in a row, the static from the higher volume can really just give you wicked migraine. This isn't to say the entire album suffers heavily from this, but perhaps if there was a re-recording done for the official release of this demo, at least with the vocals and guitars, and the distortion were held back a bit, this entire release would have made for a very well composed release that would take you to places many Black Metal albums simply cannot.
Aside the clear ambient aspect of the music, there is also a strong Doom/Trance musical composition behind some of the songs should have been expressed a little more on this release. "Salvation Denied" is really the first track that you will take note of this, as it's the slowest song on here with music, ambience, and even chanting that just brings in a cold and grim atmosphere to the mix with drumming that can lull you into a deep trance quite easily. These tracks actually work well with the overmodulated vocals and make them sound quite enjoyable, mostly because the guitars aren't really utilized that much with the vocals, and if they are, they actually come off through a lower volume that sounds more like it's deeper into the mix then they were during the start of the release. However, "From Firmament to Forest" winds up being the track that this rule does not apply to, as this song is right up there with the start of the album, utilizing higher pitched guitar chords that are simple and clearly Doom inspired, but in the end are just downright piercing from the distortion and hike in volume compared to the lower guitars being played in the background.
With the only tracks on here that seem like overkill, as far as distortion and overmodulation go, being the two that start the album off, as well as "From Firmament to Forest", it's safe to say that a good majority of the album is well done and makes for a great album to just relax to. If you're looking for something different in the lines of Black Metal, not so much experimental or Post-Black Metal, but just something that isn't too intense or even dominated by blast beats, then Firmament is an album you really should take the time to experience. This production may have been helpful with a slightly better quality on the vocals and guitars, or at least the volume toned down a bit, but that still doesn't make the second release from Midnight Odyssey an obnoxious release, it just makes those few songs themselves sound obnoxious. Sure, chances are you will skip past the openning of the album on future listens, but the rest of this release is simply solid Black Metal.
[4 out of 5]


[June 2010]

Review by Stefano Cerati

La giovane etichetta I, Voidhanger ci propone poi due uscite molto interessanti. Con gli australiani Midnight Odyssey di Firmament entriamo in un’area grigia del black metal dove il suono grezzo della chitarra si sfilaccia e si stempera in divagazioni cosmiche e spaziali ricche di effetti. E’ come se un suono ambient o drone algido e straniante, immaginate Nadja, Pelican o anche certi Loop, venisse inoculato in un tessuto black metal, quindi dal tono decadente e depresso, soprattutto nella voce. E’ un viaggio in una dimensione spazio temporale senza luce. E’ un perdersi nel vuoto, terribile, ma anche affascinante.
[8 out of 10]


Review by Akh.

Questa one man band australiana esce allo scoperto con "Firmament", quasi settanta minuti di BM drappeggiato da forti tinte Dark Ambient (vedasi il caso della strumentale "A Host For Ghosts" oppure la conclusiva "Beyond The Eighth Sphere") e a volte da tratti epici che mi hanno riportato alla mente certi Summoning.
Il lavoro nonostante si percepiscano le influenze evocative di burzumiana memoria ha un suo proprio modo d'essere, che ben si amalgama al titolo; infatti tutte le tracce di questo cd hanno un sapore molto dilatato, dove l'asprezza di certe chitarre va ad inseguire le suggestioni che il cosmo tende a regalarci, con il suo senso di distacco e lontana sfera, imperturbabile alla condizione umana.
Un album che va preso come un viaggio, una sorta di colonna sonora trascendente (vista anche la sua durata), in cui non le note fine a se stesse ci regalano emozioni, ma il suo essere a tutto tondo che spinge a rimanere affascinati quasi in maniera indiretta, con le sue divagazioni estese e ricche di delay ed echi, su cui appaiono come da profonde nebbie o lontane aurore le vocals lancinanti di Dis Pater, in cui le chitarre si avvolgono robuste ma risultando nella maggior parte dei casi eteree e l'opener "From Forest To Firmament" ne è solo il primo degli esempi.
La batteria ha il ruolo quasi di indurre allo stadio di trance l'ascoltatore, in quanto mantiene a lungo tratti ipnotici che sfiorano il rituale con il suo martellamento tribale, su cui melodie armoniche quasi shoegaze vi si adagiano come nel caso di "Nocturnal Prey" o nella fascinosa "As Dark And Ominous As Stormclouds", scendendo invece su tratti piu' marcatamente doomish nella scura e tetra "Salvation Denied".
Il lavoro svolge la sua chiusura mettendo in parallelo il primo e l'ottavo brano, in cui si percepisce il senso di rientro da lidi interiori che danno spazio su Universi esteriori, trovando la loro comunione e sorgendo attraverso tale mistero a nuova condizione.
Un album da non valutare strettamente sotto il profilo estetico musicale, ma per la mole di introspezione di cui è carico, sicuramente dedicato a chi sa sorprendersi scrutando gli insegnamenti del Firmamento.




Interview by Erik

You probably haven't heard of MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY before, but if things go as they should, this Black Metal project from Down Under will soon enough be much less of a secret. And if not, lone wolf Dis Pater will anyways continue to create music that should appeal to fans of SUMMONING or MANES.

Hello Dis Pater! How is the Australian Winter?
Hello, the Australian Winter is rather warm and sunny, cool mornings, warm afternoons, nothing like the frozen north of Finland I'm sure!

What is your excuse for starting a BM project in 2007?
My excuse? MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY actually had it's origins all the way back in 1999. That is in fact when I began to write black metal music, though in truth, it was rather simplistic, mostly power chords, influenced by DARKTHRONE, BURZUM, early EMPEROR and the like. In the early 2000's I actually began to record music, and passed on some songs to a few friends here and there. 2007 was when I decided the time was right. I felt I had developed a lot since when I first started writing music, my influences came from a wider range of music and I had kind of gotten over my teenage angst and immaturity.

MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY is a very young project, yet you have already reached quite an impressive level. What's your secret? Have you been active in other bands before?
I feel Midnight Odyssey is a young project, it's just beginning to really take shape. I have always preferred working by myself with black metal, though I have contributed keys to another local Brisbane black metal band PAROXYSMAL DESCENT. I have learnt a lot from friends in other bands (not necessarily metal bands) about song structures and overall composition, and obviously I have learnt from many bands that I have listened to over the years.

You have put out two full-lengths in a rather short time after the foundation of the project. Can you keep this up without going XASTHUR (i.e. releasing rubbish)? Are you planning to keep it up?
Yes, the two albums have come out rather quickly, and I do have a third in the works already. Is it something I can keep up? I honestly don't know, I tend to write music during certain weather periods. We have had a lot of rain and flooding in Brisbane in the last 12 months, a lot of fierce storms, that is usually when I believe I write better music. Even though winter would normally be something of an influence to most people, it isn't really to me as there are very few signs of winter in Brisbane, trees are still green, the sun still shines warmly. Keeping this pace up isn't really in my interest though, many bands continue to release pretty much the same album 3 times a year and it gets boring, but while things are going ahead I will continue.

M.O. is a solo project at the moment. Are you planning or have you ever thought about making it a complete band? Or is this your very own baby that nobody else should be involved in and that doesn't belong on any stage?
MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY has always been my project and I never plan on making it a full band. I do not believe live music suits my music. The presence of electrical equipment, lights and people takes away from the very nature inspired atmosphere I try to create, so I don't think it would work. Well, not to my liking anyway.

After the demo, also "Firmament" was again released by yourself without any label help. Why? I guess there must be some labels interested in working with you. Are you too picky?
I chose to release "Firmament" by myself simply so I could continue to control how it was going to sound and be released. Also at the time there was not much interest from labels, however I can announce that "Firmament" will be re-released in the near future by I, Voidhanger Records, which is a sub-label of ATMF in Italy.

Another strange thing: you gave the demo and now give the album away for free. Really, what's wrong with you?
Haha, what's wrong with me? Well, it is very hard for a "young" band to get recognition in this overcrowded market of one man black metal bands. These releases were done primarily for myself, just to say that after all these years of writing music, I had something to go with my name. I guess I honestly didn't think many people would be that interested in buying the CDs, so I thought the best thing was to offer it as a gift to anyone who had shown me support.

Summing these last few questions up, M.O. seems to be a very personal affair for you. Something you do only for yourself and from which you don't wanna benefit in any way. But still you are apparently interested in getting the word out, otherwise you wouldn't answer these questions or release any music at all. This is all a bit off the norm, wouldn't you say? What exactly is your reasoning behind this? Why do you insist on losing money with your music?
It is a bit off the norm. MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY is a very, very personal expression of my beliefs. People who charge particularly high prices for their art as they first start out I think are arrogant, and clearly in it for the money and scene recognition, not so much for their beliefs and dedication to their beliefs. I have been somewhat intrigued that other people have actually taken such an interest in my music. Obviously this is what I have wished for, it's great that people like and want to purchase my music. Otherwise why would you release music. A lot of bands go on about how underground and kult they are, yet release albums and LPs, and limited edition collector items... that doesn't sound too underground to me. And funnily enough, I don't think I am actually losing money on this, I am sacrificing a bit now, but it's ultimately for the benefit of my music. You only get out what you put in.

Kinda of continuing the previous question... What are your goals with MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY? Where do you see the projects future? What is your agenda? In a best-case-scenario: Where will you be with M.O. in ten years?
My ultimate goal with MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY is to be able to write music, that I enjoy, without being constrained by genre boundaries. I listen to many styles of music, and yes, BM is the ultimate influence, but there are many others. In ten years times, ultimately I hope to have ten albums, all of high quality, yet all a little different. If anything I will continue to write music that most people probably will not like, I have no wish to be on a major label, do music videos etc. I wish to be true only to myself, not to a scene or genre.

Now that we thoroughly analysed your weirdness, let's for a short while pretend this interview has anything to do with music. "Firmament", pretty much like the demo, sounds to my ears to be mainly inspired by SUMMONING and MANES (the better known one). But of course that's just my opinion. What has really influenced you and formed the sound of M.O.?
Many bands and musicians over the years have influenced me. SUMMONING and MANES among them. But I find the bands I take most guidance from are the early Norwegian bands, like BURZUM, ULVER, etc, doom bands like THERGOTHON and MY DYING BRIDE, as well as dark ambient bands like ARCANA and RAISON D'ETRE. I've also been heavily influenced by the recent "ambient" and "depressive" black metal, particulary from Germany and Switzerland. Also KATATONIA and BETHLEHEM have been two of my favourite bands for a good 10 years or so now.

I have seen your music being labelled Ambient Black Metal. This is a fitting term, strictly musically speaking. But on the other hand, "ambient" seems to be the new "depressive" with every other talentless moron giving it a shot and putting crap up on myspace and making thousands of "friends". Are labels annoying? Is the label "Ambient BM" especially annoying?
It's funny with labels and genre defining. Unfortunately it's how we describe music to someone who hasn't heard it before. Sure there are ambient parts, even ambient tracks, but overall it's just dark music. I try not to get to worked up over what people call my music, But yes I do find ambient is the new depressive, etc. In truth, I would say that real ambient black metal would just be keys and guitars, without drums and very minimal vocals, but then again that's genre defining, isn't it.

To almost end this, recommend us some good Australian (Black) Metal, preferably as good as M.O.. If you can't think of anything else, you may also promote your other projects.
Well, for other good Australian black metal bands it's hard to go by AUSTERE. I think they are perhaps the greatest bm band from Australia at the moment. But there is a lot of underground brewing around this country, PAROXYSMAL DESCENT, MOON, NEKRASOV, ELYSIAN BLAZE. Still, for such a large country there are very few black metal bands. I have only one other side project, FIRES LIGHT THE SKY has been a very casual project (only two songs in the last year), but I am about to work on some more material, in a very different direction, but that's for another time.

Nature and pop culture (kangaroos and Terry Pratchett) have decided that Australia is a somewhat odd place, not to speak of Australians. To end this interview, tell us a good Australia-themed joke. Thanks for the laughs and your time.
Yes, thank you! Australia is a bit of a void. Probably the funniest things I've ever heard came from what American tourists think of what Australia is like. They are shocked we have a Queen, they think we all have pet kangaroos and I even had one American lady state that she "loved all those furry animals that hop around the country, what are they called... donkeys??"


Interview by Obscura Hessian

As much of the northern hemisphere is being overwhelmed by the onslaught of winter, the flames of Hell are rising to consume the south at summer’s peak. Still, the hardened souls of Black Metal warriors remain unfrozen, and Australia's Dis Pater from Midnight Odyssey is no exception. A recent arrival on the scene producing beautiful and mature music demanded one of our interrogations, which revealed some of this artist’s thoughts on ambience, patience and experience.

We thought 'Firmament' was among the best albums of 2009, and I was pleased to hear that I, Voidhanger is doing the good deed of re-releasing your old material within the next couple of months! Looking back at your first Midnight Odyssey work, with its exhibition of diverse influences, how would you describe your mindset as an artist back then, compared to putting tracks together for the more streamlined ‘Firmament’?
Hello, thank you for your compliments. I, Voidhanger is in fact re-releasing “Firmament” which shall be out early March hopefully. The Forest Mourners was for me somewhat of a transcendence between the music I used to write and record privately and the Firmament release. I had a lot of influences which I wanted to incorporate into the project, and I guess I wanted to keep the door open as much as possible to prevent being labelled any one genre of music.

In addition to hearing the obvious traces of bands like Burzum and Summoning in the demo, the ambiental feeling seems to quote some of my favourite ambient output, from Jääportit to ‘Dark Age of Reason’-era Arcana. What’s your relationship with ambient music and what’s your recipe for ‘Ambient Black Metal’?
I have long been a fan of Cold Meat Industry bands, particularly early Arcana, Raison D'Etre, Ildfrost, Mortiis, Deutsch Nepal, In Slaugther Natives, etc, etc. Ambient music was the first music I ever tried to record, and it’s something I have worked on as much as black metal, so combining the two seems natural for me. A recipe? Well A lot of modern bands do a fantastic job of mixing ambience and black metal – Paysage D'Hiver, Coldworld, Darkspace, Marblebog, Vinterriket, etc, I think it’s just being able to use keyboards with metal in a not so pompous way.

I like to imagine that an entire Black Metal album could be recorded one day without percussion. Midnight Odyssey’s proclivity for ambience demonstrates as well as a ‘Filosofem’, 'Winterkald' or 'Antichrist' how this could actually work. Do you think that there’s enough scope in ‘Black Metal composition’ to eschew drums completely? Maybe an artist should just go and make electronic music like so many warriors have done?!
It’s funny you say electronic music. I too have delved into the electronic side of things in the past, and find a unique way of writing music there that seems to work well with the way I write for Midnight Odyssey. Bands like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, all the way up to Trance and Industrial Electronica all have some unique element for repetition and layer building. I try to do the same with Midinght Odyssey, but with guitars and bass. I think it is possible to record an entire album without drums, it’s something I have thought about, and think I could achieve in the future, without going too far down the line of electronic music.

On ‘The Forest Mourners’, there is a subtle but still more continual folkiness to the music. Some of it reminds me of the folk/ambient images that A. Tolonen produces with Nest, but other times are a little more Celtic? as is the case with the opening track – which makes me think of a more contemplative Himinbjorg. Did you use such folk stylings as a conscious expression of ancestry, or is this a direct manifestation of musical influences? Being an Australian, is such a tribal connection even possible, in the manner of the Norwegians from Helvete, for example?
The folk element is something deliberately incorporated into the music. I have good friends who are in a celtic folk band here in Brisbane, so their influence on my music is sometimes present. Also I enjoy folk metal, and some heavy metal such as Gary Moore’s Wild Frontier album, where there seems to be a lot of celtic folk/rock influences. So yes in Brisbane it is possible to still maintain some connectivity with a European heritage, probably more-so than say America because Australia is a much younger country, most of us have parents, grandparents or great-grandparents who weren’t born here. Also my music is about a time long ago in the past, and thus folk music has its meaning there.

There is as much mention of ’spirits’ in the titles of songs from ‘The Forest Mourners’ as there is of nature, but the ideas of the subsequent album seem to suggest that this reflects more than just an animism of some sort. You talk about ‘Departing Flesh and Bone’ and of course, the whole work is underlied by this connection between the active and earthly, and cosmic and eternal. This is an idea which is really interesting to me because it seems to get lost in modern discussions of both natural science and populist, Judeo-Christian religion. Could you explain how you came to terms with this understanding?
To me, this entire area has been corrupted by Judeo-Christianity and most modern monotheistic or dualistic religions, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, etc. The album Firmament is based on the moment of death, the moment a soul leaves the human body and what supposedly comes after. This is based on a somewhat personal experience which I have attempted to migrate to a more populous and general theme, set back in a time which I believe has been erased from human record, a time when humans were a little more in touch with their spiritual and carnal natures, when everything wasn’t so easily divided into what’s good and what’s evil. I like the moral ambiguity of everything, that to me is what existence is about, it’s not about the ultimate battle of good and evil that religion tells us to believe in.

Even with your influences on your sleeves, so to speak, the music of Midnight Odyssey is very imaginative and this rapid-fire consistency at this point of your career makes it feel very ‘lived out’! How would you describe the way in which the actual sounds that you produce are a representation of the aforementioned ideas or feelings? I mean, with most popular music, it seems to be fabricated in such a way to prioritise the broadest demographics, but obviously, good Black Metal wouldn’t be composed with such vagueness in mind!
Yes, my music is rather spontaneous actually. I won’t write anything for months, then do an album in three days, then sit back a few weeks and let it mature, perfecting it. When the time comes to write music, I am completely obsessed, engulfed in this strange atmosphere, it’s kind of like walking out before a summer storm, you can almost feel the lightning seeking you out ready to strike, it’s almost panic. It’s usually after hearing a certain song somewhere, an idea will come into my head, and I won’t be able to sleep, I usually don’t eat or drink anything for a day or so. I listen to a lot of music, and I know what I like and I only release music that after a while I can still listen to and not feel embarrassed or ashamed about, to me it has to envoke those same impulses and manic trances that I got whilst recording the music. I know the exact tones, the exact reverb levels, the exact production levels I like and desire, so my music is always a mixture of new creative forces and learned processes, which has taken me nearly 10 years to get to.

The sound of the full-length is naturally better as there’s more space between instruments but you still managed to reflect an enclosed feeling which sounds like the music is passing through a million leaves and branches before it hits the listener. Did the demo receive any remastering before sent to be pressed for its forthcoming distribution?
The demo, actually both demos which will be re-released, (The Forest Mourners on Kunsthauch Records in Russia, possibly as a split) But neither are going to re-mastered, they are being kept the same, the only difference is with the new version of Firmament, the songs will be made to cut out less at the end (i.e. the music fades a bit before ending abruptly) and the last track From Beyond The 8th Sphere is being renamed simply Beyond the 8th Sphere (We noticed I used the word From a bit too much haha).

Are you still working on music for an album to follow ‘Firmament’?
Dis Pater: Yes there are a couple of things. One is a split with Wedard, which will be two songs from the Firmament sessions, actually one was written in between Forest Mourners and Firmament and has a bit more of an epic folk, and the other was written after and is not really a metal song). The next full length is recorded (except the vocals) and is a continuation of Firmament. Musically I think it is similar, but maybe a little bit more epic and ethereal in feel.

Could you tell us a little about your activities outside of Midnight Odyssey, including any other musical projects?
Other than Midnight Odyssey, I have a project called Fires Light The Sky. I had recorded two songs but have changed the style a bit of the band and am set to release 4 songs (which are actually old old Midnight Odyssey songs reworked and re-recorded, I think three of them I wrote in 1999, and one in 2001, so it’s a more aggressive and standard black metal but nonetheless I feel I have to release them just to get them out of mind, it’s like holding on to a secret that you want to tell everyone and can’t do anything else until you tell someone. Also I have plans for a funeral doom project at some stage this year.

What was the last awesome book that you read?
The last good book, well strangely I don’t read much, I think the last good thing I read was a book on Early Greek Philosophy, it was interesting to see just how fragmented records are and the work that goes into fitting the pieces of history together. It was interesting too to see these people from thousands of years ago try to describe something, and doing it relatively correctly, but just not having the correct terminology and understanding to fully comprehend it.

What was the last piece of music you heard that resonated most with your own thoughts and feelings?
The last music would definitely be the Polish band Evilfeast, I got some cds on the way and I can’t wait to hear the whole albums, a couple of songs I’ve heard of them blew me away – epic, atmospheric and very depressing dark music.


Interview by Xalpian

Hello Dis Pater? What´s up with Midnight Odyssey, how are you? How is actually weather in Australian continent?
Hello, I am well, bloody hot, actually it's storming at the moment.

Because the world move climate changes, could you say something about the current situation in Australia, are currently in the State of Queensland large temperature differences compared to the other years?
No, I don't think it's been any different to any other years, in fact there was snow in the state of Victoria a couple of weeks ago, that's hardly global warming.

So let´s start talking ybout your music! First, I beg you tell us something about the history of your project, which will be for many a big unknown. Worked before Midnight Odyssey with another band, or this is your first music band?
Midnight Odyssey is my first official project. I have been writing music for 11 or 12 years now, so I have lots of experience in that regard.

Why you choose just the name Midnight Odyssey? What was the reason that you decided to use the ancient meaning of the word odyssey? Are you interested in Greek literature, Homer etc.?
The name Midnight Odyssey is meant to conjure up the vision of a journey through darkness, with nothing but the shadows and the night sky to surround you. I am interested in Greek mythology, but it does not have direct relevance to the Homeric epic, it just best sums up a vast journey. 

The demo of „Forest Mourners“ confess that after the push a play of the CDr I scare that is the act of another kind of pagan band... Intro, accompanied by wind noise, acoustic guitar and flute, however, immediately replace the drum beats and vocals together in the atmosphere as it once produced Burzum or Summoning. Sorry to compare your music!J But admit you that the demo „Forest Mourners“ contains elements of folkish melodies? Because me personally that the overall atmosphere and using a „chants“ evoke it. Exist in Australia a few folk bands? You do not mind when people compare your music with other, better-known bands? Do you think that there is no original (yet unheard) music?
Yes, there is definately an element of folk music in The Forest Mourners demo. I personally like folk music, but I like the idea of using it in a more sombre and sullen way, to rather sing about the disappearing of the ancient ways and beliefs rather then sing about drinking mead! There are folk bands here in Australia, quite a few actually, and I am good friends with many folk musicians. I think it's impossible to describe someone's music these days without referring to another band, as all music borrows something from other forms of music. No one is completely original, that's impossible! 

I really like the song „Spirit of the Winter Mountains" can I beg you tell me what abou is a lyric of this song? Why you, a person living in the hottest part of Australia sings about the „Spirit of winter mountains"? Do not you think the 5 centimetres of snow in Australia is a calamity for your country?hehe! Can people in Australia to reconcile with cold weather? Is there something fascinating you on the coldly atmosphere of the nordic countries? Have you ever visited countries such as Russia, Finland or Norway? Are you satisfied with life in Australia?
Spirit Of The Winter Mountain is about a man seeking glory and power and failing because he has lost his primal insticts and intuition, and nature as it is, has defeated him.  I don't know about most people in Australia, but I quite like the cold, and I hate the heat! New Zealand has the most incredible landscapes I have ever seen, but yes northern Europe has always fascinated me, the northern most I have been is Germany, which to me is much better than being in an isolated desert hole like Australia!

Could you tell me something about songs on „Forest Mourners', whereas in CD booklet are not mentioned, which is the main theme and idea your songs? In the two songs you remember the spirits (the mountains and night), one could say that the texts deal with the topic of spirituality, or ghosts? Title demo can be translated as "forest mourner"... Do you agree that certain environmental organizations and communities can help nature?
The entire first demo discusses prophecy, the complete desecration of the world, and the ultimate end of human kind. It also discusses the passages one walks to find an answer to everything, and how in a lot of cases, there isn't one answer. Friends can be foes, foes can be friends and that defeating one's enemy can lead to a greater plague. The co-existence of life and death is a common theme, hence all the "spirits". The title refers to a group of people who live in the forest, who are ancient and wise, who foresee the end of their kind and the world. I don't believe that any organisation can save the environment. All our environmentally friendly labels are just bullshit. People just don't seem to see that all we do is replace one small problem with another. The big problem is us!

I would say that music demo "Forest Mourners" is quite simple but very atmospheric however, even charming! It's strange how you able to create such an "electronic sound" especially through the use of guitar! Do you agree, however, that the demo is mostly lies in the ambient ground, and just plain black metal elements, fully developed until the next album „Firmaments? Listening also ambient stuff, if so how and what you fascinated you on this music style?
Thank you. Not necessarily, I think the black metal element is there on the first album, the main thing is the placement of the guitars compared to the keys. The Forest Mourners, the guitars are almost in the background, whereas on Firmament, they're much further forward in the mix. The ambient influences come from many years of listening to dark ambient/neo-classical bands like Arcana, Raison D'etre and others, as well as industrial music and even trance music, which I"m not actually a fan of, but the composition method of placing layers over layers is a big influence.

Can you tell me anything to distribution of „Forest Mourners“ if I am not mistaken, did a 100 CDr with color booklets, which distribute it everywhere? It is for you important promoting your music, in the times of internet era? Do you like doing a interviews into fanzine? Do you have in Australia some classic emtal fanzine, actually?
The Forest Mourners was a one off run of 100 copies on Pro cd-r. It is a demo, thus it has demo quality artwork etc. The only way to get the demo is from me, so of course the way I promote it is important. Particularly on the internet, as it's incredible how fast word can spread. I don't mind doing interviews for fanzines at all. Zines are an important part of underground music. It's how a lot of people first discover a band, or first discover the mentality behind a band. In Australia, to me anyway, the best zine is the printed Procession of Black Doom. 

What is really good, it's that you gave your excellent material in touch with UG label from Russia! How do you got to work with Kunsthauch, could you say something about the re-release demo (which probably will be issued as a split with Astral Silence)? Do you like releases made by Alexey?
Yes, Kunsthauch got in contact with me, and was originally agreed to be a split with Lustre from Sweden, but due to contract obligations with another label, that had to change. At this stage its looking like a split with one of Nachtzeit's other projects Starlit. And Astral Silence is a band that surprised me, I hadn't heard of them until very recently, but the couple of songs from Cosmic Journey that I have heard are excellent! 

Your debut album „Firmament" is already a perfect symbiosis of ambient / black metal. These works, which is several grades higher quality! Once the introductory song "From the Forest to Firmament" operates as a chilly wind blow in the face, there meets the previous elements that you fully developed into full splendor. Let me to congratulate you for a truly excellent album! Are you satisfied with this material?
Thank you, yes I am very satisfied with it. I don't release music that I'm not satisfied with, if I can't listen to it a couple of months after I record it, then it won't be released.

Are you trying to create new material for the "Firmament" raise the bar of quality or it came up spontaneously? How you composed the songs and where you pumping a biggest  inspiration for the assembly of music?
Firmament wasn't completely spontaneous, a lot of the riffs and certain elements (the sound) had been established and recorded in a couple of days, but it took many months to get it to where it is now. There was always a lot of inspiration, I usually wait for the right weather conditions (storms usually) to record it so the atmosphere around can hopefully be transcended into the music. 

If I may ask, Midnight Odyssey is during the existence one man project, don´t you think about including a other members, at least the drummer? Drums are automatic or programed their own? What's your view on the single-project (the band). Don´t you have the feeling that sometimes are better than any other multiple band?
Midnight Odyssey is and for as far as I can see, a one man project. I had thought about getting a drummer, but the programmed drums that I use seem to suit the music. It almost gives it that electronic vibe that helps enhance the ambience. A drummer would be too spontaneous, my music is deliberate, based on layers and structures, not too dissimilar to electronic or dark ambient music, just with guitars. And of course, being a one man band, there are no arguments or disagreements.

The material on the album "Firmament" came to grandeur, sophistication (treated with caution) and of course, the overall sound quality. I heard it belongs, even among the best recordings of 2009! Flatter you this informations?
Yes, it is always encouraging when someone praises the album, and to those who have rated amongst their favourites for the past year, thank you. But with such praise is bound to come criticism, and expectation, and thus to me it's important to take these compliments with a level head. It's incredible in black metal how many inflated egoes there are floating around. First and foremost, I write the music for myself, if other people enjoy it as much as I do, then thats just a bonus.

The material on the album "Firmament" it is easy, but admit that it took me a while until I "got into it and began to admire him 100%! Don´t you fear that some people condemn your music based on a single one hearing? Is there any device which provides for sophisticated listeners heard music? Could you describe the music Midnight Odyssey your own words? Are you interested in feelings and views of listeners to your creation?
Well, I too will listen to a band and easily just put them aside. But I guess if someone was having a hard time understanding where I'm coming from, either they're just not going to get it, it's not their style of music, or they aren't listening to the music loud enought at night, during a storm with good headphones! To describe my music is hard, others probably won't see it. It is music primarily based on black metal, with elements of funeral doom, ambient music and folk music. I try to keep Midnight Odyssey as non-genre bound as possible, but of course the atmospheric black metal tag is most popular. To be honest, if someone thinks highly of my music, that's great, a boost to the self-confidence. If someone says it's shit, I'm not too worried. How many times are reviews of bands or albums done by people who have no interest in that style whatsoever?

The two instrumental tracks „Host For Ghost" and "From Beyond The 8th Sphere" is very good, thought you ever about recording only instrumental album, which is now approaching the atmosphere of those two songs? They are instrumental tracks for you important? Do not think that they are important for the death metal horror intro, so are also important for the instrumental tracks and intermezzo for black metal? Apropo, the song "From Beyond The 8th Sphere" has a very similar atmosphere with Austrian Dargaard.
Yes, a completely ambient album has crossed my mind, whether it be done under the Midnight Odyssey logo or another I'm not sure, but it's most probable. I think the key to ambient tracks is to treat them as proper tracks, and not just 1 or 2 minute filler material. I don't care for many keyboard intros and outros, they're just there to make the album look like it's got more songs. To me, the two ambient tracks, and the last song Beyond the 8th Sphere are proper songs, perhaps of more importance than the metal tracks. They are there not just as a break from the guitar, but to increase the atmosphere of the album. Dargaard is one of the many bands that have influenced my ambient music, their particular use of (synth) oboes and harp (or dulcimer) have made me spend many hours trying to replicate their sound.

What does not consider it a very good step, it is kind of similarities colours in booklet, as in „Firmament", also in the previous demo. Do not think the overall artwork should be color coordinated? It is important for you, as will the packaging look or just want to present M.O. only your music and lyrics? It is therefore important for you and the visual aspect? Why booklets don´t have a texts? What really shows the cover for „Firmament" is it the castle or just a bizarre tree?
Well, both demos were just that, demos. It was more important for me to focus on the music itself, rather than waste time getting a professional logo done, proper artwork, and there were no lyrics included because a 4 page booklet is much cheaper than 12! I had wanted to have a somewhat mid 90's photoshop cover, cheesy it may seem, but to me the music was far more important. I have seen so many bands, friends and acquaitances spend thousands of dollars on their first demo, or ep to get it professional looking and all, and in the end, those bands don't exist anymore. That's a waste of time and money. The cover for the Firmament demo was actually taken halfway up a rainforest covered mountain about 2 hours away from where I live. It was dark, and there was an opening in the trees, that's actually a tree that had been broken off by a storm, but strangely it does look a little like a castle. 

I know that the release of „Firmament" will take care label I, Voidhanger Records. How did you get to this label, could imagine his work, it is quite unknown to me. I know that is going to make CD booklets 12pages another version of the package, the material on „Firmament" has enriched something (bonus song ...)? Also, I don´t like old logo, who is the author of a new - better?
Firmament is set to be released in a matter of weeks by I, Voidhanger Records. They had got in contact with me, and I agreed. The new version will have no bonus song, the last song From Beyond the 8th Sphere is now just Beyond The 8th Sphere, but there is new artwork, lyrics and the new logo crafted by Nachtzeit of Lustre, Starlit, etc. I find it incredible how many people, despite hating the artwork and the old logo still have listened to the music, that to me says a lot about the music, because how easy is it to judge a book by its cover!

Do you have any side projects or only Midnight Odyssey? What do you do in your spare time, attending concerts, or at least the booze in the bars? Is in your neighborhood a good metal bar?
Fires Light The Sky is my other project for now. I am recording 4 songs that I had written and recorded a long time ago, 3 were written in 1999, and one in 2001. I am in the process of trying to keep them sounding very similar to the originals. Maybe I will release a demo of it, for now I will just put them up on myspace. My spare time is pretty much just listening to music, drinking, there aren't a lot of gigs here, and the metal bar is more of a metalcore bar, so I don't go there, people piss me off.

The Australian landscape is now most famous gratitude the band Austere, heard their new project Grey Waters, if so, how you view it? In my view the great music! Could you imagine your scene, as many are known only to bands like Mortification, Disembowelment, Blood-Buster, Portal... What ever the band Elysian Blaze, you're on the existence of some information, still play? How is your opinion on white metal, like Mortification?
Austere are a fantastic band, clearly they are one of the leading Australian metal bands going around at the moment. I haven't heard any news on the Elysian Blaze front, I know their albums have been re-released through Osmose I believe. In Australia, metal is very underground, and doesn't really get recognised by too many people. Which is both good and bad. It's a shame that Mortification have to be one of the few bands Australia is well known for. I have no liking for christian metal, it's purely evangelical bullshit where they try and modernise an already corrupt and false religion.

In the end, please can you tell us, how is the nature in area of Queensland? Do you like trips into the nature, what present for you a nature, how you feel in her embrace? It´s some great place, which must see, if I go into Australia?
Queensland has a wide variety of natural landscapes. Rainforests, swamps, deserts, bushland, I live near some of the nicest landscapes I think in Australia (they are a couple of hours away drive). There are mountain climbs through rainforests with huge trees, it's really amazing and I love going for these ventures as often as I can! It definately has a spiritual element to it, almost like you are alone in a vast world. For you if you were to go to Australia, the rainforests are amazing, but I guess seeing the bush is what drives most tourists here, it's harsh climate, lots of poisonous snakes and spiders (and crocodiles further up north).

You can tell us something about the plans for the future, going to record a new album...? So, it would be all, thank you for taking the time for this interview and wish you all the best into future!
I have a lot of material done, or nearly finished. But I'm not about to become one of these bands that releases 3 or 4 albums a year, ep's, rehearsal tapes etc etc. I like to give my music time to mature and to see if it will last the test of time in my ears! There will also be other musical ventures, with other projects, but I will give that time too. Many thanks for the interview!


Interview by Andrea Moretti

In Italian

In English:

Hi Dis Pater, for the begin, very congratulations for your album; I can honestly say that Firmament is one of my actual top-5 favourite albums of 2010…
Hello thank you for you compliments! I hope by the end of 2010 it's still up there!

The album was originally released on the lasts of 2009, but it was autoproduced and obviously it hasn't got a good distribution... how do you've reached I, Voidhanger Records? How was the responces so far?
Yes, the album was originally a limited Pro-CDr demo of 100 copies. I have no idea how it found its way to I, Voidhanger, they contacted me regarding a full re-release and so it came to be! So far the response has been incredible, many people have contacted me personally as well as reviews being done up saying how much they have enjoyed it.   

I'm curious to hear some negative feedbacks...
There hasn't been too much negative feedback really, and you know what, on the cases that there has been some average remarks or ratings I've seen the type of music they listen to anyway and it doesn't surprise me. This music obviously isn't for everyone, no one can write something that will please everybody, you have to take the good with the bad!  

Talkin' about the album... the result is very organic, incredibly homogenic; I can hear that is the fruit of an unique mind (a solo-project opera). Do you could see the same work played by a complete band?
Yes, the album does ring of a one-man band, but in a good way I think. I have control over every aspect of the music when I write it, I can choose to trash a song or change it slightly if I see fit without negotiating! I have actually no plans whatsoever of turning this into a live band, to me this isn't live music, it's far too personal and conceptual to be seen on a stage.  

Should you had change something about the production, about the sound? is there something you don't like?
You know I am completely and absolutely 100% content and satisfied with the album, I wouldn't change anything. If I wasn't 100% happy I wouldn't have released it! To me the production is perfect, I hope I can replicate it on future releases!  

Is interesting overmostly because there's a lot of styles well-mixed: some Filosofem's Burzum imprints, some shoegaze breeze (Nocturnal Prey) and a lot of kosmische musik. What do you think about it ? they agree with your influences?
I have tried to keep Midnight Odyssey as open as a project as possible. I don't want to be labeled as a black metal band or a shoe gaze band or even a metal band. There is influence from everything that I listen to on it, from Arcana, Dead Can Dance, Burzum, Katatonia, Ulver, In The Woods, Tangerine Dream, etc etc, the list could go on. If I can have people struggle to label me as one genre I will be very happy as I detest genre boundaries.  

Another thing I like is this kind of marriage this astral/aseptic aspect (of kosmische musik) with a typical natural world.. (I would say "The Marriage of Heaven and Earth" as a word-trick about W. Blake). How did you envelope this synthesis?
The album is very nature based, both land dwelling and up in the deep dark starry skies. I have had an affinity with the stars for my whole life. To me the best music in the world is that which takes you out of this world. I think there is a natural unity of earth and stars, and they both represent something that was at one stage, and will be in the future, devoid of mankind. 

For how it concern about myself, it's a bit disorienting listen a kind of this album and realize that come from Australia: I have in my mind this nation like something as exotic but at the same time a little bit "alien" if compared to the rest of the world (also for its flora & fauna)... then I know a lot of australian electro-dance music (Pnau, Midnight Juggernauts, Grafton Primary, Miami Horror, Bumblebeez...). Actually... this album sounds a lot of European, or at least Canadian; am I maybe crazy?
Maybe? Haha no I have always listened to European music over say American music and Australian musicians seem to follow one or the other. I think personally Australia is a lonely place. We are on the other side of the world, very isolated in most cases, and thus we seem to live in our own little bubble. It's hard sometimes for music and other art forms to find their way overseas and thus I think when North Americans or Europeans find something Australian they always see a bit of an exotic touch to it. But I'm obsessed with Europe and always have been so I don't find it to surprising if my music sounds European!

Let's talk about instrumental tracks: I take the again the time to compliment you for your drawn on repertoire of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis or Popol Vüh. Even if we can drawn from the blackmetal world, we can find early Summoning influences (without fantasy background). Why this way to play synths, instead a way of more classic melodic black metal?
Well firstly, I love synthesizers but have always found it cliche when black metal or death metal bands go for those cheesy keyboard intros and outros that last 1 minute or so. I love bands who use the synth as a main instrument, Tangerine Dream are the prime example. Also a lot of dark ambient bands, remember Dargaard, E'lend etc, I have admired those bands since the late nineties and their songs ring through my ears at will. They create such an ambience and atmosphere, really it's only adding effects to the basic synth, like reverb, echo and compression, that give it that "deep cavernous" feel that I like to describe. Mixed with black metal, like Summoning did, it creates such an amazing sound. It's incredible to listen to this music on headphones walking through a cold winter night in a park, or nature reserve, it literally makes your hairs on the back of your neck stand.  

Which was the fundamentally listening brought you to write Firmament? And on these days, what are you like to listening?
Hard to answer really. Everything from Nyktalgia, Wigrid, Darkspace, Paysage D'hiver, Vinterriket, Coldworld, and many many others is what I've been listening to recently, but I don't think any one of those or other bands was directly behind me writing Firmament.

The last track, reflects a kind of literary component: did you refer to Rudolf Steiner's 8th sphere? Did you refer to something of purely conceptual about the "spiritual" evolution of man or there was also the intent to create, in music-form, a kind of soundtrack of the alien-life-form?
The eighth sphere in Greek astronomy was the Firmament that carried all the stars around the other seven spheres. Cosmology and the spiritual afterlife was what I was basing the music around, trying not so much on the evolution of man but the forever lingering ideals of doom that persist. We constantly relate the skies to our destruction and extinction.  

Again: during the Renaissance, the neo-platonic concepts, finds in Saturn (who lives in the 7th sphere) also the house of wisdom. Interesting concept: can you explain me something more about this last "Beyond the 8th Sphere"?
I think many ancient and medieval astronomers/astrologers believed Saturn was the last planet and so they held the 7th sphere as the most noblest (named after Cronus in Greek times I believe), as the Eighth was made up of stars. The title is a reference to a message that comes from the stars, but I'm leaving the exact meaning up to people's imaginations! But it is meant to be a track that will lead into the next album. Lyrically it will continue and maybe be about the doom of man.

A curiosity: I've read that in the demo-CD, this last track have 2-3 minutes more... What are we losing for, that have the regular edition?
The 2-3 minutes that were cut were a bit from the end, just a repetition of the last main sequence for a couple of minutes.

Do you have in mind a new work ? It will move in this imprintings?
Yes, a new album is well underway, can't say too much at the moment as it is only really halfway there, a lot of fine tuning is still needed.

Thanks a lot for your time.
Thank you for your support and thanks to all the Italian listeners who have supported Midnight Odyssey!


Interview by Mirror

In Italian

In English:

You are a new band, so give me a brief history of Midnight Odyssey. Why "Midnight Odyssey"?
Hello, Midnight Odyssey has been around since 2007, but I have written stuff before that for a black metal project, it just took me a while to find the sound I wanted. I chose the name Midnight Odyssey because it means a journey through darkness, at the dead of the night when only the moon and stars can guide you.

Why the choice to become one man band?
I choose to keep this a one man band so I have control over everything I do. I don't have to relay ideas to other people, I can just write record and edit it all I like at a time when I like.

Your first two Cd-r are recently reissued on CD by Kunsthauch ("Forest Mourners") and I, Voidhanger Records ("Firmament"). Tell me about is born the collaboration whit this two labels and describe your feelings when this two albums are published.
Both labels contacted me about the re-releases and I have been honored to have the two demos out already by midway through 2010. I have been more than happy with both labels' input and their motivation to publish and press my music.

Can you tell me about your new compositions? A first full album is planned?
I have been recording new stuff constantly since the original release of Firmament last year. A new album is nearly finished and will hopefully be out late this year/early next year!

Your project will remain a studio project? Or would you like exhibit live one day?
I think Midnight Odyssey will always be a studio project, it allows me to have more creative freedom. I don't think my music would sound very good live, it would take away the atmosphere too much. My music belongs to a pair of headphones and loneliness!

Which are your inspirations? Listening to your music I feel force of nature (like Burzum first releases) and a lot of funereal atmosphere, in the vein of "modern" funeral doom stuff. Do you agree whit me?
Yes, I can agree with you there. The atmospheres of Burzum is where the music begins for me. Funeral doom has played a big part in my attempts of creating a dreary soundtrack. Thergothon and Skepticism and of course Disembowelment are my major influences in that regard, but there are so many more funeral doom bands now I could list too many! I just try to somehow mix the influences together to get something that is hopefully full of despair and pain.

Recommend to blackterrormetal.com readers some new albums that they have particularly catch your attention.
I have been listening to a range of stuff to tell the truth. Scald, Ancestors Blood, 3rd & The Mortal and another really good band from Brisbane - Spire, their debut ep is amazing!

Future projects.
I am trying really hard to get my other project Fires Light The Sky off and running, the problem is every idea I get I seem to steal it for Midnight Odyssey, so I'm thinking it will have to be a completely new direction for me in that regards. As to what just yet, I don't know. Still Midnight Odyssey I think has an album or two of music to go that can keep me busy in the meantime!

Would you leave a message to the blackterrormetal.com readers?
Yes, I send my thanks to all those who have shown an interest in Midnight Odyssey, and to blackterrormetal.com for the interview! Both re-releases are available now through the respective labels. Keep the black flame burning!!




Midnight Odyssey homepage - MYSPACE

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