Griseus by Aquilus (A Sad Sadness Song/ATMF Records)
Like the most vivid and complex of dreams, Griseus by Aquilus is a thrilling collage of sound that will enchant the senses. Best described as atmospheric metal, imagine the elite black metal intensity of Emperor mixed with the cinematic inventions of legendary film composer Ennio Morricone, and you’re only beginning to conceptualize the aural adventures ahead of you. A startling work of artistry, Griseus by Aquilus simply has no compare when it comes to the imagination and intrigue involved throughout it’s lengthy yet serenely epic running time.
The disc startes off with the symphonic extreme metal assaults of Nihil, a 14-minute masterpiece that collides into a dazzling neo-classical reverie of utterly cosmic proportions. One can imagine a full symphony orchestra majestic performing its grand reprieves.
Loss is haunting and desolate, sending the listener on a melancholic journey before launching itself into an ardently sinister, melodramatic climax. Smokefall then smolders with its glorious, sweeping passages, complete with bombastic choirs and spacious progressive meanderings.
In The Land Of Ashes is 13 minutes of somber tranquility threatening to burn through your psyche with its bewildering sense of danger and unease. Latent Thistle then slams into the listener with its ultra electrifying black metal meanderings and then leaves you with a totally unpredictable conclusion consisting of a mischievousl lightness.
Aboreal Sleep is a restless composition that meshes jarring electric guitars with a lush orchestral underscore. And the The Fawn commences on a perilous trek through a thicket of impending malevolence.
Closing out the eloquent Griseus is the dark and foreboding Night Bell. Clocking in at a prodigious 17 plus minutes, this masterwork shows Aquilus at the very height of their creative prowess.
One of the most exhilarating one-man creations to ever surface from a metal label, Aquilus is the invention of Waldolf, performing all of the instruments and vocals with a commanding sense of imagination. Based out of Melbourne, Australia, the world may now be enraptured by Waldolf’s magnificent visions thanks to the folks at A Sad Sadness Song. Truly great art arrives in the most distant of places, and Griseus by Aquilus is sure to enrapture the most adventurous of musical connoisseurs. An opulent classic for the ages that you’ll want to revisit time and again.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)