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Dúnmharú | ‘The Light’

Dublin black metal duo Dúnmharú has been bubbling under the surface for a few years now, releasing at least one record a year, which attests to the band’s creative output.

Last year’s ‘Frozen Eden’ was easily their best album yet (at the time) and marked a notable evolution from the band’s second album ‘Curses Come Home’ as the two were adding more layers to their sound and that’s even more evident of this new record ‘The Light’.

Flirting with a lot more melody, ‘The Light’ is Dúnmharú at their most ambitious yet with sprawling passages that dip and soar in and out of different peaks and troughs.

‘The Light’ has a tinge of nature and our surroundings to it, which isn’t a new phenomenon for black metal of course but it’s much more overt on this new record.

The panoramic sounds often invoke images of dense cold forests and mountain tops meanwhile there’s a strong Primordial flavour that has seeped in too, which is rather evident in the opening guitar lines of ‘Anguish in Their Calm’.

The guitar work in general is the standout component for Dúnmharú too. Around the five minute mark, ‘Anguish in Their Calm’ is driven by some sleek melodic lead guitar work that rears its head again toward the end of the 14 minute track, creating a welcome sense of continuity.

The album’s midway tunes accomplishes a similar tone with their twists and turns through pacier black metal and the gloomier doom metal shades that emerge throughout.

Meanwhile, album closer ‘Beneath The Waves, The Light’ is a 17 minute jaunt into the abyss that, at first, runs the risk of overstaying its welcome but some careful focus on pacing means the track slowly yet forcefully claws up to a satisfying crescendo and conclusion.

‘The Light’ is Dúnmharú’s most accomplished work, straddling different fences of black metal without falling into anyone’s garden permanently.

There’s a lot of melody that’s reminiscent of Aussie black metallers like Austere while also the cold and bleak feel of “depressive/suicidal” black metal acts such Totalselfhatred.

This is all wrapped up in some classic BM hallmarks that tie the whole thing together, making it a cohesive record that’s actually quite easy to get into.

Of course, ‘The Light’ isn’t in the same league of Irish black metal that’s come over the horizon in the last few years like Slidhr and Sodb but Dúnmharú still deserve attention for their solidly executed craft nevertheless.

3.5/5 – Jonathan Keane ::: 14/05/06

One Comment
  1. Not the best Irish black metal i’ve heard, But it’s not bad

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