Debut of transcendental death/doom from this Australian combo. Their membership includes many vets of the country's scene, with players from bands like The Eternal, Cryptal Darkness, Damaged, Paramaecium and others.
After two phenomenal releases (2004’s The Sombre Light Of Isolation and 2005’s Sleep Of Reason) and a hugely successful string of dates around the globe, Melbourne-based melodic doom/gothic metal outfit The Eternal have decided to take a well earned break, before commencing work on their all important third full-length release (which currently bears the working title of Kartika, and is due to be released sometime midway through 2008).
In the downtime, The Eternal vocalist/guitarist Mark Kelson has decided to branch out with his own solo project under the name of InSomnius Dei (which is loosely based around the term of “Sleeping God,” in a sense).
Although the idea of InSomnius Dei has been in development for the better part of a year (where members James Hunt [Ex-Cryptal Darkness/The Eternal bassist] and Pete Marin [Ex-The Eternal drummer] passed through the ranks), it wasn’t until ex-Cryptal Darkness/Damaged/Earth guitarist/backing vocalist Terry Vainoras joined the ranks of The Eternal that Kelson found the perfect counterpart to complete his vision of InSomnius Dei.
InSomnius Dei adopts a very different sound from what Kelson (guitars, keyboards, drums, additional vocals, artwork and producer) and Vainoras (lead vocals and bass) produce within The Eternal, with InSomnius Dei’s debut outing delving more into what could be best described as dwelling well within the doom/death metal genre.
“For The Memories Of My Past” opens up the album in true doom-like fashion with its slower, more deliberate tempo and weighty multi-layered guitar riffs, and both Kelson (who provides the clean vocals) and Vainoras (the growls) trade off lines between each other. Over the 10-minute running length of this track, the band ensure that the album gets off to a heavy start, but not without making things interesting along the way by incorporating some quieter passages with touches of keyboards and atmospheric passages of distortion.
On the album’s longest track “Seven Burning Eyes” (which clocks in at close to 11 minutes), the pair push to the fore their death metal influences alongside the doom template for some truly heavyweight results. While in the title track “Illusions Of Silence,” a variety of guitar tones and vocal effects are experimented with to create the perfect soundtrack to doom induced melancholy.
Although brief, “A Funeral Sky” is a definite standout with its intense build-up and dissipation of tense energy. Meanwhile, the band more than show off their diversity on the remainder of the album with the sinister “Absent,” the faster paced “Terminal” and dream like closer “The Aftermath” (which features some beautifully placed guitar work pitted alongside the seductive sound of pouring rain).
InSomnius Dei might be somewhat of a departure for the pair given the direction The Eternal has taken to date. But for fans of their previous work in Cryptal Darkness, or doom/death metal in general, Illusions Of Silence is a captivating side step reminder of the duo’s past with the hindsight of experience and an obvious maturity developed over that time.