Midnight Odyssey is a one-man Australian atmospheric black metal project that has been making its mark since 2007. Mastermind Dis Pater has a penchant for double-albums that contain over 2 hours of music, something that has never been an issue with the strain of sounds for which he aims – the atmosphere is always built slowly, evenly, and with great care over the progressing songs, allowing for all the subtleties to be enhanced and the greater theme to shine through without fault.

Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains (grab a copy right here) is, as the title states, the first part of what will eventually be a trilogy that explores the existence of personal light in the darkest places, ie: finding the light when there is none to be found, all within the confines of banishment. The seven songs are long (nothing under eight minutes, so prepare for a long journey in them headphones), lush, and meticulously arranged with the listener in mind, and are the most concise and focused that Pater has ever released. They are epic in scale, utilising symphonic surges that intertwine with dark melodies and almost militaristic advances from place to place, the black metal elements merging seamlessly with the ambient textures. Essentially this is “Atmospheric Black Metal 101: Advanced Darkness,” a master class in everything good and right within the sub-sub-sub genre with nary a sidestep.

Check out the video for “Pillars In The Sky” here:

Both the record’s opening and closing songs (“Hidden In Tartarus” and “Pillars In The Sky” respectively) are highlights in this tightly-woven tapestry, grandiose concertos of twilight travels through the inner cosmos, with the former being a punch in the chest and the latter a singular breath that allows you to slowly come back to earth. In the creator’s own words regarding the construction of the album: “the order was carefully chosen to reflect the narrative, which follows from hopelessness, through spite, and in the end to an almost defeatist position,” something that is highly evident and makes for a beautiful ride through extremely dark territory.

With the second part possibly out in 2020, this album will keep all interested parties more than busy enough until we can savour the next chapter. Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains is a mammoth undertaking by a master of the art of one-man black metal, and he succeeds where most would fail. Few albums of such length and heavy subject matter can keep the attention of all but the most ardent of fans, but this monster will not let you leave until it has taken everything you have to give, emotionally and intellectually superior to most of his contemporaries. This is the state of evolving black metal in 2019, and it couldn’t be healthier.

Need more? Check out the full album stream here:

Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains Track Listing:

01. Hidden In Tartarus
02. Forever Silenced
03. Biolume
04. A Storm Before A Fiery Dawn
05. Of Golden Age Descended
06. When Titans Fall
07. Pillars In The Sky

Run Time: 71 minutes, 42 seconds
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records