Almost 1 year after covering the amazing demo “Magda” and the split “All This Suffering Is Not Enough”, New Jearsey-based act Hercyn marked their solemn autumn return with their brand new debut album that I am very honored to present now. Despite setting the bars high with their successful start, this band demonstrates once again top-notch quality and originality through “Dust and Ages”; they managed to push their own limits much further and that’s what I call a real masterpiece!
“Dust and Ages” is the sound of the dying Autumn. It bears inside melancholic beauty and tenderness as much as the falling leaves touch upon bare soil. It also proves how versitile black metal can be from the most severe and crushing form to an instrument that ascends one’s soul into another dimension where humanity’s chaos cannot crawl in and equilibrium is what rules. While listening to the short yet enchanting tracklist that clocks at approximately 35 minutes, I was able to lean back and fully enjoy the autumn magic and put on pause my everyday life; something that I would not imagine to do on a traditional black metal record.
It may sound weird to talk about moments of piece and equilibrium when it comes to an album of such caliber, but believe me, it is what atmospheric black metal should be in its most supreme form. “Dust and Ages” uplifts the listener’s mood during its course and then leaves him recharged. It is more than an album, it’s a musical therapy. A healing for the wretched urban souls..
Production-wise, Hercyn did not spare any efforts and therefore it comes in a beautifully designed package. The artwork is captivating enough to make one desire to see what’s beyond it. It does match the quality of the music, which is as what I was hoping to be; crisp sound, tight compositions, more atmosphere with a tint of oppression and killer melodic guitar lines that kept me focused throughout the whole time. One important thing that I noticed is the ease of the transition from an acoustic to progressively blooming into a faster and more aggressive pace. It may actually have something to do with the title “Dust and Ages” and reflect the softness of the dust as a substance and ages as a line of development a story from one state to another.
In the end of the day after listening to the album many times, I asked myself if it lived up to my expectations and the screaming answer in my mind was a definite “yes.” Through the music, I managed to sense how much emotion Hercyn poured into “Dust and Ages” and a huge effort to push themselves in order to prove that they are a band that deserves to be recongnized and rewarded for their hard work. For me, they have done it and it’s not their first time. I would say that this album is a must-have and very recommended to be listened to during the fall.
2. Of Ruin
3. Storm Before the Flood
Total running time: 34:27