Dark Fortress Ylem

Dark Fortress Ylem
Germany's Dark Fortress, now on their sixth full-length, manage to reinvent themselves with each release while retaining their melodic black metal tendencies. Ylem, the follow-up to 2008's Eidolon, may not be gripping enough to listen to from start to finish without zoning out a few times, but it still has some noteworthy passages and songs (particularly "Satan Bled," "As the World Keels Over" and "Ylem"). Half of the album is comprised of engaging "wow!" moments, while the other half is underwhelming. Considering the instances of high-quality music, it feels like Dark Fortress are capable of doing much better. With an emphasis on creating dynamics via changes of tempo and mood, much of Ylem has a slow, experimental vibe. Ostensibly a good contrast with their faster moments, it often leads instead to a lukewarm, slightly bored reaction. (Century Media)