Penumbra The Last Bewitchment

Penumbra takes a multifaceted approach on their second release, The Last Bewitchment. With seven full-time members and guest appearances by an eight-person choir and a string quartet, the band moves the focus of their songs between the various voices and instruments, always maintaining a sense of forward movement. A concept album, The Last Bewitchment tells a tragic story of unfulfilled love and death, and Penumbra's huge sound reflects the emotional intensity of their lyrics. In a blend of orchestra and metal, a diversion into synth drums should sound out of place, but it doesn't, and neither do any of the other occasional electronic effects. Penumbra's fusion of death metal and classical music holds no surprises for fans of bands like Therion and Tristania. While there are many similarities, Penumbra's passionate performance and powerful compositions should earn them respect in their own right. (Season of Mist)