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Empyrium  (GER) 

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       2002 - Weiland  (87%)
       1999 - Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays  (dosud nehodnoceno)
       1997 - Songs of Moors and Misty Fields  (93%)
       1996 - A Wintersunset  (77%)

Through the entire creation Empyrium runs like a thread through string: the love of nature, tragedy and romance. Empyrium have already combined acoustic guitar and transverse flute in their romantic, dark metal compositions on their first albums 'A wintersunset' and 'Songs of moors & Misty fields' in order to lend a 'more natural' touch and to achieve their vision to a better depth. 'Songs of moors & Misty fields' already perfects this style hence why a new form of the feeling had to be found. '

The radical but necessary step to a completely acoustic instrumentation is finally carried out. with 'Where at night the wood grouse plays'. Otherwise it cannot be claimed as authentic. The result was dark and idyllic songs that in combination with bombastic male voice choirs deliver a unique sound.

'Weiland' portrays the substance of Empyrium. Furthermore played acoustically it combines the atmospheric suspense of the first two albums (e.g. 'Kein Hirtenfeuer glimmt mehr', 'Nebel'). The musical spectrum of the project is enriched through the re-integration of drums and the introduction of instruments such as the viola, violin, bassoon or Mellotron so there is also lots to discover for those who already know Empyrium.

The album devotes itself entirely to natural mysticism. In its three chapters - Marsh, forest and water - Empyrium portray their view on nature in romantic and legendary ways.

'Weiland' will be Empyriums last album that implements the idea of the project in the best possible way. It says everything about this topic that Empyrium have to say to you.


Empyrium started as German symphonic folk/doom metal and later neofolk band founded in 1994 by Markus Stock (mostly using the pseudonym Ulf T. Schwadorf) and Andreas Bach, but later many other participated. Their first two albums, A Wintersunset and Songs of Moors and Misty Fields, following a demo entitled ...Der wie ein Blitz vom Himmel fiel..., can be considered doom metal (or, as some will argue, folk metal) with folk and symphonic influences. They combine harsh and operatic male vocals, with deep slow guitar parts and atmospheric sounds.

The following two albums, Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays and Weiland are acoustic, display a constantly heavier neofolk influence. Instead of keyboards, the band switched to acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars, violins, cellos and the flute. Operatic male vocals are still used, and in Weiland the band uses choir vocals and the piano. Though the music still remains dark and melancholic, Empyrium's music has largely moved away from heavy metal. Many people consider these two albums to be the apex of Empyrium's skill and some accomplishment of the band's - or rather Schwadorf's goal.

The band draws inspiration from nature as some of the album titles reveal. Consequently, Empyrium are often referred to as a dark folk or apocalyptic folk band, expressing in their music (most conspicuously in the last two albums) sentiments akin to those expressed by some other 'legislators' of the genre, as Forseti, Orplid, and Ulver (Kveldssanger). Connoisseurs of dark folk will mention that many of Empyrium's compositions are true representatives of the genre, as, for instance, Dying Brokenhearted, The Shepherd and the Maiden Ghost ("Where At Night..."), Heimwärts, Waldpoesie, Die Schwäne im Schilf ("Weiland"). Intricately woven and always impregnated with an exquisite wistfulness or profound, remorseful sadness (Dying Brokenhearted), these compositions may be regarded as a manifesto of the dark-folkloristic gloomy and pantheistic Weltanschauung. The lyrics are mostly in English, though in Weiland only German is performed. After their last album, Weiland, the band decided to stop recording. As Schwadorf himself put it,

Empyrium has explored nature-mystics since 1994, and after 8 years we feel to move on and made a glorious farewell to the concept with "Weiland"

Like the Norwegian black metal band Burzum, Empyrium also used Theodor Kittelsen's drawing on one of their album covers (Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays).

In August 2006 their label, Prophecy Productions, announced publicly for the first time that a new album was going to be released in late November the same year. Called A Retrospective, it is a look back on the history of the band. Aside from ten remastered tracks from their previous albums, it contains a re-recorded version of The Franconian Woods In Winter's Silence from the album A Wintersunset, as well as two new tracks in the neofolk style of late Empyrium (Der Weiher and Am Wolkenstieg). The sixty-page booklet provides an extensive account of the musical influences of the band, and how Empyrium has changed over the years. The album leaked onto the Internet in early November 2006.

...Der wie ein Blitz vom Himmel fiel... (Engl. He Who Fell From Heaven Like a Lightning) demo tape 1995
A Wintersunset... CD/2LP 1996
Songs of Moors and Misty Fields CD 1997
Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays CD/2LP 1999
Drei Auszüge aus Weiland (Engl. Three Excerpts From Weiland) 7"EP 2002
Weiland (Engl. In Older Days) CD/3CD/2LP 2002
A Retrospective... CD 2006

Source: Wikipedia

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