Bitter Wine of Summer
- 1.With a Taste of Wormwood03:42
- 2.Bitter Wine of Summer05:43
- 3.Into Crimson Oblivion05:19
- 4.Stellar Dust06:11
- 5.Grass Still Remembers Your Trace03:46
- 6.Heart in the Pattern of Roots05:38
- 7.The Birth of August07:15
- 8.Let the Night Do the Talking03:56
The cover of an album is something very important for me. If a cover is ugly or you feel you have seen it a thousand times before, most of the times that applies to the music too. On the other hand, a unique, different from the ordinary album cover, apart from making you have a positive attitude towards the album before you listen to it, it also gives you hints about what you are going to listen. That is the case with “Bitter Wine of Summer”, the twelfth full length album of the one – man band In Tenebriz from Russia. The band was formed by Wolfir in 2005 and since then, apart from the full lengths, they have released six EPs and six split albums. “Bitter Wine of Summer” was released in 27th of April 2020 by GrimmDistribution in CD format, limited to 500 copies and it contains eight tracks, three of which are instrumental ones, with overall duration of about forty-two minutes. As I mentioned before, the cover and the general feeling I got from the artwork, the drawings, the colors used is very successful in putting you into the atmosphere and generally into the world of In Tenebriz.
To be more precise, the artwork of “Bitter Wine of Summer” creates feelings of melancholy, a bittersweet nostalgia, a warm sadness, while the scenery relates to nature as it gives you images of a blossomed forest at the end of summer, just before getting into autumn and everything begin to die. This is a very accurate visual representation of the music presented here. The riffs are mainly mid-tempo, melodic, sometimes tremolo with a tendency to more depressing feelings, most of the times though they are clean and warm offering a bittersweet melancholy. The romantic, melancholic atmosphere makes the journey intense and sentimental and is the main element that characterizes the band’s compositions. The duration of the tracks vary from four to eight minutes and their structure is good in general, having the appropriate changes both in tempo and in melody. However, there are a few parts that the composition becomes repetitive and quite tedious for the listener.
Wolfir is playing all the instruments and performing the vocals and his performance is satisfying. The guitars both the distorted and the clean ones, are accurate and sentimental, giving life to the images, drawing a colorful scenery and expressing the feelings well. The bass is audible and having an important role into the compositions. It does not take the leading role in the compositions, but its simple but interesting lines and its warm sound make the compositions complete. The drums sound a little stiff and flat, so I guess they are programmed, while their lines are basic and quite predictable. They are just doing their job. The vocals are harsh, distorted Black Metal vocals, in some parts they are deep, while in others harsher, they are expressive but too distorted for the general atmosphere and feelings of the album. The production is very clean and warm and along with the balanced mixture, the result is solid. The lyrics are written in Russian, despite their titles are in English, and they are included in the booklet. I don’t know what they are about, but you can find some keywords such as summer, grass, August, night, wine which match the feelings and the atmosphere.
“Bitter Wine of Summer” is the first album of In Tenebriz that I listen to so I can’t compare it with previous ones and comment on the evolution of the band. The album has its moments and can offer a beautiful experience to the listener. However, it doesn’t manage to become something more than a simple journey that after experiencing it, you will forget it and nothing will make you want to relive it. The fans of melodic, atmospheric and heavily romantic Black Metal will appreciate the album. The rest of you, prefer something else.