Rigorism Production, 2014
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
1. In the Labyrinths of Winter
3. Mirrors of Dreams
5. Poison Thoughts
6. Gaze into Eternity
I didn't have the pleasure of hearing this release until the middle of 2015, but I saw a friend link a video sample on youtube and I was immediately enamored with the material. I knew I had to have this, so I tracked down the album and bought my own copy of it. It's sort of a "do it yourself" CD, with a printed booklet and CDr. The packaging is, naturally, very minimalist due to this, but that's okay. Waldstille is a one man project out of Russia. Waldgeist seems to have quite a few other projects, but I haven't had the chance to listen to any of them yet. If they're anything on part with Waldstille, I'll get my hands on them eventually.
"Mirrors of Dreams" is a very somber and droning style of an album. It features extremely long winded guitar lines, which really drive the immersion and hypnotic factor for the listener. The vocals are in the higher range typical of DSBM, which I usually do not like, but they're so far in the background of the mix that they really don't mar the music at all. This allows us to really be entranced by the, often, slow moving passages as if meandering across a vast winter landscape. The music has a cold and chilling quality to it, which is only emphasized by its simplicity. So, tracks like "Shivering" really stands as being aptly titled to coincide with the music's sound. The drums have a rather monotonous quality to them, and I think this is the one major area the album could have been improved. They are either slow or mid-paced to match the music, but there is really no variation between hi-hat (or ride), snare, and double bass with an occasional crash cymbal hit for good measure. But you only ever hear one kind of crash. I can see the logic behind a minimal approach to the drums, but I would have enjoyed a bit more variation, not too much. Constantly crazy drum fills would have also made it far too distracting to listen to. I think Waldstille just defaulted to a safe drum arrangement rather than trying to over complicate things.
In the end I really found "Mirrors of Dreams" a truly beautiful and excellent journey. I really hope Waldgeist makes more material for this project amidst all his others, because I really liked the direction of this first album. I'd like to see what can come in the future with this kind of style. Many listeners may find this a long winded and droning album, so you may find it boring to some degree, for me though, I really quite liked it. It just had an excellent presence that sucked me into the overall atmosphere of the music.