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DARK MILLENNIUM
DARK MILLENNIUM
Ashore The Celestial Burden
(Century Media Records)
54:04min

The short history of German DARK MILLENNIUM is a little bit of a tragedy. In not even five years of their existence, they released two underrated albums just to split up after releasing the second one. But someone at Century Media Records didn't forget the band. And now all of their recordings are available again, in re-mastered editions with all lyrics and liner notes. It took DARK MILLENNIUM two years after their formation in 1989 to record their first demo “The Apocryphal Wisdom”, followed by a second one a year later. This one was called “Of Sceptre Their Ashes May Be” and reached some acclaim by listeners and writers for a good reason. Thus the band entered the studio again, this time with new singer Christian Mertens, and in that same year 1992, “Ashore The Celestial Burden” was released. This album was one of the early example for progressive Death Metal. The opening songs 'Below The Holy Fatherlands' and 'Spiritual' already convinced with complex songwriting and a speed more based on Doom Metal instead of high speed. Thanks to this special trademark, DARK MILLENNIUM sounded very unique, especially for the time this album was recorded. The following 'Black Literature' was another exquisite song from the band's demo recordings and the keyboard outro of that song already hinted on stranger things to come. And thus we have the first new song on “Ashore The Celestial Burden”: 'Inside The Sunburnt Thoughts Of Frost' sounds as weird as its title. DARK MILLENNIUM spiced this song with some acoustic guitars with a slightly Greek sound and added strange breaks with keyboards and obscure guitar effects as well. 'Father Legatus: Of Symbols, Nature And Birth' has the same complex qualities before the opener of the album's B-side goes up to the ante. On 'Beyond The Dragon's Eye' we find nearly surreal acoustic guitar breaks, a little sick piano sounds and folkish sounding vocal arrangements in a composition that would make any Prog Metal band proud. If you take into concern that we are still talking about the year 1992 here, this song is absolutely way out. Before it all gets too far out, the older demo song 'Wizardry Assemblage' sets things straighter again, even though this complicated Doom Death song is far from being straight or boring, since it still has enough breaks and unexpected turns. Another demo song is 'Medina's Spell (Valley Of The Seventh Mystique)' that comes along either complicated, yet not too far out as well in its arrangement. The slightly spacey acoustic interlude 'Disillusion' leads the way to the final master piece 'The Atmosphere'. With this closing epic, DARK MILLENNIUM found the right balance between complex Doom Death Metal and freaky breaks and ideas, thus summarizing the album more or less. And believe me, even 23 years later, “Ashore The Celestial Burden” still is an extraordinary album that stands for itself. Just to close the story of DARK MILLENNIUM: the second album “Diana Read Peace” a year later went a few steps further and maybe even a step too far, even though it is a very interesting Prog album anyway. Not that much later, DARK MILLENNIUM was history. In my eyes, “Ashore The Celestial Burden” remains the linchpin in the creative work of DARK MILLENNIUM. And so I can only advise you to detect a forgotten piece of Death Metal history. The re-release is not only re-mastered from the original tapes by DARK MILLENNIUM's main songwriter and guitar player Hilton Theissen, it also comes as a limited digipak CD and as an 180 g vinyl LP, with carefully restored artwork, scanned from the original painting. Find out more about the band at: www.facebook.com/dark-millennium-official-121119711312446, or visit the label: www.centurymedia.com

Thomas Meyer

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