It is not very often that new albums can catch me off-guard in the sense that I am left in a state of surprise and allure. And the Light Swallowed Everything by “celestial” shoegaze/ambient project Seirom happens to be one of those albums which stole my attention both aesthetically and musically. The project’s mastermind, Mories, is most notable for his projects that lurk somewhere on the precarious boundary between noise and black metal: Gnaw their Tongues, Aderlating, and Cloak of Altering, as well an array of miscellaneous side projects. He is typically a composer of many spine-chilling melodies, and because of this, I was expecting yet another soundtrack to my nightmares, but instead received an ensemble of unexpected tranquility and beauty.
And the Light Swallowed Everything is enraptured by a cosmic elegance, such as what is depicted on the front cover–a ghastly figure cloaked in a domain of stars and darkness. This is the visual embodiment of Seirom’s atmosphere which experiments in another realm that is yet to be touched by any other project Mories has partaken in. In this realm, your mind will be swallowed whole by the stars and free-float into the celestial spheres that dominate the universe. Although this album is 80% instrumental, there are some additional female vocal contributions which can be faintly heard on tracks such as “I’m so Glad to Have Been a Part of You” and “The Best You Can Be”, which are both soothing yet glimmering with an underlying tone of despair. Her voice is drowned out by the ambiance of the universe–projected through the boundless portal of orchestrated serenity. Tracks such as “Starshine” are fleeting and hypnotizing with their curiously light ambient passages, which are equally combined with neoclassical and instrumental elements. More than anything else though, the project is strongly influenced by the shoegaze genre–something that has become even more apparent on this album than its debut on Aurora Borealis, 1973. For these reasons and more, it is obviously very difficult to pin Seirom down as just one particular genre.
Within each track rests underlying hints of melancholy which evolve to become elevated into short, bittersweet symphonies; similar to that of Darkspace minus the blatant black metal elements. The addition of cello on this album adds an entirely new substance which expands Seirom’s sound while once again adding depth to the fact that the project defies classification. This album will set your mind adrift into a journey–whether you are about to embark on an evening stroll under the stars, with the sounds of celestial bliss echoing through your memory, or if you are about to shut your eyes and drift off into the realm of sleep, embraced by darkness and held in the clutch of its cosmic aether.
01) I Could Not See You Through the Clouds
02) And the Light Swallowed Everything
03) I’m so Glad to have Been a Part of You
05) The Best You Can Be
08) Last Snow on the Mountains
09) What Could have Been but Never Will Be