Empyrium (DE)

December 13, 2012

Empyrium is a German symphonic folk/doom metal and (later) neofolk/dark folk band. Empyrium was founded in 1994 by Markus Stock (mostly using the pseudonym Ulf Theodor Schwadorf) and Andreas Bach, but later many other participated. 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. 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).

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