Review on doom-metal.com
<<Any work needs a solid basis to progress. Cristian Lincu has understood that, staying faithful to the highly original Black Doom style he crafted on the previous full-length. The Romanian musician follows his own path within the genre, far from the depressed feelings and mental torture that we might imagine. This lonely path meanders somewhere between the "sophisticated black art" of Emperor (with a technical and neo-classical approach comparable to that of 'Prometheus') and a kind of Doom-ish romanticism inherited from My Dying Bride (but Romanticism in its original meaning: that movement which sublimates the mind through art). This path has already been trodden, on 'Imagery in Ochre Lures', so you could argue that 'Zephyr' holds fewer surprises. But Avant Soliloque’s style is so unusual that it would be a great pity not to keep on going in this direction.
Metal and baroque orchestrations are bound together along variable structures. Despite their complexity, these structures appear neither confused, nor at all tormented. This complexity, as defined by Avant Soliloque, is first and foremost a kind of cooling down. That’s quite an interesting paradox.
Another attribute of Avant Soliloque is the absence of vocals. Only instruments are used to build up the sonic architecture, and to create many visions of that borderline area, between reality and abstraction, where a single color appears prominent: blue, as suggested by the cover. One color, but many shades.
This zephyr's gentle breeze propels us beyond the stratosphere, to another level of consciousness, incarnated by the alternative universe of 'The Celestial Loss'. Rivers grow to seas and oceans that you can glimpse through 'Carthage in your Flaming Eyes': this track pays a visit to the antique Mediterranean city of Carthage, where you’re rolling into streams of water and intense burning flames. Blue, like pure fire: blue, like the cerulean shades of some variety of granite - and the many sequences that 'Granite' is made up are like layers of geological strata.
The central interlude goes back in history, to the origin of primordial matter: to the four foundational elements, containing many mysteries which are beyond the understanding of human beings, where Man's existence is hanging between two states of Nothingness. 'Deux Néants' cleverly expresses this thought of the poet and philosopher Lucrece about life: fleeting but harmonically intense.
Signing its own path, Avant Soliloque sows conceptual symbols like more or less obvious indications, not always striking at first sight: symbols that are the central threads of the story being told. History and past events that form the present world, this is the thread woven by the reference to Carthage and to the antique dramatist Eschyle. The ambitious track 'Eschyle par Surréalisme' stands out as the distilled lifeblood of the album.
Then the trip carries us to the sidereal blue, through the melodic lines traced by 'The Sidereal Rivers', along waterfalls of piano rising up to the heavenly vault where acoustic chords sparkle like stars. Like an eternal cycle, the past ends with the beginning, with the possibility of God as illustrated by the enigmatic conclusion to the album: 'Ambrosial'. >>
released 02 January 2014
Total running time 52:12
All music by Cristian L.
Orchestral parts composed using Garritan Instruments for Finale Library.
Cover art by Simona Fulea.