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Reflecting the Light - 2019 - "Reflecting the Light"

(38:57; Bitume Prods)


TRACK LIST:                  

1. I 8:01
2. II 6:09
3. III 8:48
4. IV 8:53
5. V 7:06


Adz - all instruments

Prolusion. French project Reflecting the Light is what at this stage appears to be a one-off project by composer and musician Adz, who previously released music using the moniker Thy Apokalypse as well as being a member of a small handful of metal bands. The sole production released under this moniker is the album "Reflecting the Light" which was self-released in 2019, and then made available in physical form by French label Bitume Prods at the start of 2024.

Analysis. This album is marketed as being inside of a post-metal and extreme metal general context, with black metal being the specific reference as far as the extreme metal elements are concerned. For my sake I do believe that the probably more generic term atmospheric laden metal is one that fits the width and the scope of this album better though, as I do find that the atmospheric laden elements are more defined throughout than what I'd generally reference as post-metal or extreme metal. But this is, of course, one of the many views in music that comes down to subjective perception more than anything else. The five songs here, named by the numbers I through V, are all instrumental creations. All of them will feature some manner of ambient interlude or other, and those passages as well as floating keyboard or synthesizer overlays used elsewhere tends to come with a cosmic feel to them. With both warmer, compelling textures and colder, more otherworldly motifs being used. When used as overlays they will typically alternate with a few different varieties of guitar solo runs, ranging from flowing and melodic to sharp, cutting and intense with a bit more of an extreme metal intent, with a few instances of more textured or distorted displays put to use to add that post-metal dimension to the landscapes explored. The riffs and rhythms in support will alternate quite a bit too, with some sections being borderline doom metal in sound and orientation while others will have a pace and intensity similar to what you'll find in extreme metal, and with some riff passages sporting a more primal and distorted sound that also invites to associations towards this tradition. The individual songs as well as the album as a whole comes across as very much a uniform experience. We do get quite a few changes and alterations along the way, often with the nature of the changes toned down a little bit and a bit more emphasis given to maintain and retain flow and motion, and there is a bit of a post-metal vibe to the landscapes explored here too. But for a more progressive metal interested audience these aspects are for me at least not really defining ones of the album as a whole, but with a few of the individual parts being a bit more interesting than the others in that specific context. With the concluding fifth track 'V' as a bit of a highlight in that department as far as I'm concerned. And while this is a good sounding album, this isn't the production top seek out if you require a Steven Wilson type attention to the details in the mix and production department. And good is probably the key word for me for this album experience as a whole too.

Conclusion. I'm left with the impression that the so far sole album by Reflecting the Light is a production with a bit more of a niche appeal. Atmospheric laden instrumental metal is the name of the game here, with a little bit of an extreme metal and post-metal flavor. While fans with a more inclusive taste in music of the latter two traditions may find this to be an interesting album, my opinion is that those who enjoy music described as instrumental atmospheric metal will be the main audience for this production, and then in particular those who enjoy such ventures explored with a darker mood and with a bit of a cosmic feel as an ongoing feature.

Progmessor: February 2024
The Rating Room

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