CRIMSON SKY “Transcendental Trip” 2015
/Metal Scrap Records/

Tracklist:
1. Searching for Light
2. Split Mind Wraith
3. Blind Alley
4. Mag Mell Osmose
5. Ember of Deities
6. Caught by the Rain
7. Beyond Senses
8. Quinta Essentia
Total playing time: 62:46

 

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Crimson Sky are a band from Ukraine that plays a gothic form of doom/death metal and this is a review of their 2015 album "Transcendental Trip" which was released by Metal Scrap Records.
A very dark, and atmospheric sounding synth starts off the album along with some heavy guitars a few seconds later that also takes the music into a doom metal direction which they also mix in with the atmospheric parts at times and you can hear violins in certain sections of the recording as well as a great amount of death metal growls.
Black metal screams can be heard in some parts of the songs along with a small amount of spoken word parts and a great portion of the tracks are also very long and epic in length and when female vocals are used they give the album more of an operatic feeling while the solos and leads are very melodic and demonstrate a great amount of talent and skill.
At times the music can be very symphonic and the riffs also use a decent amount of melody and on some of the tracks a small amount of classical guitars can be heard along with a few instrumentals and the whole album also sticks to a slow musical direction from beginning to end of the recording and on the last track a small amount of saxophones are utilized.
Crimson Sky plays a gothic style of doom/death metal that is very heavily rooted in the 90's and also brings in a touch of death metal, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover nature, sadness  and existence.
In my opinion Crimson Sky are a very great sounding gothic doom/death metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Spirit Mind Wraith" "Ember Of Deities" and "Beyond Senses".

8/10
OccultBlackMetal (Doom To Darkness Webzine)

Though their existence is traced back to 1998 – quite simultaneously to the beginnings of plenty of prominent bands of the genre – the Ukrainian CRIMSON SKY hadn’t started releasing material until 2011 with a digital single entitled “Illusive Dream”, the first in a series the most recent of which is “Transcendental Trip” LP which assembles various degrees of Doom, Gothic and Symphonic Metal in a crossroad between - to illustrate, non-exhaustively - DRACONIAN, VIRGIN BLACK or better, HAGGARD.
Opening on a sweet lullaby tune, “Searching For Light” sets the pace for what will extend along the entire record. With the most basic song structure ever possible, the restful Blues Doom tempo comes in contrast with joyful keyboards even though the effect choice isn’t to celebrate - and even took longer than it had to – in addition to it being too raw for the well-developed and mixed remaining instrumentation. On the other hand, the background chords ensured a pillar role and mostly when it switches into a sleek piano all in a so far ideal distribution of volumes until the violin unfairly takes over, yet further along as it progresses the violin/keyboard duo smoothes down into an ethereal echo in harmony with the über-romantic overdubs of clean female vocals taking the whole stuff to whole new dimension of Beauty and the Beast in pair with the growls, enhanced with dramatic orchestral hits.  What also catches the listener’s ear is that one cannot envision this record without its tandem of guitars firmly scaffolding each other until the solo - which was frankly the best thing on the track with a charming Rock tendency. The blend of Doom and Gothic was soothing, but not that impressive and it didn’t really hit the core of any of both.
Things take another path with the grandiose echoed intro of “Split Mind Wraith” - this is in fact what I call an elaborate track. The insertion of a theatrical dialogue added a whole lot with the growls getting deeper and deeper yet you feel that the singer’s real-life clean vocals lie within a tenor range.  The track unleashed a ball of energetic swift tempo intercepted by scattered parking barricades, juggling with intensity, but any other keyboard effects other than a string ensemble, choir or piano is better be avoided. Notice here that this is a hybrid Doom ditching the predicted tempo interval, thus expect an arsenal of two rhythm guitars, a bass and a drum kit blasting in a folie à quatre.
The piano’s contribution to the passionate sound of the band is more palpable in “Mag Mell Osmose”, swinging from stripped-down to mighty Doom drumming. On top of it, the instrumental passage enabled the individualization of each of the two guitars that glided in such a mind-blowing fluidity. Another pro is the disparity between the soft background of the female vocals and that of the growls, ardent and stern. CRIMSON SKY obviously placed a good amount of bet on the lyrical structure which was promisingly diverse, just the way the drumming further diversified the track by hopping from one pattern to another - though some beats were disposable – as well as a scale shift, the very thing this track needed most. All in all, it was a definitely edgy and emotion-packed one. More lyrical experiments are carried out on the atmospheric track par excellence “Beyond Senses” by each time differently interpreting the same lyrics or also a Q&A style all while gambling on abrupt energy climaxes and nadirs. This is one of the few tracks comporting a much needed rocky solo - for we risk an emotional overdose, bring in some finger skills!
Still, the pinnacle of experimentation is to slot a Jazzy tenor sax in a Doom track “Quinta Essentia”. Based on hardly discernable French lyrics, all the instrumentation provide a minimal backup as the real leads are the violin and the keyboards and it may be the propice environment to the saxophone to act like an entire brass section along with the striking string ensemble effect stepping in to rescue an all over the place violin and to equilibrate the territorial shares of all components. Personally, I would have preferred the saxophone to stay isolated from the condensed electric cortege, but at the next shot towards the end it worked perfectly with a less charged back up. Nevertheless, it makes me really indecisive as not all experiments come off fruitfully, otherwise no element should be « tiré par les cheveux » (literally = dragged by its hair)!
A more typical track leaning on the doomy side is “Ember Of Deities” with the two guitars harmonically detached, the bass thrillingly pounding and the toms and crashes on the lead through so hyped up double bass drum kicks in a heavily condensed recapitulative passage of tasty extras of piano and strings. This is the ideal example of how the keyboard adjuvant can be paramount.
Both vocalists can rest their mics during two tender interludes of semi-acoustic treats that are “Blind Alley” and “Caught By The Rain” that bring up the violin issue once more. The over-the-top rawness of it as well as the unfair volume distribution makes you feel the violin either shoved into your face or that of a rehearsal session. And to be precise, I’m not questioning the skills but the mixing process. Not even a simple echo to blend it with the rest of instruments that are assuring an amazing job! But overall, both tracks are wordless poetry to decipher and contemplate.
Roughly more than one hour of a colossal amount of easily-sensed effort and dedication – certes. Yet this is the beginning to what’s better, not the destination itself as more complexity is key. CRIMSON SKY does have the advantage of experience and mostly openness, two weapons that many female-fronted Gothic/Symphonic bands don’t even enjoy. When all’s said and done, this is a band with a potential worth to quarry and “exhaust the biopsy” to the fullest. Stick to the underground and never sell out!

6/10
Vladimir “Abir” Leonov (Metal Temple)

rock hard magazine 29Pri počúvaní ma hneď napadli dve veci. Toto je presne hudba, ktorá sa mi veľmi páčila, keď som sa zoznamoval s metalom. Vtedy neokukané veci ako kombinácia ženského spevu s death metalovým hrubým hlasom, sláčiky, klávesy, klavír, príchuť gotiky. Druhý postreh, ktorý mi nedá nespomenúť to, že táto nahrávka by mala obrovský úspech niekedy v druhej polovici rokov deväťdesiatych. Tým však nechcem samozrejme túto nahrávku nejako znižovať, či naznačovať, že znie archaicky, ale dáva možnosť zaspomínať na časy minulé. Kapela začiatky datuje už niekde v rokoch deväťdesiatych, a to možno vysvetľuje jemnú inšpiráciu (nemyslím to ako výčitku, práve naopak) vtedajším doom metalom a kapelami ako MY DYING BRIDE, ANATHEMA, SATURNUS či mladších ako napríklad SWALLOW THE SUN. Na tomto albume, ako som naznačoval, sa predstavuje pomalý doom metal obohatený o čisté ženské vokály, ktoré sa prelínajú s mužským murmurom, do toho nápadité klávesy a príchuť gotiky. Skladby sú zväčšia rozsiahlejšie, často až cez deväť minút a počas nich sa často menia nálady a rôzne hudobné postupy či motívy. Nechýba však množstvo výborných nápadov a hlavne niektoré začiatky skladieb sú vydarené, krásnym príkladom je druhá skladba „Splint Mind Wraith“. Celkom vydarený doom metalový počin, ale budem úprimný, počuť to dávnejšie, tak moje nadšenie by bolo oveľa väčšie, dnes už také nie je.

3,5/5
Pištík (Rock Hard Magazine #29)

scream magazine 196Det er sent pa kvelden herjeg sitter og skriver,ogdette er min siste anmeldelse for denne utgaven. Da jeg forst oppdaget hvor fantastisk denne musikken var, klarte jeg ikke d hore pa annet i et par dager. Alt annet ble middelmadig i sammenheng. Forelskelsen har roet seg et par hakk, men det gjer ikke akkurat vondt at dette er siste plate a hore pa i kveld. Balsam for sjelen. Crimson Sky er et ukrainsk Gothic/ Doom metal-band, og «Trancendental Trip» er nesten sekstitre minutter med episk atmosfaerisk black metal fordert pa atte later. Nydelige klassiske melodier med strykere og piano og deilig akustisk gitar leder oss in i en ny verden i en fremmed dimension. Drommer meg langt inn i den skjonne engleaktige kvinnestemmen og jeg nyter den mannlige growl-ingen og de rasterke gitarriffene understreket av behagelig men kraftfull tromming. Gudommelige gitarsoloer jeg blir svak i knaerne av. Favorittlaten fra «Trancendental Trip» har hele tiden vaert «Mag Mell Osmose» og den kommer noktil a henge i en stund fremover. Er ikke hett klar for a ga videre enda. Hvis du liker «Draconian», «Therion», «Shape of Despair» og «Anathema» er sjansene store for at du ogsa vil elske denne plata.

Ingrid Annett Salomonsen (Scream Magazine #196)

CRIMSON SKY took place in Top 50 Best Releases of 2015 by Sonic Cathedral /USA/!!!

You just can’t get enough Ukrainian Gothic Doom. And Crimson Sky has been doing some version of it for a while now. The band formed in 1998 in Rivne. Vocalist Bohdan Torchylo was the founding member although there has been a small village of musical participants. And that includes female vocalists. The position on this release is handled by Myroslava Romaniuk although she is by no means the first. But, she’s damn good. However, this is not entirely a female vox directed musical entity. Borden continues to do the male vocals and he is a solid growler. Interestingly enough, Myroslava is listed as being the lyricist, much more on that directly. There’s another female musician, Liudmyla Savchuk who does a solid violin. Ukrainians do love their violins and nothing does more to enhance the sound of a Gothic Doom approach than that dark, psychologically twisting violin. You get that here.
The sound was originally meant to be a melancholic and heavy music within the scope of Gothic Doom Metal. So, things have remained fairly consistent; this release continues that theme. There has always been an interest in maintaining a keyboard component, that function is addressed here by Anatolii Kyryliuk. You get a lot on some numbers, less on others. But, there’s lots of guitar work, solid drums and excellent composition. I have to assume that’s Bohdan although that’s a guess on my part.
The band has a solid live performance rep within the Ukraine. They’ve played with some of the biggies, including Cemetery of Scream, the band largely recognized as having originated the Gothic Doom genre. Interestingly enough, they’ve performed with a number of western bands who seem to share their interests including American Technical Death Metal band Nile, Canadian Technical Death Metal band Gorguts, and Swedish Death Metal band Deranged. So, the band has been around.
The band suggests their music is made up of melodic contrasts, epic narrations, dramatic dialogues, Folk motives, and even Jazz elements. Not sure I heard the Jazz all that often but I’m not an expert in that particular style so my opinion means little. But the Gothic Doom, no doubt about that. They do, however, have some interesting twists on the subject. One of them is the use of completely instrumental work to convey the message. One of these is Blind Alley which is largely provided by that violin I was talking about. The instruments behind seem to be acoustic, not something you get often in this kind of music. But, the violin provides a sound that clearly approximates everything dark in this style of music and violinist Liudmyla sure seems to know how to use the instrument to its fullest. It’s a lovely track, something very different from what we typically get in this style of music but more than a little entertaining. And there are others that provide a similar approach, the opening track called, appropriately enough, Intro for instance. You kind of know when it ends and we move into the second half of the track called Searching for Light. Here we are introduced to that death vocal, and it’s a good one. The message is very much in keeping with this style of music:

In silence, in darkness I am chained for good, / I wander the callous world that is doomed…

Some faceless conscience is looking for life, / The feelings are fading in the bitter strife, The Universe can’t hear the prayers of ours / Because the sky's studded with ashes of the stars.

Other tracks go in more traditional directions. You have to recognize that Gothic Doom is one of the more beautiful forms of Femme Metal. A lot of melodic material, some of the finest female vocals, all that. But, there’s also the utilization of harsh male vocals here which generally gives it the Doom component. And Crimson Sky makes sure this part of the package is provided in spades. Bohdan Torchylo is one of the better growlers I’ve heard and he does a lot of it here. Tracks like Mag Mell Osmose do a fine job of positioning the male vocals against the female. I know we like to talk about the female vocals and compare them to other female vocals, but the similarity here for me was between Bohdan and the Crown Prince of Goth, Morten Veland of Sirenia. They both have the ability of changing the tone of their growling at will, sounds like two different people some times. But, it’s outstanding.
Lyrics, as I mentioned, are more than interesting. In fact, they are some of the best I have ever heard, from anyone. The band suggests they “were satiated with metaphors and symbols, including mythological and romantic images, as well as surreal aggressiveness and transcendental philosophy.” OK, sounds good to me. But the lyrics are in English, French, Latin and Ukrainian which is rather like Russian and my expertise there is limited. So, I’ll stick to the English parts and you can work on the Ukrainian, French and Latin when you get the package. But, there are several that beg consideration. The music here is all solid so picking a track to focus on is probably driven by which lyrics I like best. That’s also a tough one, they’re all solid. It’s always difficult for me to hear lyrics like this and then have to compare them to what we get in America, where you expect lyricists to be familiar with the language. Unfortunately, for the most part, big name American sounds rarely have anything to say that’s worth listening to, unless you’re overly excited by “Yea. . . Baby, Baby....Yea...Yea....“ You won’t have that problem here, the poetry is outstanding. And, one of the best may be Ember of Deities. This is one of the more Doom sounding tracks, but the lyrics sure sound Gothic to me.

This story is a core of tragedy, / Gracefallen lives of Aidenn in demise,
Jeremiad of ardent elegy / That gave a birth to nymph of vice
Selene in chains, don’t lie to stars, / Reveal to me denuded self,
Your hematite can darkly mar / The stylus of a saint…

Tune of a legend / Sings dithyrambs of hate.

Veritas odium parit! / Soul is the wildest hawk,
Words of forgotten Bible / (Words I forgot) / Hunted away…

Cought by Rain returns us to the instrumental work, again heavily involving the violin. More Doom here and the violin contrasted against the keys and the acoustic guitar provide a sound that can only come from Eastern Europe. A beautiful track.
Beyond Senses returns us to the Doom sound over Gothic lyrics. This is pure B & B, but, as good as the music is, the lyrics are better:

When I used to exist, I thought your Light would never fade,
I appeared in the mist with harrowing inhuman shades…
Is it You, my gone beloved, iron-voiced wanderer?
When you speak in such awe, my earthly Soul is hard to bear.

I contemplate your dovelike glance ‘til your image is erased,
I forget my provenance and mirrors can’t reflect my face.
After death there was something cold ruining my last memories,
But I feel how you grow old when autumn trees shed morbid leaves.

Will you transcend ice? / Specters enchained my heart.
I’ll spellbind your frail Sighs… / We’re doomed to stay apart
Feel wan Renaissance. / Only if you were near.
Oh crestfallen essence! / Slowly I disappear…

There was an epoch of my bliss, but then a time of sable kiss
When I was lying in a rave and dreadful sounds were in my grave.

Keep my funeral farewell… not in Heaven, nor in Hell
Transcendental trip will last ‘til they liquidate my Past.

The final track is Quinta Essentia. I think this is the Jazz track, it begins with a Sax, yea, that’s gotta be the Jazz. But, this is Jazz / Gothic Doom, which is certainly a new one on me. This one has another twist. It’s mainly in French. But the French yields nothing in the telling of the tale, and the vocals here are among the best, all done by our Ukrainian vox Myroslava Romaniuk. And trust me, the music looses nothing when she turns to the French:

Elle est retrouvée. / Quoi? – L'Eternité.
C'est la mer allée / Avec le soleil.

Transcendental Trip is Gothic Doom, but, it’s more than that. This is solid music, well performed, well written, and done with two outstanding voices backed by solid instrumental music. But, it may be the lyrical work that sets it apart, this is one of the best I’ve ever heard in that regard, and I’ve been listening for a long, long time. Ms. Romaniuk has written thoughts here that “transcend” the music, good as it is. And that’s more than enough reason to give it a 10/10. Gothic Doom indeed.

Doctor T. (Sonic Cathedral)

The second full-length album by Ukrainian Gothic/Doom Metal band,  Transcendental Trip reflects a deviation from the classic Gothic Metal structure, revealing its own fine-spun realm of contrasts – romantic Doom parts and energetic groovy moments, symphonic epicism and acoustic tranquility.
Antagonistic sources perfonify male desperate or serpentine growl and charming or passionate female singing. All those energies are not only embodied in sounds and voices, but are also deeply expressed in lyrics, which have to become the key to understanding the music.
The listener will go on a certain extraordinary journey, turning into wanderers of different dimensions. According to authors, this trip symbolizes a roam in quest of light in the time-worn world, leading to rebirth not only of people, but also of the Planet. “Transcendental Trip” incarnates acquisition of demiurgical power in the consciousness of a man, who waded through a long and complicated path, heading towards a long-awaited insight.
If you enjoy the music of such bands as: Draconian, Haggard, Shining, Swallow The Sun, November’s Doom, Uaral, Therion, Doom:VS, Saturnus, Shape Of Despair, Anathema, and Angizia - Crimson Sky’s new album will be an unexpectedly pleasant discovery for you!!

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