An international collaboration known as PALUS SOMNI, a Latin name representing the “swamp of sleep” region of the moon, has reached the material plane along with their debut mass of lunar darkness titled Monarch of Dark Matter. This cosmic manifestation reflects an inherent murkiness with the elaborate melodic configurations of its oppressive riffs, atmospheric effects, and rhythmic variations that craft a dismal expression of the unbounded universe. Mythological influences and other elemental energies are also channeled into this creation as it traverses eons of time and space with visceral intent. PALUS SOMNI evokes the chaotic spirit of the cosmos through the obscurity of these dense compositions, and Monarch of Dark Matter transcends its continuum to explore the essence of the unknown beyond.
Chaos is unleashed with blasting force on the title track, and distant screams emerge within the melodic contortions of dissonant tremolo riffing. A black sea beyond is glimpsed during a shift in groove that accentuates the continual flow of dark melodies. This dissipates into the ethereal ambience of the void, with clean notes furthering its dismal tone before crossing into “Igneus Solis.” Maddening tremolo melodies persist through various rhythmic transitions as an ominous intensity builds, and lunacy prevails along with the formation of a notably dissonant groove. Cymbal beats are pronounced among the galactic psychedelia on “The Dark Maria” until blackened melodies and blasts rage into a suffocating onslaught. A desolate passage heightens the sinister tremolo riffing intervals and other melodic intricacies that surface within altering grooves, and a final driving rush leads toward unsettling vibrations on “Sidus Ludoviciana.” Strange echoes appear in the dissonance before heavy tremolo riffs enable further haunting materializations. This chaotic frenzy collapses into a desolate calm, and the subsequent rhythmic bleakness gradually culminates into a renewed pummeling fury.
Oppression reaches a new threshold as the dark core of “Caliginous Stellar Womb” approaches, and this shadowy break emanates with cosmic melodies while the turbulence regains its crazed momentum. “Unholy Cosmic Quintessence” sets an ominous tone with dissonant notes and the foreboding strikes that set off a frantic blasting assault. This carries into an intricate display of rhythmic tremolo and drumming arrangements before shifting back to malevolent discord, and this continues again after the disturbed introduction of “Chained to the North Star.” Accented notes within the cacophony of blasts, atmospheric nuances, and screams drive a menacing rage along with pulsating riff distortions and other melodic elements. “Iron Empyreal Rain” begins with a desolate portrayal of deep space, and proceeds through various mid-paced rhythms while the ambient flow of melodies and tremolo riffs is complimented by these intermittent drumming patterns. This is particularly notable during a passage with otherworldly effects and a pulsating riff similar to the previous track. A surge of fierce riffage and blasting emerges before this atmospheric groove resolves to a final bleak expression on “Frozen Moon Chaos.” This closer produces a dense energetic mass reflective of its title, and the madness only subsides to reveal decisive glimpses of cosmic melody and flow. An unrelenting blur of intensity is otherwise sustained until its grinding conclusion.
Cosmic darkness and mysticism permeate the subject matter along with other astronomical phenomena. The available lyrics reveal a glorification of the “primeval mother of death” on the title track, and corresponding physical and spiritual worlds are suggested with the release of an entity on “the sublunary sphere.” The goddess Selene is described on “The Dark Maria,” and there are other mythological appearances on these songs including the “Protogenoi of Creation” and “the shrine of Hecate.” References to the maria Imbrium and Australe, and various “ancient formations over millions of years,” including others mentioned through song titles like the star of “Sidus Ludoviciana,” also contribute to the overall setting and energy. Symbolic links between some of these formations and mythological figures are discernable, but much of the lyrical content parallels the essence of the music by remaining enshrouded in mystery.
PALUS SOMNI embodies the shadowy spirit of their lunar likeness on Monarch of Dark Matter, and this work firmly demonstrates the new entity’s creative perspective on the cosmos. The combinations of melody with rhythmic transitions and groove form memorable passages that flow seamlessly while the abrasive and chaotic executions offer an equally enjoyable challenge. These arrangements are also steeped in the murky atmosphere of the void, and invoke ominous impressions of dread, rage, and madness. Monarch of Dark Matter is a powerful venture into the unlimited horizons of the universe, and I look forward to many revisits and future explorations from PALUS SOMNI.