A lot’s changed since the last Twilight album. For starters, there are those pesky teenage vampire movies of the same name. I asked new Twilight member Stavros about them a few months ago: “This is a hilarious question, and one I have contemplated as well. I personally am not one to make that call. I don’t think it has even been a question in the minds of the other guys…” Outside of that are various shifts within the band’s control. For starters, as the accompanying press photo makes obvious, the guys ditched the corpse paint and shadowy graveyard photo shoots, reflecting a shift in American black metal in general. Same goes for the inclusion of new non-BM bandmates in their bigger, denser, more forward-thinking sound: Stavros of the Atlas Moth, Isis’s Aaron Turner, and über producer Sanford Parker (Minsk) have joined Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Jameson (Krieg) and Jef Whitehead (Leviathan, Lurker Of Chalice, Nachtmystium) after the departure of Scott Conner (Xasthur) an Hildolf (Draugar). Lichens’ Robert Lowe adds clean guest vocals. Without knowing any of this Monument To Time End is obviously a different monster than the 2005 self-titled debut. It’s also a better monster. (Yes, there are Isis moments. Yes, they work.) Get acquainted via “8,000 Years.”
A couple of years ago, while doing research for my book on American black metal, I asked Jameson, who handles most of the lead vocals on this one, about the idea of Twilight being a “black metal supergroup.” This was three years after the debut and long before it seemed like they’d do a followup:
I despise the idea that we did it as a “supergroup” because at the time the idea was started we hadn’t even thought about releasing it, just that as people who respected each other and their work wanted to get together and see what putting that into one piece would be like.
This time the fires were reignited when Whitehead made a trip to Chicago to work on the new Nachtmystium album and the rest came together naturally: Judd and Stavros were already working on something (their first joint composition ended up on the album), Parker was the one recording Addicts, etc. Basically, this is black metal resulting from respect and longstanding friendships. Something folks would’ve had a hard time admitting just a few years ago, before the paint wore off…
Monument To Time End is out via Southern Lord.