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[ Myk Jung - Zenith Is Decline (The Nine Lost Ballads) ]
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[ Ostia - From The Aether ]
Zenith Is Decline (The Nine Lost Ballads) - Review

Myk Jung has long been recognized as the voice behind the industrial bands The Fair Sex, Testify and Nice Gods Bleed.  Doing a complete u-turn, he has taken nine "lost ballads" possibly from spare time, other projects or maybe even specifically with a release like this in mind - and has combined them with some instrumental works for a full album unlike anything you've seen from him before. The physical disc itself is also very interesting, it's a black CD (oh so goth) playable in a cd player on one side and the label side actually looks and feels like a small vynil record (ok, someone needs to try it on a record player and see if it actually plays).  So it seems the creativity doesn't stop with just the music.  The packaging itself is also nice including a nice digi-pack case with a 12-page booklet including lyrics and other information.

The disc contains fifteen excellent tracks.  On top of the nine lost ballads, he weaves in "Flight I - VI" in as six excellent mostly instrumental pieces, some ambient-like, others with grinding metal guitars included.  They all form a beautiful tapestry for mixing the other ballads together nearly seamlessly and thematically.

As we listen to the core of the album which are these excellent nine ballads each one has something excellent to add to the album.  As I was first trying to pick out tracks to put on the ethereal radio show it was extremely difficult to pick one or two, so I end up putting nearly every track on at one time or another.  After the introductory experimental piece "Ten Thousand Centuries" kicks off the album with some folk-like elements including the acoustic guitar, some humming and of course Myk's unforgettable voice.  So much of the album follows this pattern, but each piece is unique enough to provide a great variety.  "The Ancient Moon" shifts gears slightly focusing on piano and electric guitar, providing quite an edge to this downtempo piece.  And so many others provide such a beautiful cross-section of the talents of Myk and the other contributing artists.

Favorites definitely include the pieces that Myk's daughter Allegra contributes her vocal talents on.  "Dreams of Sway" is one of these beautiful pieces where her young voice provides the anchor as ambient soundscapes and piano move the music along dreamily.  The selections that Myk provides the vocals for still remind me of some of the smoother selections from The Fair Sex, maybe because his voice is so easily recognizable.  The already mentioned "Ten Thousand Centuries" is another favorite along with "Beyond All" and what serves as the finale to the ballads, "The Shine of Her Cold Eyes".

This is an excellent work that ethereal fans will love, and I dare say existing fans of Myk's industrial side-projects will also enjoy.  Check it out and you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 4.5/5


Website: www.mykjung.de
Label: Endless Records

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