My first experience with TIMŌRĀTUS (full of reverence toward God, devout) was reviewing the ep’s Black and Death, which tell the story of Kafla Selaro in his battle for faith and life in the Dark Ages during the time of Black Plague. Now that the tale of Kafla is long past, David had the idea to put out an album that might give the listener the feeling of worship. David once again handled the instrumentation but this time brought on some additional vocalists, some of whom provide clean vocals for “In Christ Alone” and “Amazing Grace”.
First thing I noticed about the album was the overall length, with seven songs clocking in at over 50 minutes long. The album itself can be almost divided into three sections. The first section with “Weight of the World” and “Mere Symbols” could be described as ambient or atmospheric black/death metal, with perhaps some doom elements thrown in. In “Weight of the World”, you have the music greatly overwhelming the death metal growled vocals in the mix, which makes it a challenge, while in “Mere Symbols” the overall tone of the guitars is a bit darker but the vocals more pronounced. In both cases, the songs move slowly, in a crushing manner under a wall of sound.
The middle two songs around the theme of Communion are instrumentals and primarily just ambient noise. Both songs feel as if they are building to something but never come to the conclusion one is expecting.
“in Christ Alone” and “Amazing Grace” (yes the hymns), and “Leave it There” are a bit of yet another departure as all three of these songs feature beautiful clean vocals. Hauntingly beautiful clean vocals carry “In Christ Alone” and “Amazing Grace” and the ambient music behind the vocals is much brighter than in previous tracks and conveys the sense of hope and faith that many love in these songs. Leave it there closes out the album in a similar vein but this time with a male choral vocal element.
This is a sense of boldness of purpose in this album and one can sense the emotion behind it. These types of albums are tough for new listeners, but deserve a chance. One has to be willing to devote some time for a full experience as things move slowly by design and the songs are not short. Music strikes everyone differently and many will respond to the sounds here. Give it a chance and as mentioned, there are some different music themes here, so while one may not work for you, others might.
Written by John Jackson
1. Weight of the World
2. Mere Symbols
3. Communion: The Bread
4. Communion: The Cup
5. In Christ Alone
6. Amazing Grace
7. Leave it There
David Napier – Instrumentation / Vocals
Courtney Napier – Vocals
Benjamin Steven Dohrmann – Vocals
Amy Austin – Vocals
Carman Hammond – Vocals
Record Label: Christian Metal Underground Records (Vision of God Records imprint), March 2017
Video for ‘Weight of the World’
Video for ‘In Christ Alone’