Review: “In the Shadow of the Lighthouse” by Sirens Bay

“A lone sailor is one night visited by a mermaid, who tells him an old legend: there’s a lighthouse where your deepest desire can become reality. If you follow the elusive strings of light, at dawn you’ll be confronted by the mysterious entity known as Laguz. If you can overcome its trial, you will be guided to the lighthouse, where you can have the thing you long for the most. But one should expect there to be a price to pay: is the seaman ready to give up his own heart and be forever bound to the will of the lighthouse? What actually lurks in the shadow of the lighthouse?

After a harder hitting debut EP, I wanted to explore all the ambient and dungeon synth elements I’ve always loved and that I was afraid of incorporating in my own music. Sometimes you can feel anxious about trying something new, but the process of writing this release was for me extremely liberating. I tried not to restrain myself, or cutting stuff because it didn’t fit some kind of arbitrary niche. This, going forward, is the direction I’m finally comfortable in taking” ~ Alessandro “Sirens Bay” Caberlotto

After debut EP “Heed the Call” made its mark in October 2021, to have a sophomore record from Sirens Bay, the solo project of Alessandro Caberlotto, less than four months later is nothing short of astonishing. While that debut which was instrumental Black Metal with Blackgaze influences from the likes of Alcest and Deafheaven, this time around Caberlotto has let extremes push out as he has experimented with incorporating elements of the ambient, of dungeon synth and even atmospheric Black Metal, inspired by the likes of Summoning and Lustre. The multi instrumentalist begins his journey with a ukulele, flute and drum playing a mesmerizing and melodic folk tune as the waves crash upon the sores during “The Mermaid’s Tale“, continuing his sailors obsession with the great expanse of the oceans dark depths, later captured perfectly in “The Heart of a Seaman“. Slow burning embers then ignite during “Strings of Light“, a cinematic soundscape of gloriously put together textures, the programmed drums kept low in the mix to allow the synths to come to the fore with each instrument combining to create a single harmonious entity of shoegazing melody. Endless rapture soaks the melancholy of “At Dawn“, a centrepiece of immaculate beauty that shines like rays of sunlight through the dark and stormy clouds above, offering hope at dawns first light with each element building upon what came before it to the final crescendo. Captivating and enthralling throughout, you can’t help but feeling this is just the beginning of the work of a composer and given a bigger budget to pursue this visions, the possibilities are endless. Such is the epic grandeur of this offering that should it ever be performed live it would require a suitable venue and only the Royal Albert Hall springs to mind as a fitting backdrop, a full orchestra of musicians and the acoustics making this sound as big as the aspiration. For relatively speaking these are humble recordings that make the best out of what is at hand to create as close to sonic perfection as the tools will allow and despite the odds being against it, every song captures light and shade in perfect balance, each moment perfectly weighted and carrying with it a depth of emotion that stunning. Crossing the 10 minute mark with the brilliance of the title track perhaps gives an indication of where the future may lay with more Black Metal guitar with adding a darker edge but only time will tell. Caberlotto has transcended Black Metal with “In the Shadow of the Lighthouse” and discovered a whole new realm of cinematic existence, creating soundscapes that sound like they belong to a Dungeon Crawling RPG like Diablo, the shrouds of darkness withdrawn slowly to reveal a dark beauty beneath the surface [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. The Mermaid’s Tale
2. Strings of Light
3. At Dawn
4. Laguz
5. The Heart of a Seaman
6. In the Shadow of the Lighthouse

In the Shadow of the Lighthouse” by Sirens Bay is out 18th February 2022 and is available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *