The Rickety Old Shack

Unreqvited / Silvaine — Time Without End

album cover

One of 3 new releases from one-man progressive black metal project Unreqvited, Time Without End is actually a collaborative effort that also features Norweigan multi-instrumentalist Sylvaine. This record is also a bit more involved than a typical split, where 1 or more projects pool a couple of tracks and release the collection together. The material might be leftovers from past recording sessions, new singles from forthcoming albums, or even original songs written expressly for the split. Occasionally, projects might go so far as to cover each other's work — which is actually how I discovered Waldgeflüster, via a split with Panopticon — but that is quite rare in my experience. Well, Time Without End goes a little further even than that.

The first pair of songs on this 4-track release are from Sylvaine, and feature brooding stripped-down instrumentals — just piano and an acoustic guitar — along with a beautiful, clean singing voice. "No More Solitude" is a new iteration of a much older song, while "Falling" is all-new. The next 2 of tracks feature Sylvaine and Unreqvited collaborating, and then a 'standard' cut from the latter. "Interwoven" is exactly what the name implies, as Sylvaine lends haunting female vocals to a backing of piano and synths, transitioning the record from one artist to the other seamlessly. Finally, "Meadows Of Elysium" is nearly 8 minutes of largely instrumental post-black metal, heavy on the strings and synths, but also featuring some heavy, distorted guitar riffs and backing licks.

The entirety of Time Without End almost feels like one long, single track. The record begins with just piano and voice and slowly, through each song and from track-to-track begins adding more elements, building to a crescendo at the end. This is a really strong collection of material and highlights a really good working chemistry between 2 talented solo artists. I was unfamiliar with Sylvaine prior to this release, but I am sold on the prospect of hearing more, and Unreqvited contributed material very much in line with Mosiac I: L'Amour Et L'Ardeur (review) — a win / win as far as I am concerned.

Fans of the wide array of music that falls under the "post-black" or "black gaze" banners should absolutely give Time Without End a look. Sylvaine's voice and ear for melody is superb, and Unreqvited continues to progress compositionally and production-wise. This is a great sampler to check out 2 very interesting, compelling projects. It's records like this that demonstrate the utility of the split release format.

Summary

Running just short of 26 minutes, Sylvaine and Unreqvited serve-up a lot more than a short collection of unrelated material. Working together and producing a truly collaborative effort, Time Without End is a dark and beautiful set of tracks that builds upon itself continuously until reaching a satisfying, epic conclusion. Emotionally heavy and intensely melodic, with very sparing use of distortion and traditional metal sound elements, this is a very sonically diverse record.

Album Information

Release date: January 10th, 2020
Record label: Prophecy

Will Vale — guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, synths, vocals
Sylvaine — piano, guitar, vocals

Track Listing

  1. Sylvaine - No More Solitude
  2. Sylvaine - Falling
  3. Unreqvited - Interwoven
  4. Unreqvited - Meadows Of Elysium

Link: unreqvited.bandcamp.com | sylvainemusic.com

—by Derek

Published: January 15th, 2020.