Left in Torment picture


-Extremely melodic interaction between all instruments
-Many of the orchestral instruments are real
-The vocals are excellently done and add to the atmosphere in so many ways
-The atmosphere created is intense. The feeling of an "astral" (out of body) realm is just so obviously felt.



Full Review

Track Listing:

1. And They Speak to Me
2. In Sorrow I Rise
3. Altar to Eternity

I have been taking notice that my reviews of underground black metal albums have been increasing in view. It makes sense to me to continue these reviews as they are capable of informing people about underground music, and typically can lead to them finding new (oftentimes free) music to download. In an age where buying an album typically runs between fifteen to twenty dollars, free music is always nice to find.

Left in Torment's Saturnian Rites is one of the oldest free albums I downloaded, and for good reason. It was several months ago when I was in dire need of some new music in my collection. I was thoroughly bored with the music I had already bought (I have a good 30+ albums), and running low on money. My sheer random luck I was able to stumble upon this three track album, being given away for free, by a French musician who goes under the band name Left in Torment.

Initially I listened to the first track on Myspace prior to making a decision as to whether or not download the file. I was enthralled by the soundscape created, I honestly could not understand why this music was being given away freely. It is very high quality in composition and production. The atmosphere created is very spacey (Left in Torment describes his music as "astral" music). Orchestral synths, violins, flutes, and pianos created beautifully melodic atmospheres, and in time an electric guitar came in. When the vocals began I was immediately hooked. I downloaded the album and have been impressed ever since.

While this album is only three tracks long, it clocks in at about 50 minutes of music. You read right! Each track is about 15 minutes+ long. Not to often do I call music "epic", however in the case of Left in Torment; "epic" is truly the definition. I do not really enjoy instrumental music, however a majority of these songs are made up of instrumental sections. When instrumentation is done in such a way that it is constantly interesting, it can be worth my listening ears. The addition of some vocals occasionally along the way also cuts through some of the monotony.

The soundscape created is really that of an epic film score. The music takes on qualities of classical music, doom metal, and black metal. It is slow and trudges through the musical mire at a slow pace, allowing the listener to take in every note in place; yet on occasion speeds up the tempo to invoke some alternative feeling. When I call this black metal I use that phrase very loosely, as it is obviously inspired by it; however many of the "core" elements that define black metal generically (lighting fast guitars, blast beat drums, and typically Satanic/anti-religious sentiments) are virtually non-existant. Left in Torment is a different experience altogether.

The most notable track for me is track one, "And They Speak to Me", primarily because of its intensity in the vocal department. The other tracks are more instrumental, and include some light talking vocals. In the least, the first track is the most accessible to your average listener. That is not to say the others are not worth your time, because they truly are!

In Closing

Left in Torment's Saturnian Rites is a must download. Honestly, it is free and worth every moment of your time. This is one of the few albums I have downloaded that I would have been compelled to pay full price for at a record store.