"Ylem", the video for the title track of the new album from German black metallers DARK FORTRESS, can be viewed below. According to a press release, parts of the clip were shot at the Dechen Cave (German: Dechenhöhle) at Iserlohn in Germany.
The Dechen Cave is said to be one of the most beautiful and most visited show caves in Germany. It is located in the northern part of the Sauerland at Iserlohn (Grüne district). 360 meters of the 870-meter long cave have been laid out for visitors, beginning at the spot where, in 1868, the cave was discovered by two railway workers. The works dropped a hammer into a rock crevice which turned out to be the entrance to a dripstone cave when they were searching for the lost tool.
Commented vocalist Morean: "The title track of our last album is a spell summoning the death of the universe in an accelerated 'big crunch.' The end of all living matter in the universe is inevitable, and in this invocation the sorcerer is a witness to this inevitable cosmic disaster. The clip is set in an atmosphere of desertion, with no more signs of civilisation, after the exponentially growing sun has scorched away all traces of life. As a last refuge, going underground offers the only shelter that is left, where the protagonist willingly surrenders to destruction and embraces his own end in a vision evoking both the distant past and distant future of our planet."
"Ylem" was released in January via Century Media Records. The album's limited first-pressing CD also includes a special O-card packaging as well as the bonus track "Sycamore Trees", a cover version of a song originally written by Angelo Badalamenti and sung by jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott. The original version was part of the soundtrack for the movie "Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me" by David Lynch.
Unlike the last DARK FORTRESS album, "Eidolon", "Ylem" is not strictly a concept album; however, most songs have a common theme — invocations of the death principle from different perspectives.
"Ylem" is the term for the state of the elements before the Big Bang; in alchemy, it refers to the primordial matter from which all elements were created. The return to a state of "Ylem" automatically signifies the end of everything that exists now. There is a spark of life in every living cell, but also a seed of entropy and death. The insignificance of the feeble evolutionary detour that is man is evident, for our future is clear: we will be nothing but dust and bones on a scorched, lifeless rock waiting to be devoured by the sun. This vision is also the basis of Stephen Lenfestey's artwork for the album.
Musically, it is safe to say that DARK FORTRESS took the next step in its development — as the band have always done. "We all keep growing as musicians, and we would never make the same album twice," explains vocalist Morean. "Where 'Eidolon' was a compact missile, shot to kill instantly, on 'Ylem' we explore the stylistic diversity inherent in this band deeper than ever before. There is a lot of slow, very heavy stuff going on, some truly rotten clean parts, but also insane blastbeats, some orchestral darkness, and tons of killer riffs to break your neck to. It is our ambition that every song is its own world and has a strong and unmistakable identity. We exploited this ambition to the fullest here."
"Ylem" was recorded at V. Santura's (TRIPTYKON, NONEUCLID, CELTIC FROST) Woodshed Studio without any outside influences or distractions.