"Carriers of Dust" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swiss symphonic/progressive black metal act Mirrorthrone. The album was released through Red Stream, Inc. in January 2006. Mirrorthrone is a one-man act featuring Vladimir Cochet on Bass, Drum programming, Guitars, Keyboards, and Vocals. Cochet formed Mirrorthrone in 2000 and released the debut full-length studio album "Of Wind and Weeping" in 2003. Cochet also releases albums under the Weeping Birth and Unholy Matrimony monickers.
While "Of Wind and Weeping (2003)" predominantly consisted of previously recorded demo tracks, and as a consequence suffered from a couple of sound production issues (mainly the poor sounding programmed drums), "Carriers of Dust" is a whole other story. "Of Wind and Weeping (2003)" showed promise. "Carriers of Dust" delivers that promise.
Stylistically "Carriers of Dust" features a symphonic/progressive extreme metal style that is most close to black metal but also features death metal traits (growling vocals in particular lead my thoughts toward death metal). There are quite a few classical elements included in the music and while they are created on keyboards, they sound suitably "organic" (strings, hapsichord, organ) and provide the music with both finesse, sophistication, and variation. The vocals are predominantly raspy black metal type vocals, but as mentioned there are occasional growling vocals in the music too. "Carriers of Dust" also features clean vocals, which Vladimir Cochet delivers with conviction. The lyrics are in both French and English.
The music is very powerful, commanding, and epic and the tracks feature great structural variation. Tempo changes and great dynamic between subtle classical tinged parts and more aggressive yet still melodic extreme metal parts. "Carriers of Dust" features 4 tracks and a 46:43 minutes long playing time. Two of the tracks are around 10 minutes long and "Ils Brandiront leurs Idoles" features a 22:09 minutes long playing time, so this is structurally pretty challenging/progressive music. Cochet is both a skilled and clever composer as well as a great musician fully able to deliver his musical vision in a tight and convincing fashion. As the case was on "Of Wind and Weeping (2003)", the drums on "Carriers of Dust" are also programmed, but this time around they are well programmed and feature a powerful sound production, which really provide the music with the boost it deserves. They don´t necessarily sound "programmed" either. They could just as well have been played be a human drummer and triggered afterwards.
"Carriers of Dust" is one of those albums where my jaw hits the floor several times during the playing time. The high level musicianship, the powerful sound production and the intriguing and adventurous songwriting are all elements so impressive that I can´t help think of Vladimir Cochet as anything other than a musical genius. This is not something any musician can carry out with such a successful end result (I guess I should add here that the album is also recorded, mixed and mastered by Vladimir Cochet) and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.