Amber Asylum are at once so very bitter and so very sweet. Their deeply melancholic music is a perpetual winter of barren branches and sorrowful voices, yet their softly sweeping vocals glide like a gentle wind. Layers of bowed strings fall like soft snow. Rhythms beat like a heart in anticipation. Even in moments of dissonance, they create something beautifully fragile to be protected by a bell jar. They bring together classical intensity and folk sincerity without pretense -- only florid, seemingly timeless sounds that drift by leaving an impalpable, emotional weight.