Month: September 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Frozen In Time: Weekly News 27 September

This week we did a little catching up at This Is Darkness and have some more reviews for followers to read. As we move further into the fall dark ambient releases are sure to pick up, I have a feeling there will be some great music coming our way between now and year’s end. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our new compilation! There are also a number of music videos and a short film to check out this week. I personally watched EXSANGUINATA in full a few days ago and really enjoyed it!

This Is Darkness Compilation

Music Videos / Teasers

ExSanguinata – New Short Film
EXSANGUINATA, the new film from director GRETCHEN HEINEL and band SABBATH ASSEMBLY, asks: Wherefore the quest for eternal life? To what lengths would any of us go to stave off the inexorable rite of aging, sickness, and finally… death.
The film reveals a noblewoman and her devotees perpetuating their power by preying upon her subjects. For each young victim, the rite of adolescence becomes a rite of death. And for the noblewoman – the COUNTESS BATHORY – the rite of death becomes a rite of adolescence. Roles reversed, through blood sacrifice.

Gamardah Fungus – Old Manor Spirits (Official Video by Kol Belov)
“Old Manor Spirits” is Gamardah Fungus track from “Fairytales” album [Out on October, 2 at Flaming Pines, 2017]

La Tredicesima Luna – Album Teaser
Excerpt from the upcoming cassette album from La Tredicesima Luna (new project from the man behind Medhelan) entitled “Il Sentiero Degli Dei”. Coming soon from Lighten Up Sounds.

Mebitek – Teaser #2
As rain, teardrops, thou art slipping on the window pane and I cannot catch thee. Then, I look at thee through my imagination window: idealised, perfect, mine, in a loop, until the end of time.

New Releases & Pre-orders

Alone iN the Hollow Garden – New Album Released (CD/Digital)
“The journey of the Goddess Ishtar into the Underworld is channeled into a communion of four long pieces of ritual psychedelia with blackened doom atmosphere. Once more, Alone In The Hollow Garden explores the boundless expression of sound as a sacred tool of creation and simultaneously as a transcendental vehicle for the exploration of the polarities which define our universe, light and shadow, masculine and feminine, intellect & intuition, power & emotion, creation & dissolution.
The album was created with the assistance of many experimental piezo based devices, metal percussions, kantele, amplified strings, all self built by Dan Serbanescu under the Temple Instruments name, a mark soon to be launched.
“Ishtar” is available in physical format as a standard limited edition CDr hosted in a beautiful recycled cardboard digibook packaging and as a “Special Amulet Edition”, containing a magick brass amulet beautifully handcrafted by ATMA. The Ring and Rod mesopotamian symbol uniting the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine is held in both hands by the Goddess Ishtar”

Crown of Asteria – New Album Released (Digital Only)
“Cyclical celebration of the slowly churning energy of transition into earthly stasis then death. A quick hitch in breath happens as we slow to notice the wonderment of change. Early Autumnal guises are given away by morning mists and the smell of wet rotting leaves and soil. Ghosts will soon bid welcome at the edge of the forests and all heed their call to shed old songs and sorrows. We follow the wild footprints back to our hiding places among root and stone. We take solace in the Ancestral communion in late night fogs and waxing moons. Impassioned words are given up to the wood-smoke, and in concealment we watch the veil thin.”

DR – Pre-order Available (Shimmering Moods – CD/Digital)
Relaxing drone-work for those lonely late evening hours of contemplation.

Gamardah Fungus – Pre-order Available (CD/Digital)
The album was inspired by the spellbinding events, which happened to us one night in an old abandoned manor, located in the forests of eastern Ukraine.
We found that strange place accidentally during a hike. The weather turned too bad, so we took refuge there with a hope that next day will be better. We had a recorder and Japanese end-blown flute shakuhachi with us and decided to make some records on the nature. In a while we heard how outward things began to talk to us. All strange growls, birds and whispers of undetermined origin were recorded that night. It was like a scary legend where spirits woke up and decided to tell their own stories with a help of wind, rain, flora and fauna.
Later we made some guitar and synthesizer sessions directly to old reel to reel recorder in order to create a suitable mysterious atmosphere to the album. Also we added creaks, scratches & noises of our unique Intonarumori machine made by Igor Yalivec, inspired by Luigi Russolo and Alexandre Landry devices.

Jurko Haltuu – Pre-order Available (Shimmering Moods – CD/Digital)
Ambient drone music with a hint of darkness.

Melul – New Album Released (Cephalopagus – Digital)
Angelus Inferus is a release of some of Melul’s familiar pieces, as well as collaborations with horror ambient extraordinaire Araphel. The angel of death, known formally as Azrael, is the main inspiration behind this album. As you listen, do be seduced by Azrael’s scythe of angelic lullabies, by the depths of his somber gaze. Just don’t let him smite you on the way out.

Mrako-Su – New Album Released (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ – CD/Digital)
“Autumn goddess made her first steps between the mountains. She touched some leaves, went through the glades of tall grass, poured rains over the tops… She heard whisperings of brooks and slow humming songs of oaks and accompanied them by howling of the wind. Only stones were silent, simply listening to the changes, absorbing the sunlight while it’s warm, watching the clouds becoming slower and darker. They’ve seen it so many times… Once there were people climbing here and there, living between rocks while summer lasts and hiding in the caves when winter came. There were camp-fires, songs and paintings on the walls… Then other people came, they measured everything and dug some holes, they were always looking for something. And they were gone as well, but nothing changed for the stones. They watched dawns and listened to whispers of the water. Their songs were way too slow for anyone to hear…”

Sa Bruxa – New Album Released (Required Rate of Return – CD/Digital)
New thirty minute ritual ambient experience from Sa Bruxa.

Sombre Soniks – New Compilation Released (Sombre Soniks – Digital)
Fourteenth in thee series of bi-annual kompilations presenting 23 Dark Ambient kompositions. This time thee participants were invited to kreate something that had a ‘Horror’ influence; a soundtrak to an imaginary Horror movie…
Also inkluded are thee 23 info kards with individual bakground art kreated by Madguten and kover artwork by Fabian van der Meer!

Tim Six – New Album Released (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ – CD/Digital)
“The idea for this recording was quite simple – to combine layers of sound obtained from different acoustic instruments (tracks 1 & 3) or field recordings (tracks 2 & 4) for creating aural space which can be perceived at different levels. First, the emotional level of simple background listening (which is becoming more and more common nowadays), which corresponds with idea of Аmbient music in terms of Eric Satie & Brian Eno. Then structural, or “analytic” level, on which our rational mind builds the picture of “what and how”, or at least tries to – because it’s not always easy with drone music. Third level is “deep listening” (according to Pauline Oliveros ideas) which involves unfocused listening experience, when one allows the sound to be as it is, without building a distance between the it and one’s perception.. Reaching this point one may realize that sound contains much more than just sum of used instruments & effects and its impact on perception reminds meditative state – full awareness without involvement to analysis and emotions.”

Winterblood – New Album Released (Digital Only)
A selected, remastered version of the limited self-released edition tapes released between 1996 and 1999. Recorded on elementary equipment, finally back to life from a lost archive. Raw and unclean, and very dangerous.

This Is Darkness Week in Review

Artist: Erang
Album: The First Age
Release date: 15 September 2017
Label: Self-released
Read review here.

Artist: Sysselmann
Album: The Northern Chronicles
Release date: 14 October 2016
Label: Tipi Token Records
Read review here.

Artist: Metatron Omega
Album: Illuminatio
Release date: 26 September 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber
Read review here.

Artist: Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast
Album: Black Corner Den
Release date: 5 September 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber
Read review here.

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Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast – Black Corner Den – Review

Artist: Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast
Album: Black Corner Den
Release date: 5 September 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. Laudanum
02. Prepare the Stage of Night
03. An Atrementous City
04. A Deeper Dream
05. Wind-Up Orchestra
06. House of Tinctures
07. End of the Century

Occasionally an album will come along that I plan to review, but procrastination comes for a totally different reason than usual. I didn’t want to review this album because that would mean it would no longer be at the top of the list. Black Corner Den is an album that comes just about as close to my idea of dark ambient perfection as I could imagine. Granted this is a wonderful genre with dozens of first class artists (at least dozens). But, this album clicks for me on just about every level. The procrastination was compounded by the fact that this is the first release on Cryo Chamber to have a vinyl format! So, I wanted to wait for that beauty to arrive before I would proceed. Now that I’ve had almost a month with the music, and a week with the vinyl, I’m in a position to speak on it properly.

The combination of Simon Heath and Pär Boström we already know to be a recipe for success. One need look no further than their original collaboration, Onyx. These two gentlemen, along with Robert Kozletski of Apocryphos, created an album in Onyx which would be one of the others at the very top of my list of favorites. Onyx and Echo, the two previous collaborations between Atrium Carceri, Kammarheit and Apocryphos, showed a reserved side of these artists talents. Occasionally there would be some outright melodies in the music, but in general they were both cool, dark subtle releases. Pär Boström taking the guise of Cities Last Broadcast on this project is the first hint that Black Corner Den will show a more gritty edge to the music’s direction. Atrium Carceri can prove to be a wild card. Simon Heath is as likely to create a piano oriented track on the periphery of neo-classical as he is to create something that is squarely post-industrial, occasionally even close to death industrial. Black Corner Den manages to capture a little bit of all these elements without feeling forced or disjointed, which isn’t an easy feat.

The opener, “Laudanum” is the quintessential intro track for a collab between Boström and Heath. There are ghastly voices barely audible in the background, reverberating piano notes and a staticy white noise giving the whole thing a thick hazy texture, even in the 24-bit digital format. Of course, thick reverb, static and other strange background noises all prove to perfectly complement the vinyl format. “Prepare the Stage of Night” might be the track showing the most similarities to Onyx. Yet, it is immediately obvious that this track has been given a heavy dose of Cities Last Broadcast treatment. The feeling of the cool night air immediately draws a comparison to “Night so Close to the Tongue”, but the other sounds surrounding this element, which add an urban feel to the mix, lend themselves more toward the first Cities Last Broadcast opus, The Cancelled Earth. Simon Heath is able to play right into these vibes as Atrium Carceri, as he’s proven time and again on tracks like “Floating Above the City” or “Industrial District”. These vibes are drawn even closer to the surface on the following track “An Atrementous City” which becomes even more urbane and gritty, but balances itself out with a classic example of Atrium Carceri piano-work.

“A Deeper Dream”… This is sure to remain one of my favorite tracks by either Pär Boström or Simon Heath for a long time to come. The track is subtle and melancholic with its gentle droning atmospherics which leave ample space to showcase a simplistic piano arrangement which somehow manages to pack a whole album’s worth of emotion and energy. Maybe it was by design, or maybe I feel this by coincidence, but this track touches me in a way that few artists are able to affect. Listening to this many nights after watching the latest episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return, I can’t help but feel a strong influence from the works of Angelo Badalamenti at play here. That melancholic, forlorn emotion which simultaneously delivers a dose of hope… it’s a hard feeling to produce in a listener, yet it is felt on every single playthrough of this track.

If we are listening on vinyl, we will flip it over at this point. After such an emotional track, in “A Deeper Dream”, Side B brings on a renewed sense of energy. “Wind-Up Orchestra” has a strong feel of Atrium Carceri. This could easily be something we would hear on a new solo album of his. Probably erroneously, I like to imagine that even with his collaborations, Simon Heath has a side-story in the canon of Atrium Carceri playing out. Teasing out this idea, one could imagine that this opium junkie, lying about in the dingy back corner of some late 19th century opium den in London is in fact a protagonist of the Atrium Carceri canon. If one of these main protagonists truly went through so much chaos, a relaxing evening allowing the mind to melt away would hardly be unwarranted. Using Sherlock Holmes as an example, great protagonists often have equally great vices. The hero is rarely a saint, instead they are often as flawed in one way or another as the rest of us. If, indeed, this were to be an actual protagonist from the Atrium Carceri canon, then I would see “Wind-Up Orchestra” as representing a startling awakening from a deep opium-induced stupor, a proverbial bucket of cold water to the face. “House of Tinctures” and “End of the Century” draw the album to a close on, what I would consider, an emotionally positive note. Both tracks seem to show a sense of wonder, hope and fulfillment, where before we were drenched in thick hazes and deep dark brooding emotions.

Black Corner Den is a terrific first vinyl release for the Cryo Chamber label. I couldn’t have imagined a more fitting release to test the waters of this medium. Cities Last Broadcast begs to be played on a staticy record. The content of Pär Boström’s music as well as the technical elements make for the perfect pairing with vinyl. The artwork on this release, courtesy of Simon Heath definitely moves in a different direction from his already wide selection of previous cover-art. It is simplistic and yet elegant, with the opium-fiend resting in the dim corner, pipe smoke wafting passed the moonlight shining through the tiny window. Its a great fit for an enlarged cover-art and the matte finish adds even more to the overall aesthetics.

Black Corner Den is a must have for any discerning dark ambient fan. Considering the numbers of sales already reflected on the Bandcamp page, as of this writing, it seems people don’t need my advice to know an instant classic when they see one. Each track on this album is indispensable. Pär Boström and Simon Heath have truly outdone themselves, which is a rather bold statement considering the discographies of the two artists in question. Hopefully this will be a sign of more great things to come in the future, concerning collaborations between these “two bearded Swedes” as well as vinyl releases on the Cryo Chamber label. After this one, both are clearly warranted.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Metatron Omega – Illuminatio – Review

Artist: Metatron Omega
Album: Illuminatio
Release date: 26 September 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. Ecclesia Universalis
02. Heosphoros
03. Illuminatio
04. Thy Light
05. Mysteriis De Sanguine
06. Sacrum Noctis
07. Chalice of Eternity

Metatron Omega made their debut on Cryo Chamber in mid-2015 with the album Gnosis Dei. Gnosis Dei was a tour de force in esoteric/gnostic dark ambient music. Thick reverberating drones set the background accompanied by the deep voice of Scorpio V reciting religious texts as if he were raised above some post-apocalyptic congregation. The music speaks its dark sermon directly to the listener. Whether Scorpio V felt that he’d said enough on Gnosis Dei or he decided that spoken word vocals were unnecessary to his ultimate vision, he moved away from this style on the two following albums: Sanctum and this latest release Illuminatio. Sanctum doubled down on the atmospheric, choral and chant components leaving the actual reading of religious texts to the listener and instead providing an ever deeper and denser backdrop to their pious esoteric meanderings.

On Illuminatio, Scorpio V takes all that he learned from Sanctum and further refines these elements. The raison d’être-esque chants and choral elements become even more polished on this release. The voices of this dark choir are at times beautiful at others they are distorted and almost take on a daemonic quality. The foundational elements of drone drenched in a thick layer of reverb have a consistent density. This dense atmosphere brings the darkest images to the mind, as if we, the listeners, were part of this gnostic congregation of the damned. One may easily imagine the remnants of a glorious cathedral, pews rotting and wormridden. The congregation dressed in filthy damp rags, shivering in their seats as a cold and musty wind blows through the collapsed ceiling. An unholy choir stand in the chancel delivering their contorted hymns as a thick cloud of frankincense floats between them and the onlooking crowd. The smoke, burning the eyes and lungs of the congregation, at least masking the noxious odor of mold and decay.

These dark occult images of are likely to materialize differently for each listener. One’s position on religion will likely dictate their reaction to and understanding of the presented soundscapes. Scorpio V focuses his art on what appears to be a well thought-out version of gnosticism, so from his perspective, their is likely a direct religious element to these tracks. This sentiment is likely to be shared with a vast number of his followers. For those of us completely devoid of religious leanings, this Metatron Omega trilogy draws images of the end of religious order, the last sermons and hymns of a dying congregation, making one last pious attempt at reaching the ears of the gods in a broken and dying world. Whatever your thoughts on religion, just as with those classic raison d’être albums, there is plenty of reason to enjoy the beauty of these works. Metatron Omega has certainly come a long way in realizing his visions, the merits of this latest opus, Illuminatio, cannot be understated.

Metatron Omega, as a whole, can be seen from a more cinematic perspective, if one so chooses to take this route in their listenings. The first album, Gnosis Dei, lays out the groundwork for the trilogy, the hermit speaks out to us, explaining his path to enlightenment. On Sanctum, we can imagine the protagonist moving much closer to his ultimate enlightenment, no longer requiring explanation or dictions of any kind. He basks in the energies of the cathedrals he visits and the tomes he has uncovered. The hermit enters the halls of ancient orders and performs the required rituals to achieve his ultimate enlightenment. Illuminatio takes us beyond the earthly realms. The hermit has ascended, he’s become illuminated. He now resides in the aether, amongst the cosmic choirs beyond the limits of the laws of nature and order.

Illuminatio can be enjoyed as an aid to one’s spiritual enlightenment or as a backdrop to reading, studying or secular meditation. The album can be seen as a truly religious experience or as a well-rounded dark ambient album from an artist that is achieving an “enlightened” status among his peers. There is no shortage of great music to be experienced on Illuminatio, it is certainly his strongest release to date. Whatever your goals may be, Illuminatio should prove to be an enjoyable experience for any fan of the cathedralic sub-genre of dark ambient music. Listening to this trilogy as a whole, seeking a greater message or enjoying it as a stand-alone album, dark ambient fans should all find something to draw their interest.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Sysselmann – The Northern Chronicles – Review

Artist: Sysselmann
Album: The Northern Chronicles
Release date: 14 October 2016
Label: Tipi Token Records

01. Coastal Fairway Northbound
02. Stormwatch
03. Transmigration
04. Juniper Tree Song
05. The Great Horn of the Mountain
06. Plains of Passage
07. Journey Across the Ruins

“The debut album release The Northern Chronicles is a tribute to the collective consciousness of the northern parts of Norway. The field recordings were captured over a two year period during the construction of the SALT Art & Music project at Sandhornøya as well as during the Skrei season at Torsvågbruket. After seven winter storms in as many days, the idea for The Northern Chronicles was finally born.
A celebration of the magical coastal landscape and those who came before us.”

This debut by Sysselmann should be quite impressive to dark ambient fans. A cursory examination of the album will give the feeling that Sysselmann is a veteran of the genre. At no point, over this roughly 40 minutes of music, does the album sound like that of a novice. Each element is crafted with care and delivered to listeners in a way that is highly moving. For this album, I highly recommend the use of headphones, on a dark and chilly night. It will be the perfect respite from these late summer – early fall days, or if you are in the southern hemisphere, it will be one last plunge into the whiteout before the thaw.

“Coastal Fairway Northbound” throws us right into the icy region with sounds of rushing winds and horns that seem to be from a truck, which is further alluded to by the title. As the song progresses tribal drums enter along with the sounds of sea gulls. The track is very literal from the sense of its title. We are left to imagine this lonely man on the cover of the album, making his way from point A to point B through a frozen and desolate region of the North.

The storm from the previous track turns from a windy evening with flurries into a raging blizzard on “Stormwatch”. The setting still seems to be coastal as well, with the faintest hint of crashing waves in the distance. There is a far off sound that seems like a fog horn, but it is drowned out by the incredibly intense winds blowing through. Soon, another wind instrument is introduced, but this one seems more tribal in nature. “Stormwatch” delivers a frozen soundscape on the level of early Northaunt, though it has a more old world and shamanic sort of feel to it from the tribal instrumentation. The winds account for the majority of the sounds on the track, they overwhelm everything else. Field recordings of creaky doors, closer and more high-pitched winds, as well as the horn sound are the extent of the track, and yet it is highly emotional and entertaining throughout.

“Transmigration” is the first track on The Northern Chronicles to have a foundation set in drone-work instead of field recorded soundscapes. Early on, deep throat-singing joins the drone to give it that tribal and natural element that has already featured so heavily on this album. “Transmigration” also moves the album further into its shamanic spiritual territory. As alluded by the title, it represents a death and rebirth. Given the modern feel of the first track, and the old world feel of its successors, it seems that this is the transfer of the soul from that old world body into a vessel from the modern age, or vice-versa. Throat singing and tribal instruments collide with drones and celestial vocal elements to masterfully represent this transfer for us.

The rest of the album continues to showcase these variations in sounds and eras of time. “Juniper Tree Song” has crushingly dense dronework as its centerpiece, while “The Great Horn of the Mountain” combines the throat singing style of Phurpa with the chant style of Shibalba. “Journey Across the Ruins” places us in front of a campfire, as we seem to witness a true, malevolent darkness take form, just beyond the fire’s glow. This track ends the album on a very dark and brooding note, leaving the listener feeling as cold as the depths of this great Norwegian wilderness.

I’m a sucker for the winter/polar variety of dark ambient. Sysselmann has delivered an album that I couldn’t have expected. He, seems to effortlessly bring together all the things that I love about the Scandinavian dark ambient scene. The drone-work, field recordings, throat singing, and meditative properties all work toward a goal of vicariously delivering listeners from ’round the world into a region, climate and age that we could never experience on our own. I would highly recommend this album to any fan of the polar soundscapes delivered by artists such as Northaunt or Ugasanie. Sysselmann doesn’t reproduce the work of these aforementioned artists, instead he carves out his own niche within this style of music, making for a brilliantly unique experience.

Written by: Michael Barnett


Erang – The First Age – Review

Artist: Erang
Album: The First Age
Release date: 15 September 2017
Label: Self-released

01. 1986
02. The Last Journey of Louis Leroy
03. All Kings Must Die
04. Everything is a Lie
05. Escape of the Lonely Madman
06. Hunt in the Wasteland
07. A Footprint in the Sand of Time
08. Birth of a Shadow
09. La Nuit Noire
10. Through the Darkness of Future’s Past
11. Every Day is the Same
12. Unmasking the Dead Oracle
13. The Underwater Kingdom’s Rebirth
14. Back to the First Age

Five years ago, Erang released Tome I. It was certainly a solid addition to the growing number of like-minded fantasy ambient projects emerging on the Bandcamp platform, but its creator had a much grander vision in mind. Over a dozen releases down the road finds a fully realized musical guide to The Land of Five Seasons, complete with developed characters, places and lore. The First Age comes as both a cross section of the musical development of Erang, but also as a means of tying together a spellbinding dungeon synth narrative.

“Diary of Louis Leron, year 1986… I’ve finally found the last tome, three days ago. The book was exactly what it was supposed to be… They are waiting for me now.” The album’s opening monologue emphasizes the importance of The First Age as a culmination… a definitive enlightenment about the nature of The Kingdom of Erang and its coexistence with our own world. The album’s Bandcamp page provides some clues, allowing listeners to connect the dots as they listen.

After these words, “1986” soon divulges into nostalgic overload, playing every opening track in the discography of Erang in reverse from latest to earliest. While this may translate better for long-time fans, this introduction sets up some of the unique stylistic combinations this album implements. “The Last Journey of Louis Leroy” exemplifies this perfectly with its mixture of medieval and futuristic textures, bridging the gap between Erang’s ventures into synth-wave and his dungeon synth roots with surprisingly natural results.

While there’s still plenty of straightforward dungeon synth tracks on The First Age, their sound has an immensity not commonly heard in this style. “All Kings Must Die” and “Everything is a Lie” feature fleshed out percussion arrangements, expertly layered moving lines and swelling production, inflating its minimalist tendencies to cinematic proportions. Even so, “a Footprint on the Sand of Time” and “Every Day is the Same” still utilize ethereal beauty akin to tabletop role-playing games, maintaining its DIY aesthetic while elaborating on its sonic potential.

While “Escape of the Lonely Madman” reintroduces a recurring character in Erang’s kingdom, “The Underwater Kingdom’s Rebirth” sheds light on a mysterious realm within The Land of Five Seasons. The former’s adventurous tom-tom rhythm and heralding fanfare perfectly encapsulate a foreshadowed event Erang has alluded to throughout his discography, while the latter’s nautical dreariness gives listeners new perspective on The Underwater Kingdom. These world-building songs maintain their musical integrity as Erang uses his songwriting chops to bring his brainchild to life, but the more stand alone tracks are no less noteworthy.
Erang takes contained concepts as opportunities to show off more of his technical facility and atmospheric soundscape construction. “Hunt in the Wasteland” features a triumphant melody at its center under a highly syncopated rhythm structure, but “La Nuit Noire” solidifies itself as the most technical song heard so far in Erang’s discography through neoclassical piano arpeggios. By contrast, “Birth of a Shadow” and “Through the Darkness of Future’s Past” construct spacious landscapes of shimmering tones and dower drones.

Such a diverse array of auras lends The First Age to a wealth of synthetic sounds, which makes each track as unique as any of the others Erang has amassed over his impressive history. “Unmasking the Dead Oracle” encapsulates this pervading skill by using a relatively recognizable dungeon synth template to not only create a memorable song, but also to introduce a new and influential character in Erang’s musical odyssey. In fact, the closing song “Back to the First Age” stands out for being the most old-school dungeon synth cut from the record because every other track on the album treads a singular path in terms of arrangement, production and instrumentation.

Erang has claimed numerous times that this latest album marks the beginning of a time of silence regarding his musical endeavors, and he couldn’t have released a better send off. Even without taking into account the quantum leap it took musically, its narrative encapsulates what has made this project one of the most enduring and beloved in modern dungeon synth.

“‘The Circle is now complete, said the magician…’ ‘this is not a Circle, replied the Dead Oracle… this is a Line…’” this overarching dialogue sums up the significance of The First Age as a simultaneous completion and continuation of Erang’s musical journey. It opens as many doors as it closes — begging for further exploration in The Land of Five Seasons as much as it calls the listener to rest in epiphanic fascination.

Written by: Maxwell Heilman

Frozen In Time: Weekly News 20 September 2017

It’s been another crazy week here at This Is Darkness HQ. September has just been totally insane, but mostly in good ways. As one major announcement has just been fulfilled, there are already ruminations of another big announcement, though that one may still be far off. This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient has already been  hugely successful in these first few day of release. I’m so happy that everyone has such great feedback about the release. All the artists involved are equally responsible for helping bring this massive undertaking to reality. In conjunction with the release we’ve started a new featured section on TiD called “Artist Spotlights” and we’ll be giving you some in-depth looks at many of the artists that we’ve featured on the compilation. There are also more music videos to come from Tim VDS and one other, yet to be disclosed, videographer. Thank you all so much for the support and kind words this week. It truly meets a lot!

Compilation Released!

Music Videos & Teasers

Northumbria – New Music Video

Mebitek Teaser Video
Teaser #1 – The End Of Everything (Funeral Movement)
The last chapter of Unconscious Trilogy is coming in #Autumn #2017. Will the riddle be finally solved? Perhaps.
Here’s an hint: As rain, teardrops, thou art slipping on the window pane and I cannot catch thee. Then, I look at thee through my imagination window: idealised, perfect, mine, in a loop, until the end of time.

New Releases & Pre-orders

Item Caligo – New Album Released (Digital Only)
Defective Puppets is the new release by Item Caligo. As is to be expected, he creates very interesting textures that evoke deep emotional feelings. This release is “name your price”, and you can really never go wrong with Item Caligo! He recommends listening in overcast weather or at night.

Kaya North – New Album Released (The Eagle Stone Collective – Digital)
Tribal Mountain is one of the darkest releases that I’ve yet heard from this great and diverse French label. As usual, they release it as “name your price” so definitely give it a chance!

Mërtwaya Priroda – Pre-order Available (Kalpamantra – Digital)
The latest Kalpamantra release is the side project of Re-Drum, know for their release on Zoharum.

Metatron Omega – Pre-order Available (Cryo Chamber – CD/Digital)
The third album from Metatron Omega continues the story of Sanctum and Gnosis Dei. The hermit travels beyond enlightenment, and deep into the perception of the Unknowable.
To be “illuminated” means that one discovers something that wasn’t known before, but by doing this, one is casting a shadow upon something else. The eternal light shines upon the unveiled depths of the soul. While it’s reflection weaves into monastic atmospheres.
Witness the chants of hypnotic choirs from the cosmic Cathedral at the end of life. The everlasting voices of monks lost in space and time, searching for knowledge as they echo through dimensions.
The “Illuminated ones” chant in hypnotic choral unison for the salvation of Mankind’s universal spirit. By transcending everything that is material. Illuminating the spirit, they cast a Great Shadow upon the world.
Recommended for fans of dark cathedral music, deep drone and brooding choirs.
Releases 26 September.

raison d’être & Troum – New Album Released (CD/Digital)
This is the second part of the collaboration that started with ‘De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu’, released 2015. Based on a notion of the fascinating Amazonian Piraha tribe, this is an excursion into nine different micro-worlds of perception and consciousness. Music that reaches for the eternal, but it only exists in the very moment.

Shelter of Trees – New Album Released (Cephalopagus – Digital)
As this age of darkness is upon us, great angels, bearers of light, are battered and scattered to the far corners…dislocated, dismembered, but not defeated. Their faint but glorious voices pierce this darkness with the promise of return…
In this stunning album debut, Cephalopagus Records presents Shelter Of Trees’ Requiem For Dislocated Angels. Displaying a harmonious sonic balance of darkness and light, Shelter Of Trees’ mystical sound currents will both terrify and console. The eternal dance of dark/light, yin/yang, ugliness/beauty, creation/destruction is brilliantly evoked by Shelter Of Trees in their first ever release.
TREES are the places of birth and death; they are used as sacred shrines and places of spiritual pilgrimage, ritual, ceremony and celebration. Sacred trees are found in the Shamanic, Hindu, Egyptian, Sumerian, Toltec, Mayan, Norse, Celtic and Christian traditions. The World-tree is described in The Upanishads as “a tree eternally existing, its roots aloft, its branches spreading. In these dark times, more than ever, we seek the ancient wisdom, protection and shelter of trees.

Sonologyst – New Album Released (Eighth Tower – Digital)
Experimental dark ambient maestro Sonologyst has returned! This time he releases his new apocalyptic themed album through Eighth Tower Records a sub-division of his Unexplained Sounds Group.

sp3ct3rs – New Single Released (Digital Only)
Quebec’s sp3ct3rs has just released a slightly experimental dark ambient composition. Nice dark vibes and “name your price”, so give it a try!

The Winterhouse – New Album Released (DataObscura – CD/Digital)
A beautiful and immersive new set of drifting soundscapes from
The Winterhouse – Robert Davies and Anthony Paul Kerby.
Moving, complex, and powerful ambient. The 8th Winterhouse

This is Darkness Week in Review

Artist: Medhelan
Album: Ticinum Insubria
Release date: 25 February 2015, Re-release 2017 on Cassette
Label: Self-released
Read the review here.

Please consider making a donation!

This Is Darkness has gone live with the help of friends and supporters. I have been disabled since 2015, due to a spinal injury. Any support that can be given is greatly appreciated. Donations will go toward the maintenance of this site as well as additional promotion to increase its reach and influence. You can help through the donate button below,  or follow this link to the This Is Darkness Patreon page here.


This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient Now Available!

The huge new compilation that we’ve been working on for months has finally arrived! This Is Darkness and all the wonderful artists involved in this compilation hope that you will all enjoy the music, discover some new artists and hear some great exclusive new tunes from some of your favorites! The album is available for “name your price”. This way we can spread the music to as many fans as possible, while still allowing those interested to support our zine in any way they see fit. Keep a look out for more of the “Artist Spotlights” over the coming weeks and months, these will help to give readers a more intimate knowledge of many (maybe all) of the artists that took part in this project. Enjoy the 7+ hours of music and let us know what you think!

While you are listening, consider having a look at some of our previous reviews and interviews or the Artist Spotlights!
All Reviews
All Interviews

Artist Spotlights

Second Round of Pre-order Tracks for Compilation

As we go into the final weekend before the full release of This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient, we are revealing four more tracks to give you a bit extra to listen to over these last few days!

These new tracks are by Treha Sektori, Fear-Modern-Man, Shibalba and Sonologyst.


Medhelan – Ticinum Insubria – Review

Artist: Medhelan
Album: Ticinum Insubria
Release date: 25 February 2015, Re-release 2017 on Cassette
Label: Self-released

01. Il Viaggio Di Belloveso (Bellovesus’ Journey)
02. Il Ramo Delle Streghe (the Witches’ Marsh)
03. La Luna E Il Fiume (The Moon and the River)
05. Nemeton
05. Epona
06. Oltre il Cerchio del Tempo (Beyond the Circle of Time)
07. Alba Insubre
08. Belisama
09. Terra Di Nebbia (Land of Mists)
10. Gli Spiriti Del Bosco (Spirits of the Woods)
11. An Thon
12. Samonios
13. Ticinum Insubria
Note: Track 06 is only available on the cassette version.

Matteo Brusa, the man behind Medhelan, has been slowly solidifying himself as a force within the dungeon synth and dark ambient genres over the last few years. While Brusa’s first release only came about in 2015, we shall see that the lead up to these releases have been years in the making. Medhelan is, at this point, most well known for his strictly dungeon synth albums. But, what first attracted me to his sounds was the combination, on several albums, of dungeon synth with dark ambient. Medhelan seems to have quite a good grasp on the spirit and formulae behind both of these genres, and his ability to casually meander between the two is noteworthy.

Ticinum Insubria, the album in question for today’s review, was actually the first full length effort by Medhelan, releasing in early 2015. Ticinum Insubria would be the first of his pairings of dark ambient and dungeon synth. That year would also see the release of his EP, The Minstrel’s Fireplace Tales, which is strictly dungeon synth. Later that year, he released Nocturnal Wanderings, as the title makes obvious, its an album that is perfect for those late-night hours of insomnia, when the mind is floating between the realms of consciousness and slumber. By October of 2015, Medhelan released A Crown of Ice and Stone, a split with winter synth master Elador. This was my introduction to Medhelan, as I’m a huge Elador fan. Though these releases were well enough received, 2016 would be the year that brought the name Medhelan to the “mainstream” of the dungeon synth genre. In July of 2016 Brusa released the album Fall of the Horned Serpent on Deivlforst Records. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the present dungeon synth scene should be very familiar with Deivlforst Records. This album took his work in the dungeon synth genre to the next level, finding universal praise for his efforts among the dungeon synth scene, and quickly selling out the digipak version of the release.

The cassette release of Ticinum Insubria, in 2017, gives us reason to travel back to the roots of Brusa’s musical compositions. Ticinum Insubria was actually written and recorded in 2007-2008, but it wouldn’t find its way to the public for almost a decade. This release is a brilliant example of how the genres of dark ambient and dungeon synth can mingle in perfect harmony, given the correct artist at the helm.

While the album certainly leans more in the direction of dungeon synth than it does dark ambient, there are enough cross-over elements to warrant labeling it as both. Even if the dark ambient elements often lie dormant in the background, I truly believe this is the sort of album, if there ever were one, that could attract a number of dark ambient followers to the cause of dungeon synth.

The opening track “Il Viaggio di Belloveso” (Bellovesus’ Journey) begins with field recordings of what sounds like a distant storm or maybe an incoming army. The synth slowly enters the mix in the form of a gentle drone. As the track unfolds percussion leads us into a combination of synth and guitar arrangements that give the feel of an adventure just beginning, which is portraying the start of the journey of Bellovesus. Bellovesus was a legendary Gallic king. Bellovesus, around the time of 600 BCE, invaded northern Italia during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus (616BCE-579BCE), the 5th king of the original Roman kingdom, which would soon afterward fall, being replaced by the Roman Republic, that legendary political order which would survival until its ultimate demise at the hands of Julius Caesar and his heir Octavianus (Augustus).

This opening track gives us a very specific time and place, we know exactly what, where and when to have in mind as the rest of the album proceeds. After this first track, most of what follows focuses more on the depiction of moods and landscapes rather than continuing with any specific narrative. We are able to imagine the places encountered by Bellovesus and his army as he makes his way south into the Italian peninsula. We can feel the emotional effects of his journey, some times serene and reflective, other times nefarious and bellicose.

“La Luna e il Fiume” (The Moon and the River) is a track that brilliantly showcases the dark ambient/dungeon synth crossover capabilities of Medhelan. A great rumbling field recording sets the foundation and mood, while various synth sounds are used to build a narrative atop this base. Again, the track is most definitely dungeon synth, but the use of dark ambient elements, by way of the field recording and a slowly moving violin-like synth/drone element, deliberately work together with the other synths to form a track which is full-bodied and highly atmospheric as well as entertaining.

“Oltre il Cerchio del Tempo” (Beyond the Circle of Time), the track exclusive to the cassette release, is one of the more relaxing and reserved compositions on the album. It features subtle percussion and a repetitive synth arrangement which come together to give the listener the feeling of relaxing in a deep lush forest, watching the birds soar above, as a babbling brook meanders through the thick of the forest. The track title gives us the idea that Medhelan may intend for this to be a time for thinking of more lofty concepts, the greater meaning of life, our place and role within the galaxy, etc.

The 2017 cassette release of Ticinum Insubria was self-released by Medhelan. Yet, the craftsmanship of the release meets or exceeds that of most dark ambient and dungeon synth tape labels. The cassette itself is beautifully presented in white with a sticker on both sides which perfectly captures the Gallic elements of the release. The cover of the j-card features alternate artwork and a logo created by Dan Capp, an artist well-known and revered within the dungeon synth community for his work on the majority of the Deivlforst releases as well as many of the later releases of Burzum to name a few. The j-card folds-out to reveal a larger logo and the following text, which helps the listener to better understand the theme of the album.

Inspired by history, folklore and Celtic roots of the Ticino Valley, in northern Italy, “Ticinum Insubria” is meant as a journey through natural landscapes of woods, marshlands, rivers and plains, following trails of historical events, painting pictures of ancient times and legendary places, evoking pagan deities and forgotten rituals, or searching for the witches, tree spirits and mythical creatures of old folk tales.

As I’ve already mentioned, this is the perfect release for dark ambient fans that have been looking for a good introduction to the quickly growing genre of dungeon-synth. There are many branches of the genre that deviate from those introduced by Mortiis back in the early 90s. This is but one of those branches, yet it is surely a highlight amongst its peers.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Frozen In Time – Covering 2 Weeks 29 Aug thru 12 Sept

This has been a crazy last two weeks! Between physical therapy, the announcement of the compilation and a storm that wiped out my internet for two days, I’ve been working like crazy to keep everything in line. So, alas, last week’s Frozen In Time had to be merged into the one you are now reading, for my sanity. As just mentioned, the first order of business is going to be introducing you all to this massive compilation I’ve been working on. 67 exclusive tracks from a range of dark ambient artists. Pre-order is now available at $5 and on 18 September the full album will be unlocked as “name your price”. If you have been looking for a time to show some support for This Is Darkness, here’s your chance! In conjunction with the release, we’ve been working on some music videos. The first video to be released is Druhá Smrt – “Contemplate Darkness” with video production by Tim VDS. We’ve also introduced a new section, Artist Spotlights. This new section will at first be used to highlight the careers of many of the artists that took part in the compilation,  but the section will continue after that list is exausted (if that is even possible with 67 artists…). Thank you all for making last week the most trafficked week we’ve seen yet on This Is Darkness! We’ll keep doing all we can to introduce new content, new artists and new features to this quickly growing zine!

The Compilation

Music Videos

Druhá Smrt – Contemplate Darkness
Video by: Tim Van der Schraelen

Altarmang – Salamander
“Salamander is one of the two new Altarmang tracks that will be released through Cyclic Law on the Void CD digipak which is currently available for pre-order!

Carbon Based Lifeforms – Accede
This is track number 1 on Carbon Based Lifeforms’s highly-awaited fifth album, “Derelicts.” The album will be released on October 6th, 2017 through Finland/USA label Blood Music (physical) and Swedish label Leftfield Records.

Jarl – Dyatlov Colours
Live at KKP VIII – Paris – 05/04/2015. Not new, but just posted!

Sum of R – New Music Video

Artist Spotlights

Altarmang – Artist Spotlight
A detailed look at the dark ambient project Altarmang. Check out their track contributed to the new compilation This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient and also find out some more information about their debut album and some insight into the recording process behind it!
Read the article here.

Aseptic Void – Artist Spotlight
Aseptic Void contributed the opening track to This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient. Check out this brand new exclusive track, and also find out some more information about the various release by Aseptic Void over the years and find some insights by the artist into what makes him tick.
Read the article here.

New Releases & Pre-orders

All Signs of Those Who Left – New Album Released (Throne of Bael – Digital Only)
“name your price” experimental combination of harsh dark ambient nad field recordings of a girl possessed. Anneliese Michel (21 September 1952 – 1 July 1976) was a German woman who underwent Catholic exorcism rites during the year before her death. Later investigation determined that she was malnourished and dehydrated; her parents and the priests responsible were charged with negligent homicide. She was diagnosed with epileptic psychosis (temporal lobe epilepsy) and had a history of psychiatric treatment, which was overall not effective. Her condition worsened with her displaying various other symptoms which she took medication for as well. Michel and her family became convinced she was possessed by demons. The case attracted media and public attention because of the priests’ unusual decision to employ a 400-year-old ritual of exorcism. The film The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on her story.

Altarmang – New Extended Album Announced (Cyclic Law – CD Digipak)
The debut album of a new musical entity by Pär Boström (KAMMARHEIT) and Kenneth Hansson. An expanded version of the limited edition cassette released by Hypnagoga Press in late 2016, this new version features two previously unreleased tracks and has been remastered by Frederic Arbour. ALTARMANG offers uniquely intuitive and hypnotic atmospherics through reel-to-reel tape loops and analog tonalities. All infused with herbal alchemy and ceremonial surrendering. Releases 22 September.

Cicely Irvine – New Album Released (eilean rec. – CD/Digital)
Cicely Irvine (b. 1990) is a musician and sound artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She is making music and sound design for film, radio and performance art. The release on Eilean rec is her very first and a collection of music made between 2007 and 2017.

Common Eider, King Eider – Pre-order Available (Cold Spring – CD/Digital)
The triumphant reawakening of San Francisco’s masters of behemoth ritualistic darkness…
Within “Shrines For The Unwanted, Respite For The Cast Aside”, bone, antler and voice produce connective threads between the worlds, as guitar and percussion punctuate shifts in mood. Voices call to the spirits, and the spirits call back in return. Recorded in 2016 during four private, collective only rituals, the pieces pull the listener through the darkest and most overgrown trails of the blackest forest. Monumental and horizonless ritualistic black ambience. Vocal visitations by A.C. Way of Sutekh Hexen. Releases 25 September.

Daniel James Dolby – New Album Released (Throne of Bael – Digital Only)
Grimojo is an experimental ambient album with strong elements of jazz noire / dark jazz. Highly recommended for fans of Bohrnen und der Club of Gore!

Dean Hurley – New Album Released
Although Twin Peaks: The Return has hosted an array of Roadhouse performers and spotlighted music throughout its new season, a large part of the show’s sonic identity has been defined by the space between sound effects and music. Sound and music supervisor Dean Hurley’s first installment of the library-style Anthology Resource series showcases his original ambient music contributions featured in the show’s very distinctive-sounding third season. (You might also remember Hurley as the drummer from the fictitious band Trouble, alongside Alex Zhang Hungtai of Dirty Beaches, and David Lynch’s son Riley, who performed at the Roadhouse in “Part 5” of The Return.)

Dirty Knobs – Pre-order Available (Xero Music – Digital Only)
“I often have a quote from Warren Ellis’ Morning Computer in mind while working, a mental image of “places that were only ever designed to be passed through.” Maybe that’s what this music is. Music for places that were only ever designed to be passed through. Infinite anechoic chambers absorbing all vibration. Massive underground neutrino detectors catching a glimpse of the universe as it passes through their clear waters. Galaxies of dark matter and voids. Mental spaces where time stutters and anxiety flexes.
Music to be lost and forgotten. Music from a vantablack heart.”

Enearth – Last Days (Digital Only)
“name your price’ apocalyptic dark ambient music by V. Sycatrhope of the Sycatrhope Project.

Ghost Empty – Album Released (Noctivagant – CD/Digital)

Hecq – New Album Released (Hymen Records – Vinyl/Digital)
with ‘chansons de geste’ ben lukas boysen a.k.a. hecq presents a very personal release, conceived as a memorial and dedication to bygone events and individuals. the basic sources for the eleven haunting tracks were original tape recordings boysen and his family members made decades ago for private use, ranging from piano etudes to classical works by composers like j.s. bach and johannes brahms. it was hecq’s intention to restore, to revive and to re-arrange these basic sources for the existing release in a condensed and unusual way. each tape was digitized to hard disc, loops and patches were extracted from this sound pool, and the collection was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. the tapes were taken and played back inside a church where the natural reverb of the location was added and used as the master recording.

Las Paccariscas & Coven – New Album Released (Noctivagant – CD/Digital)

Michael Bonaventure – New Album Released (Unexplained Sounds Group – Digital Only)
Curating an anthology of Michael Bonaventure’s works over the last decade was not only a superb pleasure, but a privilege too. Bonaventure is one of the rare examples of a classically trained composer who, starting from his early instrumental musical education at the organ (the first synthesizer, as he loves to say), has been able to explore the most innovative paths in terms of avant-garde music, working with solo organ compositions, vocal processing, contemporary electro-acoustic techniques as well as with industrial noise improvisations. His sensitivity to different kinds of musical languages builds a natural bridge between apparently distant lands, and even the most experimental pieces possess an inner elegance that is a distinctive sign of his artistic mastery.

raison d’être & Troum – Pre-order For New Album (Transgradient – CD/Digital/forthcoming on Vinyl)
This is the second part of the collaboration that started with ‘De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu’, released 2015. Based on a notion of the fascinating Amazonian Piraha tribe, this is an excursion into nine different micro-worlds of perception and consciousness. Music that reaches for the eternal, but it only exists in the very moment. Releases 18 September.

Sum of R – New Album Announced (Cyclic Law – CD/Digital/Vinyl)
Switzerland’s Sum Of R led by Reto Mäder (RM74) and accompanied by Fabio Costa create slow moving instrumental sonics with a sensibility for hypnotic and complex song structures. “Orga” is an immersive voyage into a shapeshifting mist of raw-boned melodies and repetitive mantras. The album is a hybrid of ritual drums and eerie percussions, atmospheric analog electronics and epic drones forming a drifting orchestral wall of sound. Darkness, light and its reflections is what emerges from this mysterious aural mist. Cover photography by Milena Kancheva. Releases 15 September.

Sumatran Black – New Album Released (Sumatran Black – Digital Only)
Minimalist Dark Ambient Blackness – Necro Chill “name your price”

Troum – Teaser for upcoming album on Black Mara

Twin Peaks (Limited Event Series Soundtrack)(Score)
features the moody instrumental material that kept you on the edge of your seat throughout the course of the 18 episodes, which means you get lots of Angelo Badalamenti, of course, along with contributions from Muddy Magnolias, Grady Tate, Johnny Jewel, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra / Witold Rowicki, David Lynch & Dean Hurley, Chromatics, and Thought Gang, which – spoiler alert – is actually the aforementioned Mr. Badalamenti teamed with the equally-aforementioned Mr. Lynch. Available for purchase here.

Various Artists – Visions of Darkness (Cold Spring/Unexplained Sounds Group – CD/Digital)
A gathering of majestic, heavy, dark ambient, ritual, drone and noise music from Iran. Highly original and monolithic, with stunning production, Visions Of Darkness stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the Dark Ambient scene.
In a country where youth culture has been heavily restricted for so long, it’s significant when a cultural form such as this has an opportunity to reach a wider audience – aided by the abstract nature of dark ambient, drone and noise. In comparison, the dance music scene has a harder time taking root in Iran due to the illegality of men and women dancing in public together. However, the growth of the experimental electronic scene is going to be about more than a mere novelty reaction to a political paradigm shift. The darkness here is a consequence of the mood of the artists – darker after the country was put on a black list and more restrictions were applied to many things, including monetary transactions to and from Iran. As a consequence, Iranian artists have a great difficulty getting the resources to better develop their projects. Despite this, the enthusiasm and will for Iranian musicians to promote their music shines through.
Releases 25 September.

Weress – New Album Released (Digital Only)
Demo of dark drone space ambient by Weress.
Weress is a experimental one-man-band project by P. Since 2012 on space univers. With many influences like Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient, Drone, Space Ambient, Black Ambient, Post-Rock ..


DeepAudio – End of Summer Sale
DeepAudio are closing in on the finish of their summer sales. You can find a ton of great physical releases discounted here.

Pär Boström – Birthday Sale!
It’s Pär’s birthday on Wednesday and we’re celebrating with a 50% sale, all week on all releases from Hypnagoga Press, and on albums by Kammarheit and Cities Last Broadcast:
Hypnagoga Press:
Cities Last Broadcast:
Use the code: BIRTHDAYCAKE.

This Is Darkness Week In Review

Rafael Anton Irisarri – The Shameless Years – Review
Multiple listens and a continuous internal dialogue about the subject matter are required to fully appreciate the calamitous odyssey this album harbors within its sprawling sound collages. Its exploration of mankind’s frailty and failures compasses astride a conciliate raft of abstract sublimity. The Shameless Years is not only a bulwark of post-minimalist music, but a stunning account of the deepest insecurities of Rafael Anton Irisarri and his most lofty appraisals of stricken generations.
Read full review here.

Hoor-Paar-Kraat – The Place of Crossing – Review
As my first foray into the works of the Chthonic Stream label, I find this release to be a pleasant listen. It has enough diversity of sounds to keep the listener thoroughly entertained on an active listen, while simultaneously never pushing the boundaries so far as to be a complete disruption on a more passive listening session. The physical release is well thought-out and seems to be masterfully prepared. I would certainly recommend this to listeners who dabble in experimental music. The album is just experimental enough to be a novel experience, without ever going so far as to sound chaotic, a balance which is often missed on these sorts of endeavors.
Read full review here.

Please consider making a donation!

This Is Darkness has gone live with the help of friends and supporters. I have been disabled since 2015, due to a spinal injury. Any support that can be given is greatly appreciated. Donations will go toward the maintenance of this site as well as additional promotion to increase its reach and influence. You can help through the donate button below,  or follow this link to the This Is Darkness Patreon page here.

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