Month: October 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Frozen In Time: Weekly Dark Ambient News – 17 Oct 2017

Any week when I can announce new releases by both Northaunt and Svartsinn is a monumentally good week in my opinion!  There are a ton of great new releases to browse, some interesting announcements and a LOT of new reviews from the previous week. Also there is a new mix from us for you to check out. So take your time with this, there’s a light here to absorb! Cheers!

Music Videos, Teasers and Announcements

Blåsvart Evening Vol. 9 Flyer
Dark Ambient Evening of Live Music arranged by Jan Roger of Svartsinn. If only I were in Scandinavia! The line-up for this year looks really impressive! If you haven’t yet heard Sysselmann I thoroughly recommend reading my review of their album here and giving it a listen!

Deivlforst Records – All Murgrid Releases Re-issued
Murgrind is the dungeon synth project of the man behind the Deivlforst Records label, the forerunner in the dungeon synth genre, but not exclusively dungeon synth output. Murgrind’s discography as long been sold out and now they have re-released all three albums in beautiful new digipak and A5 digipak formats. Give the Murgrind collection a listen! I personally just ordered a few of these and would definitely recommend them to others.

Endless Melancholy – New Music Video
Endless Melancholy is an ambient group that I’ve been following for a year or so. They release ambient music that is always right outside the fringes of dark ambient. This video certainly won’t be for everyone, but it’s a nice song with great video production and is worth watching for those that like some lighter sounds in their lives occasionally.

Theologian – Promo Video for New Album

Shrine – Preview of New Album
Shrine says of this preview: “This is a preview of the new Shrine full length album, which is to be released next spring on Cyclic Law Records. No artwork yet, the one above is a thematic sample. Once the album is out, this preview will be deleted.
“Celestial Fire” is a conceptual album. A synopsis will follow when the release comes closer. Until then you are left with sounds only. And the internet 🙂

New Releases & Pre-Orders

A Cryo Chamber Collaboration – New Album Released
(Cryo Chamber – CD/Digital)
You can read our review of it at this link.
Cryo Chamber says about the album: “Tomb of Druids is the third album in the “Tomb” series, 5 ambient artists join forces to delve deep into druidic history.
The chant of the ceremony swells beyond walls of wet stone. Your bare feet on red sand peak out of cloudy robes.
Figures sway among the pillars of the stone circle. Their song spirals up towards the night sky.
The stars move in pulsating patterns and combine to form the bird of light. It swoops down from it’s celestial home to push it’s claws into the red soil, it stares into your soul before it put it’s head under it’s wing and drowns in the sand. A tiny finger cymbal echo between the pillars as the voices die down. The figures are gone, only their empty robes left behind. You stand alone under a night sky drained of stars, pure black.
Druidic chanting and deep walls of sound lends a cavernous atmosphere to Tomb of Druids.”

Adeptus Mechanicus – New Album Released
(Throne of Bael – Digital Only)
A ‘name your price’ horror dark ambient release from the dark experimental label Throne of Bael. Some haunting drone atmospheres here worth a listen!

All Signs of Those Who Left – New Album Released
(Throne of Bael Records – Digital Only) *name your price*
This release is one of the more haunting albums I’ve heard recently. In fact, the last one this haunting was Anneliese Michel, by this same project! Throne of Bael usually takes their releases in the direction of pure horror darkness and this new one is no exceptions. Their blurb for the album only says this fitting pair of statements: “Switch the lights off and listen loud. WARNING:May Cause Visual Disturbances and Feelings of Unease.”

Antelogos – New Album Released
(Grey Matter Productions – CD/Digital)
This is some incredibly dark and crushing ritual ambient/dark ambient/atmospheric black metal/and so-forth. I’ll likely be reviewing it in the near future. Grey Matter Productions, ‘Musick For Dead Souls’, says of the release: “Dark ambient ceremonial rituals and mysteriis, droning on through analog electronics, chanting, throat singing and more.
This album transports you through dark dimensions towards a sonic landscape built with amazing clarity and consistency for a debut album. – A Journey through dark decomposing dimensions.”

Blakkr Seidr – New Album Released
(Noctivagant Collective – CD/Digital)
Noctivagant says of this release: “Blakkr Seidr is the amalgam of the knowledge of these two adepts, of the black arts in disposition to the spheres of consciousness beyond the created, those that dwell in the eternal emptiness and chaos. Each copy of Blakkr Seidr has been musically programmed and consecrated energetically in order to establish an acausal connection with the spirits that live beyond the veil.

Eislandschaft – New Album Released
(Lighten Up Sounds – Cassette/Digital)
This cassette was an instapurchase for me. A review will be forthcoming! Highly recommended music from the genre of winter synth which falls somewhere between Mortiis and Northaunt! Lighten Up Sounds says about the album: “Hypnotic minimalism manifests in monochrome, transversing the barren winter wastelands. “Tales of the Frost” delivers a pure vision of frigid polar ambience and melancholic synthesis from F. Curwenius (Goblintropp) of Argentina. Body temperatures plummet as the blood runs cold, wind chill cuts like sharpened blade.
Initially self-released digitally by the artist in August ’17, this edition features an exclusive all new track, as of yet unheard. Over 48 minutes of arctic isolationism for navigation through deep sub-zero trance. Behold, frostbitten serenity.”

Embers Below Zero – New EP Released
(Digital Only)
Embers Below Zero, the dark ambient project of Przemysaw Murzyn, owner of Santa Sangre, and writer for This Is Darkness, has released a new EP. ‘name your price’ so you can’t go wrong here!

Hoshiko Yamane – Pre-order Available (1631 – Digital Only)
Not dark ambient, but some neo-classical solo violin that sounds incredibly beautiful. I have only heard the preview track, “Into the Dark” but all these track titles indicate that this should be a dark themed release. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, and you should too!

Ian Hawgood + Danny Norbury – Pre-orders Available
(Home Normal – CD/Digital)
Not dark ambient, but worth a listen! Faintly Recollected is a beautiful and somber long form neo-classical piece with ambient elements by Danny Norbury and Ian Hawgood.

Las Paccariscas – New Album Released (Kalpamantra – Digital Only)
Some dark drone ambient from a talented project that is often over-looked. I’ve been following them since about 1 1/2 years ago and they have plenty of quality material. Worth a listen!

La Tredicesima Luna – New Album Released
(Lighten Up Sounds – Cassette/Digital)
Read our review of the album at this link.
Lighten Up Sounds says about the album: “Stunning shadow sound from Italian solo artist Matteo Brusa, known for his powerful Dungeon Synth work as Medhelan. This dark debut from the project (translated as The 13th Moon) offers a flawless form of foreboding night-sky synthesis and ominous drone, a cryptic key to the eternal lunar mysteries. Moonlight as filtered through branch and fog, a pristine transmission of somber atmospherics for seasonal shift.
‘Only those who are not afraid to dive into the night can follow the path traced by the stars.'”

Maha Pralaya – New EP Released (Digital Only)
These are a few of their tracks that were outtakes from recent albums. Post-apacalypse raga / ritual dark ambient.

Mike Lazarev – Pre-order Available (1631 – Digital Only)
Not dark ambient, but some neo-classical piano work that sounds incredibly somber and melancholic. Defitely worth checking out for those who enjoy some classical occasionally.

Northaunt – New Album Released (The Last Bleak Days – CD/Digital)
You can read our review of it at this link.
Northaunt says about the album: “For many many years I have hiked into the woods, trying to get away from it all. Precious days offering silence and room for new thoughts. Nights spent in the wild, watching familiar forms transform as darkness fall, feeling it stir something inside, something overlooked in the stress and clutter of everyday life. This is my channelling of these feelings, my tribute if you like, to night, the woods and solitude.
Enjoy.”

New Oracle – New Album Released (Digital Only)
New Oracle approached me a few days ago with their two latest releases and I was very impressed. Here’s their new album, Orogenesis. I would definitely recommend giving this a listen. The previous album is also available on their bandcamp for ‘name your price’. New Oracle says of this release: “Orogenesis is the process of mountain formation. These songs were formed in the same fashion—songs of intense pressure, heat, and fluidity. Hardening over time, steady refinement.
This album was started properly in 2014 in Seattle, but some of the source recordings go back even earlier. It was finished September of 2017 in a cabin in the Appalachian mountains, a fitting journey that coincidentally aligns with the personal meanings and meditations inherent in this song cycle ∞ .”

The Null Spectre – New EP Released (Digital Only)
A ‘name your price’ release that sounds very haunting and very promising. A nice addition to your collection for the Halloween season! Their album blurb says:
“As darkness spreads to the edge of dusk,
Children at play begin to rush
Back to their homes, to be tucked in bed
With tales of the Darkling filling them with dread…”

Onasander – New EP/Demo Released (Digital Only)

Scott Lawlor – New Album Released (Digital Only)
Two long-form dark and droning tracks by the prolific ambient artist Scott Lawlor. This looks to be one of his darker releases and is definitely worth a try, especially since it’s ‘name your price’!

Seetyca – New Album Released (Winter-Light – CD/Digital)
Winter-Light says of the release: “‘Winterlicht’ is Seetyca’s third full length album to be released on the Winter-Light label.
As the album title indicates the theme is that of the winter’s light and comprises of 12 new tracks, combining deep drones and sparse musical pieces to create a vast wintry landscape. The opening track ‘cold morning’ invokes images of sunlight playing across fields steeped in deep white snow while your cold breath disappears in to the morning air. The title track ‘winterlicht’ is a slowly evolving darker, deeper 13 minute drone piece. Here the heavy mantle of winter steadily envelopes the listener, drawing the darkness of the nights ever nearer, as the cold winds howl and the ice begins to form, locking the landscape in to a frozen tundra.
The play between light and dark, the subtle use of environmental sounds and carefully chosen instruments, played by a stellar array of Seetyca’s friends, is what makes this album truly engaging.”

Spycker – New Album Released (Petroglyph Music – Digital Only)
New ‘name your price’ dark neo-classical release. Petroglyph says of the album: “As multifarious as what’s inside a whale’s stomach, Spycker’s music can best be defined per album, although even that’s not so easily done. After releasing records covering styles ranging from electric guitar drones to experimental downtempo beats, Spycker’s contribution to the wonderfully eclectic Petroglyph Music netlabel explores the world of piano-driven soundscapes and gloomy ambient. Or something like that. Containing 10 short instrumental pieces, Øyedråper provides the listener with a temporary escape into an eerie, strangely consoling realm, where the mysterious is common and conformity a curse.”

Svartsinn – Pre-order Available for New Album
(Cyclic Law – 2xLP/CD/Digital)
I am extremely excited to see a new one from Svartsinn, one of my favorites! Cyclic Law says of the new album: “Now 8 years since the last full length for Cyclic Law, Norway’s SVARTSINN returns with a new opus, reaffirming his place as one of the world’s premiere Dark Ambient acts. For this album Jan Roger Pettersen is accompanied on some tracks by fellow Norwegian Amund Ulvestad on Cello, providing new elements to Svartsinn’s distinct ominous drones. Mørkets Variabler translates to “Variables Of Darkness” and it is a certain combination of such variables that fuels the urges and need to create the atmospheres translating as Svartsinn. Darkness comes in various shapes and forms and through these new pieces we are plunged into this vast and singular subject, left to our senses to explore it’s subtle meanings and impressions left within ourselves. Presented in a unique Limited Edition Hardcover Digibook as well as a Limited Gatefold Double vinyl. The vinyl version includes an exclusive remix of the track “Echoes Of Silent Cries” by Sweden’s KAMMARHEIT. Artwork by Dehn Sora. ”

Theologian – New Album Released
(Danvers State Recordings – Cassette)
THEOLOGIAN returns from a trek into the deepest internal chasms, after drowning in misery and self-defeat, to the gates of the FORCED UTOPIA, released in time for THEOLOGIAN’s appearance at INTO THE AETHER, a two-day festival in Portland, Maine. Apocalyptic industrial for the end times. The album can be ordered here.
http://danversstate.storenvy.com/products/21720773-theologian-forced-utopia-c60

Urs Wild – New EP Released (Digital Only)
Following his recent release on Eighth Tower Records, the sub-label of the Unexplained Sounds Group, Urs Wild self-releases this album of which he says: “Take a journey through space and time with Urs Wild’s latest EP of Space Ambient. ”

Zos Kia (pre-COIL) – 23 (Infinite Fog – CD/Cassette)
Not dark ambient, but likely of interest to a great number of dark ambient fans, so I’m posting it!
Infinite Fog says about the album: “Now the final and complete anthology of ZOS KIA recordings released under title “23” on 2CDs in Luxor Digibook via INFINITE FOG PRODUCTIONS. 23 tracks, more than 2 hours of exciting material in various styles, was сarefully extracted and prepared for publishing by John Gosling himself, and artwork was done by Cold Graves. Well-known track in different forms, unknown, rare and unreleased composition, and many more for the deep diving into the esoteric underground music from 80th.”

This is Darkness Week In Review

A Cryo Chamber Collaboration – Tomb of Druids
Tomb of Druids is an absolute success. When I saw that it incorporated all new artist that had never participated in the series previously, with one track each, I was hesitant about how well it would work out. But after a number of listens, it’s absolutely clear that this album is worthy of the Tombs Series and, as I’ve previously mentioned, it is likely the most successful at extracting the correct psychological and perceptive responses from listeners. At this point the series could move in any direction. Taking it into these ritual grounds is certainly an interesting path and one that continuing to follow would likely bring about even more levels of success. Highly recommended for the cinematic and ritual ambient listeners.
Read full review here.

Dark Piano Nights Mix
Dark Piano Nights is a combination of dark ambient with some various other styles that all come together to form a peaceful yet melancholic nighttime listening session. This is mostly free of vocals, but there are a few exceptions throughout. The music becomes more active at times than that of a strictly dark ambient set-list, but I think the flow is good and the music, which includes classical, jazz noir, and a mix of others, is all highly enjoyable. I hope you will also enjoy this mix on a lonely dark rainy evening, when you are alone with only your thoughts, a good book, and an internet connection.
Listen to the mix here.

La Tredicesima Luna – Il Sentiero degli Dei
Brusa has done what I’ve been hoping to see over the last few years since discovering Medhelan. He’s severed the tie of Medhelan between his dark ambient and dungeon synth output and created an entity for the sole purpose of dark ambient releases. As he moves further into the depths of this cataclysm it’s likely that an already polished sound will be even further refined on future releases. We might be seeing the beginnings here of a big deal within dark ambient circles. Brusa has already proven capable of this feat in the dungeon synth community.
Read the full review here.

Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Wolfe’s unique delivery translates into goth metal confines incredibly well, packing an emotional punch others could only dream of mustering. That being said, her sound has never sounded this conventionally doom, a byproduct of the less nuanced approach she took. This record sees her wrestle with her identity in the midst of hardship, and ultimately transcends her indignations in steadfast resolve. While Abyss remains her darkest and heaviest record, Hiss Spun stands as Chelsea Wolfe’s spiritual manifesto by way of smoky riffs and pitch-black melodies.
Read the full review here.

Nhor – Wildflowers: Autumn
At 23 minutes, this is the longest and most dense Wildflowers EP so far. Using stark minimalism and extreme simplicity, Nhor has again created a cohesive narrative unique to the season in question. Autumn blows with crimson leaves towards a snowy blight, pacifying the maddening race to prepare for winter through its gentle chords.
Read the full review here.

TeHÔM – Live Assault
Live Assault is one of the best live recordings I’ve heard. I really wouldn’t be able to notice that it was recorded in a live setting other than a few minor moments. The sounds are full and the music is precisely executed. The change in tempo makes the release have a totally different feel than the original album, which absolutely warrants its release as a separate entity. If you are a fan of TeHÔM, I would highly recommend this release to you. If you have never heard of the project, this is a great place to start!
Read the full review here.

Northaunt – Night Paths
Night Paths is an absolutely worthy album to be added to the Northaunt discography. While it might not have the same stylistic and thematic consistency that we would hear on a proper full length, it’s full of great tracks, each one I am very pleased to have a chance to enjoy. We get a little something from all the different periods of the Northaunt sound, giving us a sort of time capsule back in time. For any fans of the older Northaunt music in particular, this is a must have. For newer fans, this is a way to get an idea of what Hærleif Langås has done in the past, a perfect introduction to his previous styles. Knowing that Istid III is right around the corner as well, we should all be quite content this winter, with plenty of fresh Northaunt music to act as a soundtrack to these upcoming cold, dark months.
Read the full review here.

Jarl – Hypnosis Colour
Long-time fans of Jarl will have every reason to love Hypnosis Colour. It takes his sound into a direction that makes the most sense yet in his career, the building of layers in order to create an actual mind-shift in the listener. Readers that are new to the sounds of Jarl should be warned that this isn’t light listening. You will have to approach this album in a different way than you would with the usual dark ambient release. It is meant to be an active listening experience and headphones are mandatory. With that said, Hypnosis Colour as well as it’s predecessor Amygdala Colours are two of the most technically and thematically successful releases of Erik Jarl’s to date, and both should be perfect entry points for beginners. It will be interesting to see if Jarl will continue on this path with his next release or if he has plans to switch gears into a different direction.
Read the full review here.

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Jarl – Hypnosis Colour – Review

Artist: Jarl
Album: Hypnosis Colour
Release date: 16 July 2017
Label: Reverse Alignment

Tracklist:
01. Hypnosis Colour

Jarl is the dark/drone ambient project of Erik Jarl of Norrköping, Sweden. Erik Jarl might be better known for his role in the power electronics project IRM, in which he collaborates with Martin Bladh and Mikael Oretoft. But Jarl is certainly his more active project, having released roughly two dozen albums since he started the project back in 2001. These albums have been released on a number of renowned labels including Malignant Records, Annihilvs Power Electronics and Autarkeia. But most recently, Jarl has been releasing the most consistently through Reverse Alignment, and that is where today’s album in question is released.

Hypnosis Colour is a successor to Amygdala Colours – Hemisphere Rotation from 2016. That album was described in its liner notes as: Electronic and acoustic sounds for the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. For the right and left side of Amygdala”. So we see, it was not really directed as a musical experience, so much as a psychological manipulation. Jarl started work on the next installment right after that album’s release.

His latest release, Hypnosis Colour, plays with this section of the brain in a different way. The amygdala is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. Recent research¹ has shown that hypnosis makes it possible for the amygdala to be controlled. So Hypnosis Colour is still focused on that section of the brain which was initially explored in Amygdala Colours. Under hypnosis, the amygdala is able to be turned off, thereby stopping the mind and body from having emotional reactions, giving it time to heal any mental or even physical wounds more efficiently.

So we can see that Jarl is not simply delivering us music for casual listening. Hypnosis Colour is able to serve a specific purpose. If allowed, Hypnosis Colour could likely have profound effects on the brain. This stands to reason that the listening of this album should be given full attention. The listener should absolutely be wearing headphones, in order to correctly experience the panning of sounds between the left and right speakers. Furthermore, it should be experienced in a dark, quiet setting, where the listener is not likely to be disturbed by any external elements. If these conditions are adhered to, the listener will be able to fully appreciate the effect that Jarl is trying to achieve.

From a technical standpoint, Hypnosis Colour will exhibit many of the same sorts of sounds and techniques used on previous Jarl albums. The sounds are extremely nuanced. The album works in a steady progression, slowly building up layers upon layers of acoustic and electronic sounds, while the volume also steadily increases to its maximum. There is the same level of harshness to the release which would be expected by any seasoned fan of the Jarl sound. But, as is usual with Jarl, somehow he manages to take this harshness to a place that is mind-altering, but never overbearing or anxiety inducing. The feat is likely achieved with the help of Peter Andersson of raison d’être, who has mastered the majority of Erik Jarl’s releases as well as those by IRM over the years. For added effect, he has also used artwork created by Karolina Urbaniak, another long-time collaborator. Her cover art is a beautiful combination of light greens and blues swirling upon a black backdrop. The visuals could be called psychedelic, without any of the usual hippy connotations that often weigh this word down.

Long-time fans of Jarl will have every reason to love Hypnosis Colour. It takes his sound into a direction that makes the most sense yet in his career, the building of layers in order to create an actual mind-shift in the listener. Readers that are new to the sounds of Jarl should be warned that this isn’t light listening. You will have to approach this album in a different way than you would with the usual dark ambient release. It is meant to be an active listening experience and headphones are mandatory. With that said, Hypnosis Colour as well as it’s predecessor Amygdala Colours are two of the most technically and thematically successful releases of Erik Jarl’s to date, and both should be perfect entry points for beginners. It will be interesting to see if Jarl will continue on this path with his next release or if he has plans to switch gears into a different direction.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Northaunt – Night Paths – Review

Artist: Northaunt
Album: Night Paths
Release date: 15 October 2017
Label: The Last Bleak Days

It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point to anyone following This Is Darkness that Hærleif Langås is one of my very favorite dark ambient musicians. Just as it is with Pär Boström or Simon Heath, Hærleif’s music is rarely not included in any of my mixes and his albums, whether Northaunt, The Human Voice or Therradaemon his albums are in constant rotation in my CD player. Hærleif seems to have a natural talent for this kind of music, and that fact seems to be proven further and further with each of his releases.

Night Paths is the first Northaunt release since Istid I-II in January 2015. But luckily in between these two releases we had the brilliant Silent Heart, by his project The Human Voice, which I might consider my favorite album of his to date, and the best album of 2016. To my great pleasure, the opener on Night Paths has a lot of similarities to a few of the tracks on Silent Heart. But it seems even more so to harken back to roughly a decade ago when Northaunt released their sophomore album Barren Land. The field recordings are bold and crushing, the instrumentation is straight forward and nothing like the subtlety we heard on Istid I-II. There is even a vocal sample incorporated into the track, reminding me of something like “Hopeless dreams” one of the bonus tracks from the Barren Land digibook reissue.

Hærleif Langås mentioned, about a month before the release of this album, by way of a Facebook post, that these were unreleased tracks, a bit darker than the previous albums. While there is no real evidence to prove this, it sounds as if the album is laid out in chronological order. There is a slow progression across the length of the album from the harsher, bolder tracks from Barren Land and Horizons days, into something more like what we heard on The Borrowed World or Istid I-II. Though, right or wrong, this really doesn’t matter, it only shows that the album does have a sort of progression of sounds, whatever the reason.

“Skjelletering”, the second track on Night Paths, is another one which is brutally dark and crushing. The drones are thick and chilly, the field recordings and samples adding even more depth to this darkness. “Blood Trail” becomes a much lighter affair following these two crushing openers. But the malign nature and abysmal darkness may have gone to an even more intense level.

“Beneath the Ice”, a track that was introduced last month on our very own dark ambient compilation, becomes even more subtle. We get the sensations of a diver, searching some lost ancient shipwreck, beneath a thick layer of ice, which has kept the wreck sealed away from prying eyes for many years. This one is incredibly serene, and probably one of the least overtly dark tracks on the album.

There are really so many great tracks here to talk about. The album seems to have spanned the career, or at least the second half of the music career of Hærleif Langås. There have been few, but incredibly great, albums from Northaunt over the years and it should be a real blessing to any fan of Northaunt, that we are able to take a step back and hear these outtakes which are anything but dispensable.

Hærleif Langås decided to try something different with this album and released it himself, through his label, The Last Bleak Days. After so many years of releasing albums through various labels it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for him to do this one himself. But, dedicated fans should take note that this is a limited edition release of only 150 physical copies in a 6-panel digipak. So if you are interested in the physical release, don’t hesitate, they might not be around for long!

Night Paths is an absolutely worthy album to be added to the Northaunt discography. While it might not have the same stylistic and thematic consistency that we would hear on a proper full length, it’s full of great tracks, each one I am very pleased to have a chance to enjoy. We get a little something from all the different periods of the Northaunt sound, giving us a sort of time capsule back in time. For any fans of the older Northaunt music in particular, this is a must have. For newer fans, this is a way to get an idea of what Hærleif Langås has done in the past, a perfect introduction to his previous styles. Knowing that Istid III is right around the corner as well, we should all be quite content this winter, with plenty of fresh Northaunt music to act as a soundtrack to these upcoming cold, dark months.

Written by: Michael Barnett

TeHÔM – Live Assault – Review

Artist: TeHÔM
Album: Live Assault & Extra Assault
Release date: 22 August 2017
Labels: Cyclic Law – CD Digipak / La Esencia – LP+bonus disc

Tracklist:
Disc 1 or LP: Live Assault
(Continous Playback, No Track Separations)
01. A1 Intro (Theos Agnotos)
02. A2 Darkness Cosmogony of Myths
03. A3 Perilous Depth
04. A4 Abyss
05. B1 Amorphous Structure
06. B2 The World Ended
07. B3 Modality of Cosmic Matter

Disc 2: Extra Assault
(Only available with the vinyl edition)
01. The Realm of Dark Senses
02. Our Place In The Stars
03. Kolaps

TeHÔM is a name that has been around the dark ambient scene for the last two decades. But, the volume of output would not lead one to believe it is so. This is on account of the tragic loss of the founding member of TeHÔM, Siniša Očuršćak who died in 1997, leaving the project in the hands of Miljenko Rajaković. The first two albums Despiritualization of Nature and Theriomorphic Spirits released in 1996 and 2000 respectively. It wouldn’t be until 2014 before Rajaković would release the third offering, Lacrimae Mundi. An album, which was the first to be created solely by Rajaković.

Yet, Lacrimae Mundi released on Cyclic Law to nearly universal praise by the dark ambient scene. Miljenko Rajaković had successfully revived the project and took his new album out on the concert network of the European continent over the following years. Live Assault is the result of a recording from one such concert date on 12 August 2016 at the Brutal Assault Festival in Czech Republic.

The live recording of this release is quite impressive. The engineers used several microphones placed on angles which would capture sounds, not only from the artist, but also from the crowd. There are different points throughout the release where we will hear the crowd, but it never overwhelms the mood of the music and is only particularly noticeable at the end of the performance when they clap and cheer. There is an overwhelming three-dimensional feel to this release, which I recommend to enjoy at the highest volume acceptable, in order to really feel the performance as it would have been felt by the crowd. The highs are crisp and the bass is crushing.

Miljenko Rajaković vied to execute this performance at a slower speed/tempo than on the original versions of the tracks. This slowing makes their darkness even more abysmal and menacing. On “Darkness Cosmogony of Myths” the vocal recitation of some potent words by Edgar Allen Poe with this slowed down effect is brilliantly realized. As a listener, you might not immediately recognize the difference in the speed of playback, but if you really start to pay attention, you’ll notice the difference, and likely appreciate the performance all-the-more for it. This potency is also noticeable on “Amorphous Structure” during the vocal samples, which take on an even more unsettling effect than on the regular album edition.

“The World Ended” was my first encounter with TeHÔM, and the reason for which I quickly fell in love with the music of this artist. Its rendition on Live Assault is a powerhouse of deep rumbling bass. It is indeed a sonic assault on the senses. If you have this one cranked up, your not only going to hear it, but you are going to feel its reverberations throughout your body. Again, the slowed down version of this track adds an increased effect of dread and despair to its already chilling subject matter.

Bursting into “Modality of Cosmic Matter” following “The World Ended” keeps the momentum going. This track is again, one of my favorites and its rendition on Live Assault is as good as, if not better than, the original version. The sampled vocal passages continue to take on that eerie haunting effect that they have produced repeatedly throughout the performance, seemingly each more potent than its predecessor.

The first two tracks on Extra Assault appear to be outtakes from Lacrimae Mundi. Fans most familiar with that release will not find anything too unusual about these tracks, if you loved Lacrimae Mundi, you will love these. They follow the pattern laid out, which would include deep rumbling bass, haunting vocal samples with overt religious symbolisms and a reserved use of tribal-like percussion sections. The one main feature that stands out is “Our Place In The Stars”, a track that originally surfaced on Eudoxus by the Kalpamantra label, with a vocal sample which seems to come from a different source than the majority of others used by TeHÔM. Yet, it is still masterfully incorporated into the music.

“Kolaps” the third track on the Extra Assault disc is dated back to the origins of TeHÔM. We should be thankful that Miljenko has decided to include this one on the release because it’s a disquieting experience. It gives us a side of TeHÔM that most fans of only the Lacrimae Mundi release will not be familiar or expecting. There are deeply disquieting vocal samples that permeate this track entrenched in what feels like a sample from some battlefield, making for an exceedingly dark and daemonic end to the Extra Assault disc and the album as a whole.

Miljenko Rajakovic dedicated this release to the memory of the industrial pioneer John Russell Murphy (11 July 1959 – 11 October 2015). For those unfamiliar he was an Australian drummer, percussionist and multi-instrumental session musician who played in Australian and British post-punk, ambient and industrial music groups. Around the ambient/dark ambient/post-industrial scenes he would have been most well known for his work with SPK, Krank, Death In June and his industrial music trio Last Dominion Lost, among many other projects and collaborations.

Live Assault is one of the best live recordings I’ve heard. I really wouldn’t be able to notice that it was recorded in a live setting other than a few minor moments. The sounds are full and the music is precisely executed. The change in tempo makes the release have a totally different feel than the original album, which absolutely warrants its release as a separate entity. If you are a fan of TeHÔM, I would highly recommend this release to you. If you have never heard of the project, this is a great place to start!

Written by: Michael Barnett

Nhor – Wildflowers: Autumn – Review on the Periphery

Artist: Nhor
Album: Wildflowers: Autumn
Release date: 10 October 2017
Label: Prophecy

Tracklist:
01. Where They Once Were
02. The Trees Knew Not of Me Then
03. Moonfall
04. We Set Their Bodies Free in the Cold River
05. What We Hid in the Night
06. Fire Promises Guidance
07. Fate



After establishing himself in atmospheric black metal and ambient folk circles, the UK-based multi-instrumentalist Nhor has most recently embraced a unique strand of stripped-down piano ambient music. Over the past six months, he has released two installments of Wildflowers, a quadrilogy of EPs themed after the seasons. Spring and Summer provided intimate explorations of the warmer seasons, a time of rebirth and one of plenty, but Autumn comes as a quiet overture to a period of gradual wilting and panicked preparation with retrospective undercurrents.

Live production, repetitious playing, and modulative fluidity remain central to Nhor’s approach. Within this formula, “Where They Once Were” and “The Trees Knew Not of Me Then” start Autumn strong with two of the cycle’s most dense compositions so far. The former’s tasteful use of octaves skyrockets the dynamism of a trickling moving line, while the latter’s spiraling melody and rushing feel mirrors a blustery October afternoon — all the while maintaining intimate immediacy. Nhor sounds like he’s playing his piano right beside the listener, allowing the instrument’s resonance to overflow to the last echoing tone.

“When the first leaves begin to fall,” Nhor reminisces about autumn, “I am abruptly reminded of everything that I wished to achieve.” With the vibrant colors and spurt of ecological and meteorological activity comes the inevitable realization that the lull of summer is not only temporary, but never long enough. He explores this annual epiphany through his minimalist vein, through the polarized low-end arpeggiations and cutting chimes of “We Set Their Bodies Free in the Cold River.”

The waters and winds of time can suddenly feel like flash floods and gales as life hurtles towards finale, but Autumn still evokes moments of clarity as each note constructs a peaceful head-space in the midst of terrifying change. As the nebulous broken chords at the start of “What We Hid in the Night” take form, stoic understanding coincides with tragic realization.

Imparting the heavenly oracle’s third appearance in Wildflowers, “Moonfall” serves as a reminder that the world’s constant shifts never completely shroud the moon as an unmoving sounding board for both Nhor and the listener. The song’s use of silence and note decay make it the most atmospheric track on Autumn, while its basis in high register further separates it from other cuts — emphasizing Nhor’s ability to compose distinct auras by gradually dealing his hand from song to song.

Autumn confronts fall as an abrupt reminder of the transient nature of the good times summer provides, but Nhor’s thoughts are never hopeless. “As the warmth of our star retreats, I am drawn closer to the fire,” he says. The passionate “Fire Promises Guidance” encapsulates this enduring comfort, as its crestfallen melody imparts somber apprehension through several movements that encompass the entirety of his emotional and sonic palette. With Nhor’s tearful farewell to the jubilation summer brought comes a decision to preserve warmth as winter creeps over the horizon, in the knowledge that coming hardships will fade as surely as good times. The polyphonic concluding track “Fate” comes as a whimsical ode to the inevitability of these cyclical changes, a call to live in spite of them instead of wallowing when they come.

At 23 minutes, this is the longest and most dense Wildflowers EP so far. Using stark minimalism and extreme simplicity, Nhor has again created a cohesive narrative unique to the season in question. Autumn blows with crimson leaves towards a snowy blight, pacifying the maddening race to prepare for winter through its gentle chords.

Written by: Maxwell Heilman

Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun – On The Periphery – Review

Artist: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: Hiss Spun
Release date: 22 September 2017
Label: Sargent House

Tracklist:
01. Spun
02. 16 Psyche
03. Vex
04. Strain
05. The Culling
06. Particle Flux
07. Twin Fawn
08. Offering
09. Static Hum
10. Welt
11. Two Spirit
12. Scrape

It’s been two years since Chelsea Wolfe dropped Abyss — a career-defining amalgamation of her goth-folk roots and decimating doom metal. In fact, that feet of tortured sublimity is so good that the release of Hiss Spun actually serves as a reminder of how amazing its predecessor is. Whether or not Wolfe’s latest LP is her best is up for debate, but it will more than satisfy those who yearned for her to run with her doomy side.

The first three tracks on this album provide an unholy trinity of goth-doom bangers to set the tone. With Wolfe herself only contributing four guitar performances to the album, her session musicians bring a mean sound. Hiss’s sauntering stoner doom dirge drives home the point that Wolfe isn’t worried about subtlety this time around — relying instead on cathartic heaviness. This raw approach makes the sensual undertones of “16 Psyche” explode into sorrowful ecstasy as a dreary riff and intense dissonance ties it together, and also gives “Vex” the first guttural growls (via post-metal veteran Aaron Turner) in Wolfe’s discography contrasting with Type O Negative-esque grooves, gloomy dissonance and austere keyboards.

“Strain” and “Welt,” the two interludes on Hiss Spun, provide two distinct flavors of industrial murk through the former’s grating sound wall and the latter’s ritualistic chant. These hints at amorphous sound keep Hiss Spun with one foot in the oddball, but the more straightforward aspects of this album do come as a double-edged sword — showing the true power of Wolfe’s doom metal sound, but losing a bit of her uniqueness in translation.

Wolfe’s doom-folk roots manifest on “The Culling,” while “Particle Flux” utilizes a propulsive crescendo akin to modern post-metal — juxtaposing her exploration styles she only flirted with before and ones she established long ago. Ironically, Hiss Spun ends up being less heavy than Abyss because of its emphasis on orthodoxical heavy music instead of strange percussion, warped synths and caustic ambience. It’s less mysterious and fearful, but more visceral and exhilarating. Even so, Wolfe’s gothic affectations and entrancing melodies keep her sound reminiscent of ‘70s occult films.

Though the song’s floatacious mourning and blood-chilling build doesn’t break new ground in Wolfe’s style, Kurt Ballou’s dissonant strains and the bombastic rhythmic accents bassist Ben Chisholm and drummer Jess Gowrie make “Twin Fawn” a perfect backdrop for Wolfe’s chilling siren’s song. The song’s abrupt dynamic changes keep make it as surprising as it is slow-burning, streamlining crushing dynamic changes into an emotional dagger as naturally as the strange electronics and goth-wave flavors of “Offering.”

The austere ponderings of “Static Hum” harken to Chelsea’s weirder side with stark ritualism, introspective lyrics centered around pain and self-destruction shrouded in monotonous drudgery culminating in a passionate arrival point, setting the stage for the staggering conclusion of Hiss Spun.

Wolfe’s gut-wrenching vocal performances climb to a pinnacle during these last eight minutes. Starting with wistful acoustic guitar strums and ghostly singing, the rising action of this two-track journey rises from the ground upward. “Two Spirit” strips back even farther with skeletal percussion and appreciated finger picking before noisy drones take the song to its abysmal peak.

“I want it back, I want it back. What was taken from me, I want it back,” Wolfe’s heartbreaking melody weaves through the most intimate and monumental passages, remaining in impenetrable misery. This allows “Scrape” to bring the final conclusion of the record through overwrought emoting. Ascending modulations, a lurching beat and gurgling synth textures quickly gain weight as Wolfe pole vaults into aural hysteria (“You, the dirty one, what you took from me. There was nothing left but hypocrisy”). Her musicality remains prevalent in this overwhelming environment, bringing the album to a magnificent close.

Wolfe’s unique delivery translates into goth metal confines incredibly well, packing an emotional punch others could only dream of mustering. That being said, her sound has never sounded this conventionally doom, a byproduct of the less nuanced approach she took. This record sees her wrestle with her identity in the midst of hardship, and ultimately transcends her indignations in steadfast resolve. While Abyss remains her darkest and heaviest record, Hiss Spun stands as Chelsea Wolfe’s spiritual manifesto by way of smoky riffs and pitch-black melodies.

Written by: Maxwell Heilman

La Tredicesima Luna – Il Sentiero degli Dei – Review

Artist: La Tredicesima Luna
Album title: Il Sentiero degli Dei
Release date: 13 October 2017
Label: Lighten Up Sounds

Tracklist:
01. Parte I – Fuochi sotto le stelle /
Tra due mondi
02. Parte II- Energie ancestrali /
La luce dorata dell’aurora

Matteo Brusa, of the Lombardy region of Italy, has been putting in a lot of work over recent years, building up his name as a dungeon synth artist under the moniker Medhelan. His last major release, Fall of the Horned Serpent, on the Deivlforst label, brought him into the mainstream of the quickly growing dungeon synth community. Now Brusa takes his music in a different direction, and appropriately under a different name.

La Tredicesima Luna is his new project which creates music that falls under the dark ambient genre as opposed to his Medhelan releases which are a bit of a mix, but for the most part classified as dungeon synth. La Tredicesima Luna doesn’t necessarily follow the current trends of dark ambient. His sounds reach back to an older era, closer to the beginnings of the genre (even if this was a decade or so after the actual beginning of the genre). On Il Sentiero degli Dei, Brusa seems to have drawn a lot of inspiration from Burzum and the other early black metal acts, when they were first testing the waters of the dark ambient genre in short spurts on their otherwise black metal albums.

This connection to the black metal/dark ambient cross-overs seems the most obvious in the second track, “Parte II – Energie ancestrali / La luce dorata dell’aurora”. This track has significant similarities to the final track of the Filosofem album by Burzum, “Gebrechlichkeit II”. It follows a similar chord progression using a similar sounding synth sample. This shouldn’t be a surprise as many artists, particularly of the dungeon synth variety, are quick to point toward Burzum as one of their main influences. Furthermore, many well respected artists in that genre have gone so far as to include Burzum covers on their albums.

But, don’t get me wrong about this comparison. Brusa is certainly not looking to just reproduce something that Burzum did roughly 25 years ago. Instead he takes this style as a foundational element and builds onto it with his own ideas to create something that is arguably much more interesting and innovative than was done by Burzum or his black metal contemporaries.

Particularly the opening track of Il Sentiero degli Dei brings forth brilliant soundscapes of drones and meandering synth which are complemented by manipulated field recordings. “Parte I – Fuochi sotto le stelle / Tra due mondi” conjures aural images of deep dark forests, filled with all the creatures that one might manifest in a nightmare. There is a consistently dark otherworldly presence emanating from those most haunted and daemonic shadow regions of the Earth and its other conjoined realms.

The opener gives us a clear and distinct sense of our surroundings, while the other half, “Energie ancestrali / La luce dorata dell’aurora” gives us plenty of space to brood and meditate upon these dark wonders that we have previously conjured. While the track moves on in a rather static manner for its almost fifteen minute length, it is a testament to the skills and vision of Brusa, that it never manages to feel stagnant or redundant.

The release of this album in an ultra-limited edition of 50 professionally duplicated grey cassettes through the Lighten Up Sounds label/distro means that die-hard fans of Medhelan will likely sweep these copies up in a matter of hours/days. This edition will almost surely become a highly sought out physical release over the coming months/years.

Brusa has done what I’ve been hoping to see over the last few years since discovering Medhelan. He’s severed the tie of Medhelan between his dark ambient and dungeon synth output and created an entity for the sole purpose of dark ambient releases. As he moves further into the depths of this cataclysm it’s likely that an already polished sound will be even further refined on future releases. We might be seeing the beginnings here of a big deal within dark ambient circles. Brusa has already proven capable of this feat in the dungeon synth community.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Dark Piano Nights Mix – Dark Music For Dark Nights

Dark Piano Nights is a combination of dark ambient with some various other styles that all come together to form a peaceful yet melancholic nighttime listening session. This is mostly free of vocals, but there are a few exceptions throughout. The music becomes more active at times than that of a strictly dark ambient set-list, but I think the flow is good and the music, which includes classical, jazz noir, and a mix of others, is all highly enjoyable. I hope you will also enjoy this mix on a lonely dark rainy evening, when you are alone with only your thoughts, a good book, and an internet connection. Cheers!
The full set-list with links to the albums is available below the player (scroll way down!).

Set-list:

Dark Piano Nights

01. 0:00:00 Atrium Carceri – Dark Water
02. 0:04:00 Arvo Pärt – Für Alina
03. 0:14:50 Beyond Sensory Experience – Time Travels
04. 0:20:45 The Human Voice – Is This a Palace or a Prison?
05. 0:24:45 Philip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi
06. 0:27:45 Tusen År Under Jord – Sorgsendömet Fobos I
07. 0:32:00 Elegi – Hvor Her Er Ødselig
08. 0:37:00 Enmarta – Ain Soph Aur
09. 0:42:00 Comadescent – The Calm
10. 0:43:10 Peter Bjärgö – As Rain Falls
11. 0:45:45 BVdub – Your Painted Armor Aches to Crack
12. 0:53:15 Aware – So He Got Up and Ate and Drank
13. 0:56:10 Randal Collier-Ford – Reverence of Wounds (feat. Simon Heath)
14. 1:00:40 Aythis – Night
15. 1:03:45 David Lynch & Marek Zebrowski – Night (City Back Street)
16. 1:16:40 Cryobiosis – Murkfall
17. 1:20:50 Apocryphos, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri – Avenoir
18. 1:24:20 Bohren und der Club of Gore – Maximum Black
19. 1:30:25 Wolves and Horses – Aphelion
20. 1:37:30 Flowers for Bodysnatchers – Hearken Our Storm
21. 1:41:40 Northaunt – A Silent Battle
22. 1:46:00 Daniel James Dolby – Noir
23. 1:49:00 Black Box Memories – Interlude – Night Landing
24. 1:52:00 The Caretaker – Hidden Sea Buried Deep
25. 1:53:00 Inemuri – Part IV
26. 1:57:00 Goldmund – Methusela Tree
27. 2:00:40 Scanner – Underwater Lake
28. 2:04:10 protoU & Hilyard – Final Refugium
29. 2:12:50 Paranoia Inducta – Whispers and Cogs
30. 2:16:20 Cities Last Broadcast – Lights Out

A Cryo Chamber Collaboration – Tomb of Druids – Review

Artists: protoU, Aegri Somnia, Dead Melodies
Ager Sonus and Creation VI
Album title: Tomb of Druids
Release date: 17 October 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber

Tracklist:
01. protoU – Eyes of the Shaman
02. Aegri Somnia – Temple of Druids
03. Dead Melodies – Bryn Celli Ddu
04. Ager Sonus – Well of Knowledge
05. Creation VI – Birds Turning Stones

Just when I thought I had figured out the pattern and common elements of the Tombs Series by Cryo Chamber, Tomb of Druids came along and blew me away. There is no doubt for me that this is the best Tombs Series collaboration/compilation to-date. The extensive and bold use of field recordings throughout this album gives it a huge edge over the previous Tombs Series releases.

The use in the foreground of field recordings on this one gives the entirety of the album a smoothness and consistency that was only touched upon in the past. It feels like one neatly flowing experience for the 50+ minute duration of the album. Of course, each artist certainly brings their own flavor to the album. Each set of drones differs, each use of vocal elements, instrumentation or even the movement sounds (walking, placing items on a table) is a little different from the one before. But I get the feeling that some of these field recordings were all from a single source and shared amongst the musicians to help create this synchronization of sounds.

The cover art looks to depict a human sacrifice. Robed and laureled figures stand in the foreground, the bearded male carrying a knife and the stern but beautiful female gazing into the distance. Between and behind them lies their human victim, spread on a table, head dangling lifelessly over the edge. The sacrifice is complete and the druids look to the distant stormy skies for signs of the Gods’ acceptance of their offering.

protoU delivers the opening, and one of the longest tracks, on the album. From the very beginning we are overwhelmed with thick and intense uses of field recordings that protoU has hinted at in the past, but never used so boldly. The outcome is pure excellence. This is the sort of dark, stormy, cryptic field recording laden cinematic dark ambient for which I constantly am searching. The mastering by Simon Heath, the man behind Sabled Sun, surely helped to give these cinematics a full and proper edge, taking them even further toward her goal than she likely would have imagined. While their is plenty going on musically on “Eyes of the Shaman”, in terms of drones, these field recordings are rightly the main and focused element of the track. We can only hope for more of this sort of sound in the future for protoU.

On the following track, “Temple of Druids” by Aegri Somnia, the thunder storm field recordings continue from the protoU track, but enter later in this one. It initially begins with deep crushing drones, intricate field recordings of movements, ritual incantations, a haunted choral/drone section, and other oscillating drones which all combine to add a depth to the psychological effect on the listener, bringing us into the rituals. Distant chants, toward the end of the track, along with the thunder storm kicking in bring the whole experience to a new level of emotion.

Dead Melodies decided to name their track, “Bryn Celli Ddu” which means the mound in the dark grove, after a specific prehistoric site on the Welsh island of Anglesey, dating to the neolithic period, some 17,000 years ago. So we can have a hint from this title at the sort of extent to which this whole album depicts a scene that is long lost and forgotten, tombs that are slowly being erased from history by the constant movements and destruction of modern humanity. The track evokes strong vibes of this period with the use of what sounds at times like the clashing of rocks or wood tools and/or ritual paraphernalia, sounds that continue through later tracks along with the storms. Lush guitar drones build the foundation along with these field recordings of dripping waters as if the rains here had just ended. The drones continue to thicken and become more menacing as the track progresses.

Ager Sonus‘ track begins with campfire field recordings. Deep drones fade in and out of the mix, leaving only the fire as the foundation. A lonely flute-like instrument or synth, and later the ensemble of stringed instruments cut through the mix giving it a dreamy and melancholic sort of feel as the field recordings of movement, dripping waters and distant storms all come together making the experience vivid and highly enjoyable. This is not at all the Ager Sonus we know from their Cryo Chamber debut several months back, giving plenty of room for hope that their next album will be equally enjoyable in a totally different way. The track ends with the recurrence of the thundering storm moving to the foreground as the drones fade out.

Creation VI starts his track with some highly manipulated chanting, that quickly brings to mind old raison d’être, even more so than on the previous Metatron Omega releases in which I’ve made this sort of comparison. Something that sounds like a cross between muted picking of a guitar or tapping on a drum with heavy delay oscillates between speakers as a hollow airy drone starts to move into the background. These manipulated vocals slowly fade out or shift into another sound that continues to move in the background. As the drones become extremely thick and prominent, field recordings occasionally cut through the wall of sound, rocks bashing on rocks, also oscillating between speakers, as many elements of this album have done. Toward the end of the track the deep voiced incantations similar to those of the Aegri Somnia track resurface, adding what ends up being a chilling sort of vibe to the soundscape, even if it’s not intended as some shocking or haunting content.

Tomb of Druids is an absolute success. When I saw that it incorporated all new artist that had never participated in the series previously, with one track each, I was hesitant about how well it would work out. But after a number of listens, it’s absolutely clear that this album is worthy of the Tombs Series and, as I’ve previously mentioned, it is likely the most successful at extracting the correct psychological and perceptive responses from listeners. At this point the series could move in any direction. Taking it into these ritual grounds is certainly an interesting path and one that continuing to follow would likely bring about even more levels of success. Highly recommended for the cinematic and ritual ambient listeners.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Frozen In Time: Weekly News 10 October 2017

This article covers the last two weeks, as I’ve been playing catch-up on everything recently. Once the physical therapy ends everything will be back to normal and reviews/articles will be running at their previous pace. Thanks to everyone that has supported This Is Darkness through the compilation, I’m so happy to see how great of a reception its been getting. This is a huge article and there are a lot of great albums to look through. So take your time, listen to as many as you can and have a great week!

Music Videos & Teasers

Atrium Carceri and Herbst9 – Teaser
Teaser for new album ‘ur djupan dal’ which will be releasing before the end of 2017 on Cryo Chamber.

Budowle Socjalizmu Nasza Duma – Promo Video:

Cryo Chamber – Yog Sothoth Album Art Revealed
Finally finished the artwork for our new Lovecraft tribute album, above is a page from the booklet. The album will be out in a deluxe digibook edition, stay tuned for more news soon!

Mebitek – Horror Teaser #3 The End Of Everything (Funeral Movement)

Richard Schattenwald – “Life As Ritual” Promo

Synapsis – “Continuum” promo

The Caretaker – Everywhere at the end of time – Stage 2 (Weirdcore.tv)

New Releases & Pre-orders

A Bleeding Star – New Single Released (Digital Only)
Another “name your price” weekly offering from A Bleeding Star!

Anemone Tube – Three New Albums Released (The Epicurean – CD/Digital)
“Far reaching pleasures will be at hand – Anemone Tube reveals a series of three CDs entitled “The Three Worlds: Allegory of Vanity / Forget Heaven / Vanity of Allegory”, referencing a cosmological treatise on the universe from the Theravada Buddhism of the 14th century, the subject matter of which is the description of three levels of existence of all beings and mythical creatures.
This extensive retrospective release contains selected tracks from various tapes released between 1997 and 1999 – mostly rare and unavailable today – as well as yet unreleased tracks recorded between 1997 and 2013, a.o. outtakes from the “Death Over China” recordings, handpicked and recontextualized by Anemone Tube, representing the project’s roughest and most atmospheric material up to date, ranging from depressive ritual experimental ambient over dark rhythmic industrial soundscapes to whirlwind noise. Sharply mastered by Hunter Barr for a powerful, contemporary sound, each CD comes in a 6-panel digifile featuring beautiful photography by Dario Lehner and is available as single CD as well as a limited edition 3 CD set in a lavish slipcase with poster, sticker and patch.”

Ben Rath – Pre-order Available (eilean rec. – CD/Digital)
“Ben Rath is an amateur musician currently based in Manchester, UK. He makes experimental, ambient music using original recordings of guitar, keyboard and piano, as well as samples and field recordings. He has been recording and releasing music through a variety of labels since 2014 and has also released a short EP of improvised acoustic guitar tracks under the name Slow Heart Music. ”

Blackjack Illuminist Records – New Compilation Available (BlackJack Illuminist – CD/Cassette/Digital)
By the end of 2017 Blackjack Illuminist Records will have sold their 1000th item. With 40 records (and one book) in ten years the label has been constantly growing from a bedroom project to … a cellar project. This cellar, however, has become the starting point for the worldwide travels of albums and EPs from eleven different projects. Handmade, hand painted, glued, cut, folded – every copy is personally processed by label boss Alexander Leonard Donat who originally founded BIR to give his first solo project Leonard Las Vegas a home. A decade later you can find his fingerprints on the sleeves of other artists’ releases, as well.
Celebrating the 10th birthday of the label this compilation was initiated to comprise exclusive tracks by artists and bands which crossed the path of Blackjack Illuminist in one way or another: friends, acquaintances, label mates, supportive folks, people who had an impact on the label’s philosophy.

DeepDark – New Album Released (Digital Only)
“…deep immersion in the depths of space…”

Hoarfrost – ReEdition
Boanerges Diy label has prepared the reedition of Arbeit’s album
„Budowle Socjalizmu Nasza Duma”, which was well received in 2013. The
secondary project of the creator of dark ambient Hoarfrost takes a listener
to socialist reality of Polish People’s Republic. Speaches of
dygnitaries, stertorous sounds of machines and crossed next norms of
production. „Budowle Socjalizmu Nasza Duma” is everyday picture seeing
by the eyes of ordinary worker. Social and political satire smelted in
industrial-noise furnace. Premiere: 08.10.2017r. http://www.boanergesdiy.blogspot.com

Jacek Doroszenko – Pre-orders Available (eilean rec. – CD/Digital)
“Jacek Doroszenko is an audio-visual artist, treating sound phenomena as a legitimate material of visual art and highlighting listening as a practice. The artist engages with the contemporary soundscape to select and rephrase the notion of noise as redundant element. The first artist’s release on Eilean Records contains a suite of compositions produced during Artist-in-Residence programs in Norway and Greece. Using field recording as the basis for further musical compositions, artist reveals the power of audible juxtaposition and natural potential of a certain place. Ostensibly unnecessary sound events are treated here as the key components, revealing massive landscape of possible progressions. ”

Maha Pralaya – New Album Released (Digital Only)
Experimental Space Ambient, Live improvisations from March 2017, remastered for release.

Moloch Conspiracy – New Album Released (Cephalopagus – Digital Only)
The Burned Temple by Moloch Conspiracy tells of the hidden rites of the old Gods of Persia, through different eras. Despite the burning of the sacred temple, and the murder of most of the sect, the disciples still perform their blasphemous rites to the old gods. The tracks describe the characters, the settings and stories of revenge and conspiracy through time, and the efforts to seize and regain power.

Noctilucant/HollowHecatomb – Tape Release of Latest Split
The cassette version of this split released by Gray Matter Productions. [Note: A self released CDR version will be released in the coming weeks]
Available on Noctilucant’s bandcamp for only $2.00!!!

Onasander – New EP Released (Digital Only)

Randal Collier-Ford – New Demo

Richard Schattenwald – New Album Released (Noctivagant – CD/Digital)

Scott Lawlor – New Album Released (Digital Only)
Deep Space Drones

Sea of Åland – New Album Released (Throne of Bael – Digital Only)
Experimental dark ambient. “name your price”

Sonologyst – Album Gets Vinyl Release
The album Silencers – the conspiracy theory dossiers gets a release on vinyl by the nascent NYC label Nocturnal Anomalies you can check out the album below and find links to the vinyl and digital releases within.

sound_00 + lefterna – Pre-order Available (Winter-Light – CD/Digital)
“After a series of collaborative publications on multiple experimental labels, the duo of Toni Dimitrov (Sound_00) & Boban Ristevski (Lefterna) finds its ‘Elementals: Collabs 2’ conceptual release on Winter-Light. ‘Elementals: Collabs 2’ is an ambient/experimental release of deep drone contemplations and ambient exploration, good for deep meditative and learning sessions.
‘Elementals’ gathers together selected collaborative works from the artists Sound_00 + Lefterna. All tracks have previously been released separately on compilations from the labels Fall Into Void, Post Global Recordings, HNM Recordings, AOsmosis and Crna Zemlja. For this release on our Winter-Light label, the tracks have been completely remastered by Cruel Sound Works, adding a richer, more distinctive warm feel to each piece. ”

Stuzha – Pre-orders Available (Ksenza – CD/Digital)
“Stuzha returns with the third full-length ‘Siberian Sketches Pt. II’ album. This is a logical continuation of the first part and the Winter theme dominates throughout the album. Field recordings, as usual with all Stuzha albums, are abundant and bring to a listener sounds of Siberian nature. The journey goes to cold winter forests, rural villages and even the Transsiberian railway. It is a return to original acoustic atmosphere, however the sound is even richer with layers of acoustic, electric and bass guitars.”

Svarte Greiner – New Album Available (Miasmah – Vinyl/Digital)
11 years since it´s inception, the surreal and darkly romantic Knive still sounds like a mystery and something that´s hard to pin down. Svarte Greiner´s debut album feels like a trip into the forest at midnight, with all the sounds and impressions that comes with it. Spiritual, horrific and fragile in essence, it´s melancholic core is hard to shake off, and feels as present today as it did back then.
While starting off the sub genre of “Accoustic doom” back in 2006, it´s difficult to say what else to name it now, with it´s inspiration and elements from countless genres. The record flows through the dissonant cello´s and washed out vocals of “Ocean out of Wood” past the introverted church organs of “The Black Dress”, distorted guitars and wooden beats of “The Dining Table” to the operatic finalé of “Final Sleep”. Everything scattered with field recordings from crows, branches, walking, sleeping, rain, wind and who knows what. Knive stands on many feet, wherever they may be.
Erik K Skodvin´s path as Svarte Greiner have since been dwelling more and more into this world, picking each element apart to focus on them, stretching them out or cutting them down, looping, experimenting and flooding with reverb – trying to make time stop and night fall. But for now a re-visit to where it all started seems appropriate.

Synapsis – New Album Released (Noctivagant – CD/Digital)
The new album Continuum has been released on the Noctivagant label.

Taphephobia – Pre-orders Available (Reverse Alignment – CD/Digital)
“As Reverse Alignment was established in 2007 we also made our first contact with Ketil Søraker. His guitarbased drone project Taphephobia had just a moment ago released it’s first opus “House of Memories” through the belgium label Nothingness Records. From there on we’ve been in touch more or less, (in a more constant period) when putting out “Anomie” and “Black City Skyline”, (and more or less) over the years when new production’s emerged.
Since Taphephobia’s first release in 2007, Ketil’s project is now a permanent act under the banner of Cyclic Law and has since it’s start released six albums, and a load of collaborative albums and compilation tracks.
Now, 10 years after it’s publication, Reverse Alignment release House of Memories again, with new artwork and design from Haerleif Langås and mastered by Frédéric Arbour. As a special treat follows eleven selected compilation tracks put together for this release. All a good way to summarize ten years of Taphephobia, from how the project sounded in the early days to today.”

Theologian announces new release.
Theologian – Forced Utopia is a 60 minute cassette coming October from Danvers State Recordings (label run by The Vomit Arsonist ) to coincide with our performance at Into The Aether Fest, Friday the 13th & Saturday the 14th. Mixed and mastered by Derek Rush of Chthonic Streams audio samples at soundcloud.com/annihilvs

Troum – Pre-orders Available (Black Mara – CD/Digital)
“It is a musical labyrinth in which we go from our earliest days, reliving every moment of the immense awe of the sublime. One topic gives way to another like the meandering paths. And revelation comes when seemingly no way out of a confusing puzzle. And if you’re a wanderer, your journey is complete. You’ve found yourself. ”

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.”

Sales

Cryo Chamber – Retro Sale
In this weeks sale we are focusing on some of our earliest releases, these albums will always have a special place in Cryo Chamber history. Order these albums here.

Dark Matter – How Cold is the Sun
“When I listen to How Cold Is The Sun, I go through a dimensional gate leading to an opposite universe.
I’d arrive on an Earth where the sky is red, the light dark, the ambiance threatening and the sun would never heat me up but just freeze me.
A place of darkness, sadness and hopelessness where humans are erratic empty beings heading to nowhere.
Firm industrial roots completed with gloomy ambiance and flirting with space opera, Dark Matter made a work as enjoyable as it is ominous.”

Alt3r3d Stat3 – Dubbed in Black
“A great album on the Cryo Chamber label. Created as a tribute to the Silent Hill video game, we get another dark,industrial oriented soundtrack like work that is just stunning. If you like the label or the other artists on Cryo you won’t be let down. Doom comes in all kinds of unpredictable ways.”
Compilation – Behind the Canvas of Time
“A wonderful compilation made of desperate and ominous soundscapes. A very good introduction to the Cryo Chamber universe for every new visitor.”

Halgrath – Out of Time
“This is a great first offering from Halgrath. In keeping with Cryo tradition it’s a mixture of field recordings and more industrialized ambiance marked with occasional beautiful female vocals. Vastly different from Halgrath’s second album showing this artists immense talent and diversity. I love them both but favor this one just because I love it’s shifting feel. This is dark ambiance at it’s finest! Halgrath takes you into the primordial dreamworld with fire and ice. ”

Week(s) in Review on This Is Darkness

Anemone Tube & Post Scriptvm –  Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes
Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes is clearly a triumph for these two veteran artists. The album succeeds in its attempts at creating an atmosphere of religious blasphemy, a kind of funeral music for the dark-minded and irreligious. For a veteran listener of dark ambient and other weird and “spooky” music, I’m delighted to say that Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes manages to instill an unsettling feeling of dread and anxiety in my soul, a feat that is not often achieved. Listen to Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes in the midnight hours, alone in the dark, incense burning and mind open to the dark entities of the night. Or, if it is possible, play this in a cathedralic setting, and witness the utter disgust and terror of some unsuspecting clergy, the effect should be a delight to witness.
Read full review here.

Myrkur – Mareridt
Mareridt sees Myrkur improve sonically, but the room the project has to grow remains. Its distinct atmosphere and instrumentation are a beautiful testament to Brunn’s upward tangent, and upping her songwriting will make her an inexorable force in black metal.
Read full review here.

Vacant Stations – Clones
The music doesn’t distract you, there are no rhythms, no samples of any kind. It is all based on the layers of deep drones intertwining one with another. They mostly are kept in quite dark shades, but there are a few moments of reflection, like in the composition called “Reprieve”. Everything is perfectly mastered by Cruel Sound Works, so you may sleep well.
Read full review here.

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