Month: October 2018

Halloween Horror Ambient Mix – 2018

A mix of the creepiest dark ambient tracks I could compile! A blend of brand new tracks with some classics intertwined. Perfect for a solitary night of reading horror fiction or scaring the trick or treaters. Over two hours of seamlessly mixed darkness! Enjoy!

See links to all included albums below the Mixcloud player!

01. 0:00:00 Mortaur – Moving in Darkness
02. 0:03:35 Manifesto – Hive
03. 0:12:55 Northumbria – The Wìndjigò
04. 0:17:45 Archon Satani – Exceeding Insalubrity
05. 0:22:15 Alphaxone & Xerxes the Dark – Ancient Amulet
06. 0:26:20 Skincage – Lost Carcosa
07. 0:28:20 RNGMNN – Spectral Lines (Exclusive preview from upcoming album!)
08. 0:33:50 Svartsinn – Doubt as Sin (Nietzsce’s Lament)
09. 0:39:05 raison d’etre – Katharsis (Follow the link to the new vinyl re-release!)
10. 0:45:10 Cities Last Broadcast – Anomaly
11. 0:47:05 Nordvargr – I See Shadows
12. 0:51:20 Dronny Darko – Pale Shadows
13. 0:53:50 Apocryphos – Tenebrous
14. 1:01:30 Bonedust – When The Heavens Flee
15. 1:04:10 Atrium Carceri – The Maze
16. 1:07:05 Mater Suspiria Vision – Satan Oh Satan
17. 1:07:55 Randal Collier-Ford – Hellgate
18. 1:13:05 Oestergaards – Nihilist
19. 1:17:50 L’Horrible Passion – Apatheia
20. 1:26:15 Uncertain – Seedling (Withering)
21. 1:31:10 The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Giallo
22. 1:37:00 Dahlia’s Tear – The Frozen Echoes of the Endless Moor
23. 1:42:45 Emilia – Closed Eyes
24. 1:44:10 Taphephobia & Bleak Fiction – Sick Route
25. 1:47:40 VelgeNaturlig – Grey Sun
26. 1:48:50 Ajna – Black Room
27. 1:55:30 Caleb R.K. Williams – Spectral Throne
28. 1:56:55 Moloch Conspiracy – The Awful Ritual
29. 2:03:05 Dead Melodies – Haunted by Whispers
30. 2:08:00 Flowers for Bodysnatchers – A Darker Rebirth
31. 2:14:50 Sana Obruent – The Haunted Waltz

Devil’s Night Mix (Post-Industrial Aural Assault)

The Devil’s Night Mix was inspired by my interest in ‘Devil’s Night’ on the 30th of October, which has long been a dreaded celebration in Detroit, among other places in the United States. What started half a century ago as a light-hearted night of trickery, later turned into an all-out assault on the city of Detroit every October. The destruction reached a peak in the mid- to late-1980s, with more than 800 fires set in 1984, and 500 to 800 fires in the three days and nights before Halloween in a typical year. But the legacy lingers, and this odd “holiday” is increasingly known around the world, thanks to its inclusion in The Crow and other entertainment industry projects.

This mix is a combination of some harsher dark ambient along with a blend of post-industrial devastation.

Proceed with caution!

You can find links to all music included in this mix below the Mixcloud player.

01. 0:00:00 Atrium Carceri – Sacrifice to the Machine
02. 0:04:45 MZ.412 – The Father Uncreated
03. 0:10:10 Murderous Vision – Voided
04. 0:15:30 Yen Pox – Scorched Earth
05. 0:25:00 Mortaur – Suit Wearer Walking Backwards
06. 0:26:40 Ajna – Infinitam Abyssum
07. 0:32:50 Trepaneringsritualen – Death & Ecstacy
08. 0:36:10 Abattoir, Satori – The Great Vow
09. 0:41:50 All Signs of Those Who Left – Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
(Exclusive Use of Upcoming Track, check out the ASOTWL releases here.)
10. 0:46:10 Common Eider, King Eider – Helene
11. 0:53:50 Corona Barathri – Daemonolatreia (feat. Infernvs)
12. 1:01:50 Himukalt – Ruined-Raped
13. 1:06:30 Harko City – Swollen Empire
14. 1:10:30 Dodsmaskin – Syndrom
15. 1:17:05 Fear-Modern-Man – Nightmare Death Syndrome
16. 1:22:50 In Slaughter Natives – 113th Scar
17. 1:28:10 Analfabetism – Vi Resere Nu En Grav
18. 1:34:50 Aegri Somnia – Endtime Psalms
19. 1:40:15 Aderlating – The Sword of Christ
20. 1:47:05 Ex. Order – Skillful Killing

Photo: Dominic Alves (used under CC without photographer’s endorsement)

False Mirror – SIGINT – Review

Artist: False Mirror
Release date: July 2018
Label: Malignant Records

01. Perimeter
02. Transmission
03. Antenna
04. Trajectory
05. Fallout
06. Corona
07. Leviathan
08. Troposcatter
09. Aether
10. Message

False Mirror is the dark ambient project of Berlin’s Tobias Hornberger. He’s been creating music since 2007’s release of Chronostatic Scenes on dataObscura. But, he really made an impact on the dark ambient world with his third release, Derelict World, in 2010 on Malignant Records. Derelict World consisted of eight highly atmospheric tracks, filled to the brim with field recordings. The album was rounded out with some subtle dronework, but the field recordings really helped to create a dark and abandoned soundscape, which would draw many a dark ambient fan into its grasp.

Now, eight long years after the release of Derelict World, False Mirror has released a new album, SIGINT, again through Malignant Records. For fans of Derelict World, SIGINT will prove to be a relatively different experience. The use of field recordings is still quite heavy, but the album takes a more demanding stance. The dronework is much more pronounced and there is frequent use of choral vocal samples. And, of course, there are still plenty of field recordings throughout the album, helping to keep the visual (perceived) elements at the forefront.

The defining differences between SIGINT and Derelict World begin with the theme. Whereas, Derelict World let listeners gaze into an abandoned world, one that has been slowly decaying, possibly for centuries, the focus of SIGINT is much more technologically driven.

False Mirror is one of the unsung masters of field recording use within the dark ambient community, not only gathering the necessary source material from his fellow colleagues for his own albums, but also sharing his personal collection with other musicians, as in the case of Astral Unity by Phelios, among possible others. (I don’t doubt they exist but I’m unaware of any others.) While the field recordings on Derelict World were mostly of nature (plenty of water running and winds blowing), SIGINT uses much more unusual source material. Sources specifically mentioned in the digipak include: various electronic transmissions, encrypted messages of the German BND and Russian FSB, beacons, over-the-horizon radars, and troposcatter communications. And, like on Derelict World, he has once again acquired source material from Axel Baune, Dieter Trustedt, and Tarek Mansur.

The combination of these field recordings and theme with the previous styles False Mirror has explored creates a very interesting feel, which took me some time to fully grasp. Upon initially reading the album blurb on Malignant Records Bandcamp page, I was assuming this would be some kind of highly synthetic-feeling “spacey” sort of dark ambient, with little personality or emotion. I’m not too keen on the overly sci-fi/space-ambient releases, in general, and didn’t necessarily give SIGINT the attention it deserved in the first few months after the release. Luckily, I returned to the album, and really gave it a few thorough listens and the intricacies, detail, and emotion of the release revealed to me that I was quite mistaken in my first impressions.

The combination of cover-art, track titles, and general feel of the album have all lead me to find a better interpretation of what SIGINT is about. Interestingly, Derelict World was compared to The Canceled Earth by Cities Last Broadcast. But, I find that SIGINT is actually much more in-line with that album’s theme. For me, SIGINT is a window into the remnants of a dying or dead earth. Comparisons could also be made to the 214X series of albums by Sabled Sun, but SIGINT, like The Canceled Earth, focuses more on the atmospherics rather than the cinematics. All these transmissions and signal noises, combined with the drones, sparse piano sections and choral voices, gives us a feeling of reminiscence for a dead civilization. The technical field recordings give us the feeling of those old machines spitting out sounds as the last of their dying battery power fails. The more musical elements add a sorrow to the mix, a true feeling of emotion, which is often not present on sci-fi/space ambient releases, and thusly why I don’t enjoy those sorts of albums so much.

So, the technicalities of the release are all top-notch for me. But, further than this, there are some incredibly memorable tracks presented on SIGINT. This is a feat that wasn’t so well accomplished on Derelict World (maybe it was not intended, that would be fine too). “Corona” reminds me of the feeling I get from “District Delta” by Cisfinitum on their magnificent and highly underrated album, Landschaft. It has a glacially-paced build up, which one barely feels becoming more extreme, until the listener finds themselves fully enraptured by the utter beauty, but also power, which seems to emanate from the track. Likewise, “Troposcatter” manages to dig its talons into the listener’s mind, demanding our attention, but also our emotion, as if it is some sort of final mournful ode to humanity.

Derelict World had a beautiful physical presentation, vivid visual art combined with a mournful story filled the accompanying booklet, and the last few pages were a detailed log of the exact times, locations, and equipment used for creating each track. SIGINT takes a different, but no less impressive direction with its physical presentation. The cover-art is, in a word, spectacular. It doesn’t necessarily convey a stereotypical darkness, little of the album does. Instead it presents us with the remnants of some old scientific/technological facility. We may gaze out, through the torn cloth remnants which blow carelessly in the wind, at a distant horizon, with no signs of other human presence anywhere in between. The booklet is, in fact, a “Cryptographic Manual”, which explains in detail how to decipher an encrypted message. Interestingly, at the end of the booklet, we are told to “EXAMINE TRACK 10”, the track entitled “Message”, which ends the album. Just as I’ve seen in an old review of Derelict World, False Mirror invites listeners to actively take part in experiencing this album, studying this manual should allow the listener to decipher the encrypted message at the end of the album, leading to some hidden secret.

SIGINT is a tour-de-force return to the dark ambient scene for False Mirror. The subtleties of the album are only paralleled by the equally bold and emotionally-driven moments. Even more so than in the past, False Mirror has allowed all elements (drone, field recording, voice sample, etc.) to rise to the surface and hold their own amongst one another. The album is a beautiful soundscape to play in the background while reading, studying, or writing. But, when given full attention, its merits blossom and the listener can become fully enraptured in its depth. False Mirror reminds us, after far too long, why their name has had a lasting impression within the genre, while their output has been anything but frequent. Malignant Records also remind listeners, with this release, why they are one of the forefront labels in the dark ambient genre, even if their dark ambient output is less frequent than some of the other big dark ambient labels. SIGINT is a highly recommended release for any discerning fan of the dark ambient genre.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Sysselmann – Live at Mir – Review, Exclusive Full Album Stream!

Artist: Sysselmann
Album: Live at Mir
Release date: 31 October 2018
Label: Tipi Token Records

01. Stormwatch
02. Transmigration
03. Sacred Calling
04. Juniper tree song
05. The Great Horn of the Mountain
06. Koncovka flute improv
07. Primal Spirit outro

Enjoy an exclusive full album stream of Live at Mir!

Sysselmann released his first album, The Northern Chronicles in October of 2016. Tipi Token Records had the foresight to recruit this promising new dark ambient project to their also new label. The physical copy quickly sold out. A beautiful piece of art in itself, using a “vinyl effect” CD, with inner & outer sleeves which also helped build this vinyl effect. That CD was re-issued in August 2018, and there are copies still available. I highly recommend the release. You can read my review of The Northern Chronicles here.


Now, Sysselmann and Tipi Token are back with Live at Mir, a live recording from Mir Café in Oslo, Norway on October 7, 2017. Being in the USA, I rarely (basically never) get to see any live dark ambient performances. I was unaware of this recorded event, but the following month Sysselmann took the stage at Blåsvart Aften in Trondheim, Norway, along with dark ambient giants Svartsinn, TeHÔM, New Risen Throne, and one other lesser known act, Tutfarangi. I would say these two events were quite helpful in getting the name Sysselmann around the Scandinavian region. Any dark ambient musician I’ve spoken to about Sysselmann has had nothing but positive words.

Live recordings can be a real gamble to release. If you aren’t Metallica or some huge rock band, drowning in profits, you are not likely to have the best resources available for recording and reproducing a live set. But, as with the recent Live Assault by TeHÔM, Sysselmann and his associates have managed to craft a live album which is well worth the listeners’ time. The recordings are clear and there is very little background noise to be discerned. The acoustic elements seem to stand out a bit more in the mix on this live set than they did on The Northern Chronicles. This is particularly great for a live performance, as listeners tend to be less inclined to stand in front of a musician who, to them, may seem to be doing very little. The added or accentuated acoustic instruments always provide a needed extra layer to dark ambient live performances, giving the crowd something to see as well as hear.

Photo shamelessly stolen from TeHÔM’s Facebook post. From left: TeHÔM, Svartsinn, Taphephobia, Sysselmann, Northaunt, New Risen Throne

With only one full length album released prior to Live at Mir, I wondered (upon first hearing about this release) exactly what Tipi Token and Sysselmann would see fit to include. I can happily say that it isn’t just a reproduction of The Northern Chronicles. Though just over half the tracks on Live at Mir were featured on the previous album, there are also three new tracks: “Sacred Calling”, “Koncovka flute improv” and “Primal Spirit outro”. These three tracks account for twenty minutes of previously unreleased music, and I’ve found them all quite enjoyable. While “Sacred Calling” falls in line with the tracks from The Northern Chronicles, “Koncovka flute improv” and “Primal Spirit outro” incorporate significantly less electronic elements and seem to rely almost entirely on live acoustic elements.

Live at Mir will be released October 31 as a digital album on Bandcamp. There will also be a limited edition cassette version made available at the same time. While I haven’t seen this cassette myself, it is described as a “pro duplicated cassette in a very limited run to celebrate this release”. So if you are interested in a copy, I recommend keeping an eye out for it on release day. I would highly recommend this album to fans of Sysselmann‘s previous work, and also to those dedicated followers of the Scandinavian branch of the dark ambient scene. Sysselmann exhibits many of those same qualities that make this region so well known in the post-industrial world.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Marty Page Mix – Inspired by Martin Bladh’s new book

This mix was inspired by the new book Marty Page by Martin Bladh, known for his work in IRM, Skin Area, Infinity Land Press, and more. This is probably the craziest mix I’ve ever crafted. There are some incredibly varied musical styles presented here, but they all follow the same theme and (I think) they came together beautifully! Most of this music either includes Martin Bladh or was mentioned in the Marty Page book specifically. A few other were added to round out the atmospherics.

You can read the review of the book here.

You can find more information about Martin Bladh on

You can purchase Marty Page and other books from Amphetamine Sulphate on

Cover photo: Rembrandt – “The Blinding of Samson” (1636)

01. 0:00:00 Martin Bladh – Cord 4
02. 0:05:10 Nick Drake – Day is Done
03. 0:07:35 IRM – Closure IX
04. 0:15:15 Nico – Evening of Light
05. 0:20:40 Council of Nine – Exit Statements
06. 0:27:05 Scott Walker – It’s Raining Today
07. 0:30:40 IRM – Closure II
08. 0:36:10 Franz Schubert – Impromptu No. 4
09. 0:44:55 Jarl – Trauma – Part 3
10. 0:52:40 Senketsu No Night Club – Aokigahara Jukai
11. 0:56:50 IRM – Order¹
12. 1:08:45 Howard Shore – Suicide from Dead Ringers OST
13. 1:13:30 Martin Bladh – Study for a Theatre of Cruelty II
14. 1:18:25 Murderous Vision – Voided
15. 1:23:45 Martin Bladh & Bo I. Cavefors – Epilogue

Martin Bladh – Marty Page – Book Review

Author: Martin Bladh
Title: Marty Page
Release date: September 2018
Pages: 56
Publisher: Amphetamine Sulphate

Note: I have also, simultaneously, published a mix which was inspired by this book. Please have a listen now, or as you read the book in the coming weeks.
Listen on Mixcloud here.

Martin Bladh has for many years used audio and visual art forms to illustrate his fascination/obssession with death. This has been done through his music as Martin Bladh, IRM, and Skin Area. But he’s also explores these topics in books, stage performances and film. He often focuses particularly on the chemistry between torturer/executioner/abuser and victim. These roles can also, at times, be played out by a single person. Bladh spoke about this dynamic a good bit in his book DES (2013), as illustrated by the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who would act out his erotic/homicidal fantasies in front of a mirror to create a cognitive separation between himself and his reflection/victim. Marty Page takes us deeper into these ideas from a different angle.

Martin Bladh has created a book which finds a different (possibly even more affective) way of bringing the audience as close as possible to the topic. Marty Page documents a four day period of deviance in the life of this fictional character, Marty Page. The book follows a time line which is the structure for the entire story. We are given a sort of voyeuristic look at what could be the journal, or death note, of Marty Page as he is used in a variety of different ways as a model for his captor.

He spends hours in silence, bound, gagged and blindfolded, kept in waiting for the next event. His captor will free him for long enough to enjoy a film, musical album, or painting, only to return him to his shackles shortly thereafter. Sometimes we are given Marty Page‘s reflections on what he’s seen in the film, or a dream he had after listening to some album. We are also given notes written to him by his captor.

All these little tidbits come together to form a truly multi-media experience. As I read Marty Page, I took time-outs myself to watch the noted films, listen to the albums, or gaze at the paintings, before returning to the story. This helped me form a closer bond with Marty Page. I could imagine myself in his position, witnessing events as they unfolded. This, of course, becomes a more terrifying and uncomfortable situation to vicariously experience as the story heats up.

I’ve mentioned Marty Page‘s captor. But, they are one of the more interesting and thought-provoking dynamics of the story. We are given plenty of information about the victim himself, the first page of the book gives us a sort of character sheet, describing his physical features as well as his various favorite artworks and artists. The captor is a different story. We are able to read letters from the captor to Marty Page, and (possibly) letters from Marty Page to the captor. I don’t want to go into any more detail on this dynamic, but I recommend paying close attention to the people to which each of these letters are addressed.

Marty Page is quite short, as are all the books I’ve obtained which were released by Amphetamine Sulphate. But, making a multi-media experience out of the book, as I did, following through on each indicator (film, album, painting, etc.), stretched the experience out over several days. I have to admit, I quite enjoyed this format. Becoming part of the story, in however small or insignificant a way, the reader is able to feel the story unfold in a much more personal way than if we had just speed-read through it in a few hours.

I stumbled upon the Amphetamine Sulphate publishing company because of this book by Martin Bladh, who I generally make it a point to stay updated on. But, now that I’ve looked further into them, I have purchased several more of their books, and will likely be reviewing a few of them in the coming months. The books are short. The two I have are both around 50 pages each. But, the price tag is quite reasonable, both these books were $10 each with little postage cost added. They aren’t going to win any awards for aesthetics. These really are booklets, not books. But, the stories contained within are incredibly interesting, and a bit controversial at times. Philip Best, co-owner of Amphetamine Sulphate, is no stranger to controversial topics, and he goes a step further with this company by creating a platform for other controversial writers. This was the same reason I started following Infinity Land Press, run by Martin Bladh and Karolina Urbaniak. They touch on topics that are equally interesting and taboo. In this brave new age of the generic, a time when everyone seems to only be interested in conforming to some stereotype so they too can have 100,000+ followers on Instagram, it is essential for my being that I find these companies on the fringes of society which are willing to dedicate their hearts and capital to showing these most diverse/perverse elements.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Bonedust – New Album Streaming in Full

Annihilvs is beyond honoured and privileged to present the Fruit of the Ash digipak CD-R by Bonedust in 2018.

Bonedust was formed as a performance art project in 2004 by vocalist/composer Chrissy Wolpert (director of The Assembly of Light Choir, frequent contributor to The Body) and interdisciplinary artist Pippi Zornoza (Rectrix, Vvltvre, Worms in Women and Cattle). They are joined on this incredible recording by vocalists Rebecca Mitchell (Whore Paint, House Red), Maralie Armstrong (Humanbeast, Valise), Natalja Kent (Querent) and vocalist/performer Neve Cross.

Fruit of the Ash is based on their 2011 theatrical performance of the same name, and was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Kris Lapke (Alberich) at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the Dirt Palace in Providence, and Dungeon Beach in Brooklyn.

This release will also be available as a Bundle, including a cassette edition, a t-shirt, a one-sided picture disc lathe-cut 7inch single, and a copy of the digipak CD-R.

Bonedust – Fruit of the Ash

The album can be purchased now on Bandcamp.

Listen to Fruit of the Ash streaming in full and support underground music!

Check out more releases from the Annihilvs label on Bandcamp here.

Our recent reviews of other Annihilvs and Theologian releases:
Skincage – Unimagined Space – Review
Theologian – Forced Utopia – Review
Theologian – Reconcile – Review

Arktau Eos – Erēmos – Review

Artist: Arktau Eos
Album: Erēmos
Release date: 12 October 2018
Label: Aural Hypnox

01. The Liminal Pilgrim
02. Facing the Exarchs of Desolation
03. He Who Drinks the Light of the Stars
04. The Cells Beneath
05. Autochthon
06. Pacts of Stone and the Sun
07. In the Jaws of Basalt Lions
08. Column of Sky-Iron
09. Eden

Arktau Eos seem to have become the flagship project for the Aural Hypnox label. Since their debut, Mirrorion in 2006, Arktau Eos have quickly found a solid fan-base, which rabidly follows their every release. Erēmos shows fans, yet again, why Arktau Eos is esteemed so highly in the ritual ambient community and beyond. But, as has recently become less unusual, Arktau Eos have taken a step further into the unknown, expanding into new sonic territory as they transport us far from their mysterious Katajan Kaiku lodge in Northern Finland to the vast arid Mongolian steppe.

Arktau Eos says about the album in their promotional description on social media:
As has been the testimony of wise men and women of all faiths, solitude bestows its own distinct gifts upon the seeker, a process here treated in less intimate terms than on the voice-led Catacomb Resonator. Erēmos is more expansive; the desert that opens before the listener is not a locus of temptations or simple retreat, but a vivid inner mindscape of dramatic confrontations and transformations between flora, fauna, stellar matter, earth, and stone. Gradually they shed away the humanness in its most banal sense, until man identifies with the scorpionic voice of power that carries to the ends of the earth – and cosmos.

I am seeing Erēmos as a sort of connector between two worlds. The two places where Arktau Eos captured field recordings for the project were the initiators of this idea for me. I found it interesting and slightly strange that they would use field recordings from so far away as the Mongolian Steppe, and to then somehow connect these recordings to those captured in the northern Ostrobothnian woods of Finland. These disparate ideas can begin to reveal how they are connected as we look to the track titles on Erēmos.

“The Liminal Pilgrim” seems to be the indicator that we are about to experience a sort of pilgrimage, within the mind, to a place distant in time and space. It also indicates for us that this is a journey in solitude, not a cult attempting to make a grand movement, but a sole individual, seeking further enlightenment in realms unknown. This is further alluded to by the album’s title, Erēmos, which takes its meaning from the Greek “eremites” – person of the desert.

“He Who Drinks the Light of the Stars” seems to have a strong ritualistic feel to it, even more so than the previous tracks. This seems like a point where the meditator makes a sort of extra sensory move into the ancient lands of the Mongolian steppe, as they sit in their native Finland, gazing into a clear night sky. Or, they could even become conscious through the physical vessel of some native Mongolian of the past. This theory could follow nicely to the next track “Autochthon”, which here would likely refer to the birth of this human vessel within his own land of the Mongolian steppe. The track has a strong Eastern feel to it and Arktau Eos brings us into this new land smoothly using field recordings, not to mention the use of a plethora of other sounds which all help to build up this impressive sonic tapestry.

I will decline to make any further evaluations on this narrative presented by Arktau Eos. Various artists from Aural Hypnox have made it clear in the past that their albums should be a point of personal enlightenment and need not be too actively directed by the creators of the music. Though, with that said, Erēmos does seem to have a decent bit more specifics built into itself, through the album’s description and the track titles, than we are used to seeing from Aural Hypnox artists.

A further adjustment seems to have been made on this Arktau Eos project. As alluded to earlier, Erēmos is a natural progression further into new territory. Arktau Eos, and Aural Hypnox as a whole, have been testing the grounds of synthetic sounds more courageously over the last few years than could be witnessed on most of the label’s earlier releases. Though, as we have seen on an album like Zoät-AonStar Autopsy, a strict adherence to tribal/culturally-relevant instruments and other natural instruments like the voice, bone-flutes, or acoustic guitars is not necessary to create the same level of transcendental/mind-altering effects. Tracks like “The Liminal Pilgrim” and “Autochthon” are both brilliant examples of Arktau Eos ability to use their large array of sonic tools to dig deep into the consciousness of the listener, without sticking too closely to the standard ritual/tribal framework.

Erēmos has been released exclusively on CD. There was a quickly sold-out variant described by the label as “The Bleeding Stones edition” which had several alternate colour schemes and some extra photographs. But, it is worth sharing here that Arktau Eos said on social media, in response to a few people’s dismay at the sold-out special edition:

“Sorry to hear you missed out on the Bleeding Stones edition. Perhaps it is of some consolation that we consider it more of a curiosity than a proper special edition like the ones we have done before. In fact, none was planned for Erēmos, but these copies practically forced themselves to manifest and we could not but act duly! Regarding actual extra materials, they exist and might be released in a less strictly limited edition. We will see once we get back to work soon post-Erēmos – there is a lot of stuff seething in the cauldrons that begs to be finished and let loose upon the unsuspecting world, but that is all we know or can say right now!”

Arktau Eos have created a truly brilliant album in Erēmos. The sounds presented here are able to touch the listener in a multitude of different ways. We can close our eyes and imagine this world, which Arktau Eos have illustrated, unfolding before us. We are able to travel through time and space to a destination which only exists in our own minds, but is highly detailed nonetheless. Erēmos doesn’t contain a moment of the sort of primordial ritual ambient which was more prevalent on earlier Aural Hypnox releases. The evolution of their sound has kept the authenticity and subliminal power of its foundations, but they have moved into territory which is much more diverse from moment to moment and capable of conveying more specific visuals through sound. This would be an essential album to show those readers or their friends which are unfamiliar with Aural Hypnox. The Arktau Eos sound is possibly more focused and more effective here than at any time in their past. The project, like the rest of the label, just seems to keep increasing in quality with each passing year.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Dahlia’s Tear – Through the Nightfall Grandeur – Review

Artist: Dahlia’s Tear
Album: Through the Nightfall Grandeur
Release date: 16 October 2018
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. Encroaching Shadows Beckon to Chase the Fleeing Light
02. The Keeper of Broken Dreams and Tattered Spirits
03. Forlorn Whispers on a Moonlit Path
04. The Frozen Echoes of the Endless Moor
05. Bitter Silence of Desolate Steps
06. Drowning in Delusions of Grandeur
07. Lamenting Memories Long Past in the Remnants of Darkness
08. Drifting into the Void Grasping at Fading Starlight
09. Lost in the Crystalline Enigma

Dahlia’s Tear is a dark ambient project out of Stockholm, Sweden by sole member Anile D. Dahlia’s Tear debuted in 2005 with Harmonious Euphonies For Supernatural Traumas Mesmerising Our Existences in Radient Corpuscle and was followed up in 2007 with My Rotten Spirit of Black. Yet, these two releases remained quite elusive, and have only recently been uploaded to the personal Bandcamp page of Dahlia’s Tear. Therefore, my knowledge of the project starts with their masterpiece Under Seven Skies, also from 2007 and released on the now defunct Thonar Records. The strength of Under Seven Skies  would lead to Dreamspheres in 2012 which was released on the legendary Cold Meat Industry.

This all seemed to be leading toward Dahlia’s Tear becoming a first-class name within the dark ambient genre. But, after their one-track inclusion on the Cryo Chamber compilation Behind the Canvas of Time in 2012, Dahlia’s Tear disappeared for the next six years. Each time I listened back to Under Seven Skies and Dreamspheres I would think of that track on Cryo Chamber, and hope that one day there may be a new album by Dahlia’s Tear released through that label. Dahlia’s Tear did, indeed, keep in contact with Cryo Chamber throughout these years, and the long-awaited follow-up to Dreamspheres has finally arrived!

Though plenty of time has passed, the core of the Dahlia’s Tear sound has remained intact. Those familiar with Dreamspheres and Under Seven Skies will find many of the elements they loved are still being incorporated on Through the Nightfall Grandeur. Each track is distinctly musical, in comparison to many dark ambient releases, on Cryo Chamber or otherwise. Drones are constantly morphing and shifting. Piano arrangements feature often and distinctly in the mix. The female voice is incorporated throughout the album, taking the form of short, spoken word passages, (more in line with Dreamspheres than with the vocal performance by Carline Van Roos of Aythis and Lethian Dreams on Under Seven Skies).

One of the most moving elements of the Dahlia’s Tear sound, for me, has been its blending of the musical, dreamy, light-hearted elements with harsher industrial field recordings and tones. Again, this aspect of their sound is still intact, and further honed. This contrast is perfectly displayed on tracks like “Drowning in Delusions of Grandeur”, where the piano, female whispers, and distant chants, all play beautifully off one another, creating something that is at once familiar and warm, but equally harsh and remote.

The opening track, “Encroaching Shadows Beckon to Chase the Fleeing Light”, shows off the use of field recordings and subtle drone to create a dark but vibrant atmosphere. We get a real sense of the evolution of Dahlia’s Tear with this one. While, the following track “The Keeper of Broken Dreams and Tattered Spirits” seems like a direct continuation of the styles incorporated on Under Seven Skies. It is nice to see how this musician manages to retain the magic of these previous releases, while also moving into new terrain.

The cover-art for Through the Nightfall Grandeur seems to also nod to the artwork from Under Seven Skies, with thick fog and clouds rolling across the mountainous landscape. Though here there doesn’t seem to be such a connection to alien technology as was on display with Under Seven Skies. While the cover-art was created by Simon Heath, the album was not mastered by him, as is almost always the case with Cryo Chamber releases. Instead it has been mastered by Jeff M. in the U.K. The vocal performances, as well as words, on the album have all been contributed by one Michelle Rippy, who also contributed to Dreamspheres in 2012.

Dahlia’s Tear has always been one of my favorite dark ambient musicians when I’m in the mood for something more musical and more active than most dark ambient releases. For anyone familiar with Dahlia’s Tear, I think you will likely agree that this album is equal if not superior to his previous output. For anyone new to the sounds of Dahlia’s Tear, I highly recommend this dark ambient project. I can’t overstate my pleasure that I can cover something new from them, when I was often unsure if I’d ever hear anything new from them ever again. It’s also great to see that they’ve found a home on Cryo Chamber, where their music will certainly now become familiar to many of the more recent fans of this genre.

Written by: Michael Barnett

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