Tag: compilation

Darkness Descends: A Post-Industrial Compilation – Review

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Darkness Descends: A Post-Industrial Compilation
Release date: 16 June 2018
Label: Live Bait Recording Foundation
Reviewer: Nicolas Dupont, debut review on This Is Darkness!

Tracklist:
01. Murderous Vision – “The Final Enemy”
02. Cunting Daughters – “Awaken The Beneath”
03. Abjection Ritual – “Tiny Atrocities”
04. Shock Frontier – “Your Cross Is Not Illuminated”
05. Vitriol Gauge – “No Calm”
06. Compactor – “Ultimatum”
07. Gnawed – “The Harrowing Dark”
08. Steel Hook Prostheses – “Orbitoclast”
09. The Vomit Arsonist – “Dispirited”
10. Theologian – “I Shed Your Corpse”

The undead thrasher may feel hunger when thinking they’ve spotted some review of Dark Angel‘s second album from 1986, but the mistake is certain (homage is not), as this Darkness Descends does not belong to Combat Records catalog, rather to Live Bait Recording Foundation, referenced LBRF 051 ; subtitled A Post-Industrial Compilation, be sure that black prophecies and merciless audio death are anyway to be expected, and that in the sonic process of the burning of sonic landscapes, the listener might as well perish in flames.

The compilation opens like a mechanical procession towards the Styx with “The Final Enemy” by Murderous Vision, long going project of Stephen Petrus, owner of Live Bait Recording Foundation, confirming again the faultless majesty of dark atmospheric procedures and deep explorations of unhealthy corners with which he has established himself. Processed vocals and a pounding final section mark the beginning of a journey requiring assistance – ladies and gentlemen, this way please.

Cunting Daughters drowns you in stagnant, noxious swamps with “Awaken the Beneath”. Rise up and try to escape those liquid textures, as if coming back to life through metempsychic rebirth, the wet begins to dry with caution. Death ambient, industrial, atmospheric. A project formerly known for a very limited release (55 copies) in 2011, seemingly oriented on post-mortem evocations.

Abjection Ritual furthers the awakening with “Tiny Atrocities”. A, maybe, more electro-acoustic affair involving violin, ropes slippage above the intimistic power rumblings that are present throughout. Tension in the air, human order still prevails in the environment of rebirth, this new existence is not going to be peaceful. From a project introducing itself as “influenced by mental illness, disease, self-hatred, shame, failure and disgust for humanity”, the weight of the karma has to be borne.

Shock Frontier – Tumult

Shock Frontier continues the anamnesis of apprehending this world. “Your Cross Is Not Illuminated” convokes religious orders, spiritual coercion. The death industrial is profound. Flowing, somber drones, bit by bit, arise to a more crushing structure. Hearing this, I wonder what their previous two CD albums, Tumors 64 & 110 on Malignant Records, could have been like – must check those.
[Editor’s Note: You can read our review of Shock FrontierTumult here.]

Vitriol Gauge, a project emanating from one half of United Front, and who has recently issued a new excellently thick-frequencies-ridden opus, entitled Routines on the label Concrete//Contrôle, pursues the topology of being coerced : “Are you real, or are you just in my mind?” – “Doesn’t matter at all…” Harsher, due to the heavily-processed vocals, noisier, although the atmospheric, death-industrial tone is kept. Outbursts of resistance among a (post?)apocalyptic haze, “No Calm” indicates the persistence of will, despite the blurry consensus.

COMPACTOR photo by Stephen Petrus in Vantaa, Finland 11.06.17

The unleashing follows with Compactor – “Ultimatum”. Pounding powerful craft with titillating bleeps, stomping the contained rage. A project by Derek Rush, also responsible for the artwork on the compilation, and long go’er known from Dream Into Dust, labels The Order Of The Suffering Clown and Chthonic Streams, as well as involvement in Loretta’s Doll and The Sword Volcano Complex.

“The Harrowing Dark” by Gnawedthen, steps into power-electronics territories, due to determined, yet jaded vocals ; flanged vocals is the leading element in power-electronics? – yes madam, ‘cos as you can hear, even when the soundscapes are layers of death-industrial undertones and slow pounding, the commanding vocals crowning it all renders it power-electronics. The unleash remains uncertain, too many past lives, too many sticking memories, crusades failed, thus all has corroded. Gnawed is for me a very pleasant discovery here, I will for sure keep an eye on this project, which already has an imposing discography.
[Editor’s Note: Grant Richardson of Gnawed also runs the dark ambient project Atrox Pestis, whose debut EP we reviewed, and debut full-length we premiered.]

Steel Hook Prostheses next. Woops! Gnawed has been a fair warning? Okay… Drones are sumptuous and wide, almost orchestral, which does not prevent distortion and sepulchral shriekings from interfering. “Orbitoclast” sets a nauseating crawl, despite the beauty that may surface. Full blown heavy electronics with always the death-industrial measure that accompanies the trip. Since Steel Hook Audio Mastering has been in charge of the entire treatment of the compilation, you know which crushing efficiency to expect.

Are the visitors having enough? The journey is relentless. The Vomit Arsonist keeps reminding you that you are “Dispirited”, an avalanche of frequencies that is somehow closing the circle which Shock Frontier had initiated. You tried, you lost. Again.

Theologian concludes with structured awesome potency. “I Shed Your Corpse” sounds vibrant, poignant buried vocals and again an almost orchestral tone, culminating in rhythmic military reshaping that appears almost hopeful. So, this is the very texture of the darkness that we all have to deal with? Indeed – therefore you have been enlightened. Be merry.

Although a various artists compilation, it could almost sound as an entire album by  the same artist in that the tones are so unified. Not one weak track, not one filler, all almighty and powerful. Blending, both older and more recent, projects in a constant progression that creates the feeling of chapters within a book. A psychotopography, detailing specific aspects of an inner meltdown. The physical version of it will be a professionally printed CDR in a digi-sleeve limited to 200 copies, which will be available at the Darkness Descends Festival held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 16th, 2018.

Written by: Nicolas Dupont

Frozen In Time: Weekly News 20 September 2017

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

Compilation Released!

Music Videos & Teasers

Northumbria – New Music Video

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

New Releases & Pre-orders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Darkness Week in Review

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

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

 

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

The huge new compilation that we’ve been working on for months has finally arrived! This Is Darkness and all the wonderful artists involved in this compilation hope that you will all enjoy the music, discover some new artists and hear some great exclusive new tunes from some of your favorites! The album is available for “name your price”. This way we can spread the music to as many fans as possible, while still allowing those interested to support our zine in any way they see fit. Keep a look out for more of the “Artist Spotlights” over the coming weeks and months, these will help to give readers a more intimate knowledge of many (maybe all) of the artists that took part in this project. Enjoy the 7+ hours of music and let us know what you think!
Link: https://thisisdarkness.bandcamp.com/album/vol-1-dark-ambient

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

Artist Spotlights

Second Round of Pre-order Tracks for Compilation

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

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

Enjoy!

Altarmang – Artist Spotlight


Altarmang
is the musical project of Kenneth Hansson and Pär Boström. They contributed the second pre-order/preview track to the new compilation This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient was created by Altarmang.

We should all be familiar with the works of Pär Boström. He is best known for his project Kammarheit. Later he started the project Cities Last Broadcast, which has grown to a level of almost equal fame as Kammarheit. Over the last two years, Pär began the label Hypnagoga Press with his sister Åsa. The two have released three issues of The Solar Zine so far on their label, along with the album Orgelhuset, the debut by their shared musical project Hymnambulae. If you’d like to get a more in-depth look at what Pär and Åsa Boström have to say about their Hypnagoga Press, I recommend you read my previous interview with the two of them, which can be found here.

We were first introduced to Kenneth Hansson on the album Void, by Altarmang. Void was first released as a cassette exclusively packaged with The Solar Zine Issue No. 2, which is now sold-out, though you can still get copies of issues no. 1 & 3 here.

”They depict this process as a creative as well as a spiritual one. Altogether the album Void was re-worked and completed during five sessions. Each session started with preparing and burning incense, to set space and center.
’Kenneth is a real alchemist. He chose what herbs to use and explained their unique quality. I sat next to him, inhaling the atmosphere, letting my mind wander’ Pär says.
’The preparations were for setting space and shifting into a focused and trance-like state. All five sessions tapped into that space and state’ says Kenneth.”

– Interview with Altarmang, The Solar Zine, issue 2.

The album was well received and was quickly picked up by Autarkeia for a vinyl release, which can be found here. Shortly afterward Cyclic Law announced that they would be releasing the album in a CD digipak version along with two more previously unreleased tracks. That version is set for release on 22 September 2017 and can be found here. In preparation for the digipak release Altarmang have created a music video for the track “Salamander” one of the new tracks that will be included on the Cyclic Law version of Void.

Altarmang links:
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/altarmang/
Void Digital Release on Hypnagoga Press:
https://altarmang.bandcamp.com/album/void
Void Vinyl Release on Autarkeia:
http://www.autarkeia.org/main.php?lang=en&menu=label
Void CD Digipak Release on Cyclic Law:
http://www.cycliclaw.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1561

Aseptic Void – Artist Spotlight

 


The first track on our new compilation This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient is by Aseptic Void.

Aseptic Void is the project of Davide Terreni of Montopoli in Val d’Arno, Italia. He started out his musical endeavors with an academic training on the violin. In 2009 he began his dark ambient project Aseptic Void. In 2013 he released his first album, Carnal.

Later that year, he would go on to release his second album, Psychosis, on the Cryo Chamber label, which at the time was just building its foundations.

To date, Aseptic Void is probably the most well recognized for his soundtrack to the video game The Town of Light which was released in February of 2016.

Aseptic Void uses a combination of dark ambient and experimental music to create crushingly dark tones. His sounds could likely be classed within a sub-genre which we could loosely call horror ambient.

Last Innocence by Aseptic Void

He often exhibits his paintings and they have been used several times for his album covers.

“Psychology is close to my music, because I put in place a continuous catharsis… using the language of sounds to externalize my desires, recounting what lies inside of my head. I started making music for extreme communicative exigency. I always look for the best moment of inspiration for the realization of my music. I love composing at night, when the silence and tranquility envelop me. My paintings help me to complete this ‘mechanism of expression’. Painting is another art form that helps me.”

Aseptic Void links:
Official Site: Http://www.asepticvoid.altervista.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/asepticvoid
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AsepticVoid
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/asepticvoid/

Druhá Smrt – ‘Contemplate Darkness’ Music Video

Druhá Smrt have released a number of albums through the Sombre Soniks label. Their variety of ritual dark ambient has a distinctive sound that often makes them immediately recognizable. Tim Van der Schraelen has created this video for their track “Contemplate Darkness” which is exclusive to the first compilation from our zine, This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient.
Stay tuned for more upcoming videos featuring tracks from this album!

The full compilation can be found here: https://thisisdarkness.bandcamp.com
Druhá Smrt’s latest album can be found here: https://sombresoniks.bandcamp.com/alb…
Tim Van der Schraelen’s videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfzk…
Rights to music retained by Druhá Smrt
Rights to video retained by Tim Van der Schraelen

This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient Compilation

This Is Darkness is very proud to present to you the first of our compilations. This one has been in the works for about 8 months and has been a lengthy but exciting process. We are presenting you with 66 exclusive tracks, coming in at 7+ hours of music. This is a combination of some well known artists and some that are up & coming. The release is going up today as a pre-order for $5, 10 tracks available immediately. After release on 18 September, it will be changed to “name your price”. This way, if anyone wants the 8 preview tracks now, or just wants to go ahead and show some support, they can do so within the pre-order period. After that, you can decide how much, if anything, you want to pay for the release. Please enjoy, share the news with your friends and let us know what you think of the compilation! Pre-order available here.

Album art

Eighth Tower Records – Superspectrum – Review

Artist: Various Artists
Album title: Superspectrum
Release date: 17 February 2017
Label: Eighth Tower Records

Tracklist:
01. Warpness – Mørkerom
02. Sysselmann – Wasted Land
03. Alphaxone – Majestic
04. Xerxes The Dark – Oblivion
05. Heliocentrism – Breath
06. Gopota – Attitude
07. Ocadium – Manuscript
08. Damballah – L’éveil de Baron Samedi
09. Nagaarum – Az Orias Felfalja Gyermekeit
10. Sonologyst – Ceremony
11. vÄäristymä – Kvasaarit
12. Cordis Cincti Serpente – Canis Tindalos
13. Vesicatoria – Number Zero

Superspectrum is a dark ambient, experimental ambient compilation. It is the first release on Eighth Tower Records, a sub-label of Unexplained Sounds Group. Run by the man behind Sonologyst, Raffaele Pezzella, it should be no surprise that what we are presented with is an album that is as deeply dark and horrifying as it is experimental in its execution.

Superspectrum brings together a wide range of artists, some well known and others that may be wholly unfamiliar to listeners. This sort of a combination is always helpful in attracting attention to a release. Still, it has enough breadth of talent that listeners will never quite know what to expect.

The focus of Superspectrum is freak occurrences in the natural and electronic world which cannot be classified by modern standards. Eighth Tower Records describes this phenomenon as, “a shadowy world of energies that produce well-observed effects, particularly on biological organisms (namely people). The Superspectrum is the source of all paranormal manifestations from extrasensory perception (ESP) to UFO, ultra-dimensional entities and occult presences. It is hard to pin down scientifically, because it is extra-dimensional, meaning that it exists outside our own space-time continuum yet influences every thing within our reality. ”

The sounds that can be heard on Superspectrum are as broad as the subject matter. Damballah “L’eveil de Baron Samedi” for instance, displays a sound which is certainly able to be classified as dark ambient. The track has a haunting feel and is entirely grounded in field recordings. This heavy use of field recordings takes away all notion of calling it a song, leaving us with a set of atmospheres and noises which paint a brilliantly vivid picture of paranormal activity within the natural world.

Highlighting the diversity of sounds presented, we can look to the very next track, “Az Orias Felfalja Gyermekeit” by Nagaarum. This track finds its grounding in analog synthesizer equipment, giving it a highly electronic feel. We can imagine the machinery of some scientific laboratory running in an unexplainable fashion, taking on a life of its own, to the horror of the present scientists.

Sonologyst makes an appearance with his track “Ceremony”. His trademark style of alien soundscapes is certainly present in “Ceremony”, there seems to be a combination of field recordings, analog synth, and vocal manipulations which all come together to give listeners a feast of varied emotions.

The well-known Iranian dark ambient artist Alphaxone helps secure a bit of name recognition with his submission. Yet, fans of Alphaxone will find a track that is noticeably different from much of his recent dark ambient work on Cryo Chamber. “Majestic” takes a bolder approach to dark ambient, with more sounds that jump out to the forefront. These elements give “Majestic” an experimental feel, and seem to work out very well within his skill set.

Gopota delivers one of the most unique tracks on Superspectrum with “Attitude”. True to the Gopota style, we hear often harsh and experimental noises grounded in the foundations of a dark ambient track. The combinations of these styles gives “Attitude” its unique flavor and fit together very well, producing a track which is well rounded yet simultaneously unusual. This track is also one of the most horrifying on Superspectrum, which should be no surprise to fans of this master of the macabre.

As a whole, Superspectrum is a varied, wide-reaching endeavor. The songs presented take more than their fair share of experimental composure. This could be a death sentence for some compilations but helmed by Sonologyst, the tracks all work together quite well. The blending of natural, mechanical, and electronic sounds easily brings to mind the pictures of phenomenal occurrences rooted with occult or extra-terrestrial origins.

Superspectrum should be just what Eighth Tower Records needs to jump-start their venture, while giving listeners an idea of the thematic and experimental releases which are to come in its future. I would recommend Superspectrum to fans of ambient works which are on the experimental side. There is plenty of unorthodox thinking here. Fans of more traditional forms of dark ambient may also enjoy this album as a gateway to the more experimental output of its collaborators. With a solid debut, it should be interesting to see where Eighth Tower Records takes us in the coming months. The direction will almost certainly be one which is as unusual as it is professional.

Written by: Michael Barnett


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