Presented in a lush A3 digi-pack format, today we have Soufferance, Vision’s full-length release “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the Mind”. In this ambitious release, Peine (the mastermind behind this project) presents us with one 65 minute long track of chilling Dark Ambient music, with the intention of taking the listener through a journey through the subconscious and the human mind.
Having been disconnected from the Dark Ambient scene for quite a while, we have to say that “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the Mind” feels very ethereal and mystical in nature. It might be the minimalistic nature of it, or the dark atmosphere around this release, but it made us actually sit down and fully open our ears and minds to this release.
Every once in a while we get a release that makes us listen to it more than normal since it’s so complex and different that we can’t really craft a solid opinion about it with only 3-4 spins. This month we have Locrian’s third full-length album “The Crystal World”, the band plays a very experimental mixture of ambient, drone, and some Black Metal and Post-Rock elements. This might sound like a handful, but it actually works very well for the flow of this release.
“The Crystal World” is a very powerful emotional ride that spreads through 6 tracks. With the first track “Triumph of Elimination”, the band immediately sets the stage for this dark and minimalistic journey. In the traditional fashion of creating expectation, this track starts building up with samples and drones that seem to be gaining momentum but they also seem to never culminate. The ‘culmination’ section for us that need it, comes in the next track “At Night’s End”.
Every few months we get an album that completely takes us by surprise and we end up loving it and adding it to our permanent ‘all-time favorites’ playlist. This month the “When Above…” by the Wolfshade has achieved a spot for eternity in said playlist, featuring seven compositions of majestic Atmospheric Black Metal/Dark Metal, this one-man band is probably one of the best we have heard in quite a while.
Kadhaas is the sole member behind Wolfshade, a French ‘band’ that has released three full-length albums to date and if “When Above…” is only their third release, we can only imagine how amazing their future albums will be. The band features influences from Dark Metal masters Bethlehem (vocals particularly), a hefty influence of Atmospheric elements, some Post-rock/Post-Black Metal elements, and some more Doom/Gothic oriented guitar/keyboard structures that create an ethereal atmosphere that will send chills through your spine.
Hailing from Sweden, Lustre (one man band) brings us his second full-length release with “A Glimpse of Glory”. Mixing Ambient elements with the raw beauty of Atmospheric Black Metal, we get a very solid release that instantly became one of our top 10 releases of 2010 so far. During the 40 minutes of “A Glimpse of Glory”, Lustre reminded us of bands such as Enid, Blut aus Nord, Velvet Cacoon, etc. combined with the ethereal nature of artists like raison d'être and Robert Rich.
Each of the three tracks found in “A Glimpse of Glory” focuses more in creating a very enthralling atmosphere than on the ‘Black Metal’ aspect of things. There are distorted guitars through most of the album (two thirds maybe), but there is only a little section (on track one) that has harsh BM screams. We didn’t even care if anybody was singing since each song crafts a mysterious atmosphere that gave us chills while listening to them at night.
Around the same vein as Ufo Mammuth, we have Year Of No Light, and band that does great justice to its name by playing mesmerizing Ambient Doom with Shoegaze influences that will take you in a dark voyage with a considerable lack of light. Hailing from France, this band has a very crushing sound, mostly due to the fact that they have three guitar players and two drummers, one of the richest line-ups we have ever seen in a band.
“Ausserwelt” is a 48 minute journey into a dark and desolate place that features a very rich and powerful soundtrack. With 4 tracks the band manages to create a super thick atmosphere that only a handful of bands are capable of. This album is not for the weak of mind and will surely blow yours away with every listen you dedicate to it.
Hailing from Australia today we review Midnight Odyssey’s debut full-length album “Firmament” which in fact is a reissue of their 2009 demo of the same name but with different cover art. This band plays Atmospheric Black Metal and does a fine job at creating a very eerie release, but falls short in terms of originality and diversity.
Dis Pater is the mastermind (and only member) behind Midnight Odyssey. The album features over an hour of haunting hymns dedicated to despair and darkness. Like we mentioned this release is neither original nor diverse, but it has interesting individual features, like the use of some beats in the programmed drum track and some nice ambient melodies.
As you first listen to track number one on this self titled release, you expect some good old Progressive Metal, but as the album progresses you are headed for an acid trip similar to something out of a David Lynch movie.
The band's style is a very peculiar mix of Progressive Metal and some Ambient elements, as well as some weird vocals. The band self claims to be heavily influenced by Rush, Dream Theater, Katatonia among others, and that is not completely far out.
Immundus is a one man project hailing from Portugal, the project’s musical style could be defined as Dark Ambient music and it’s very eerie in nature, and it could very well be the soundtrack of a horror/thriller movie.
Featuring ten tracks of eerie sounds with very minimalistic passages that will send chills to some people’s spines, or they will put others to sleep. If you are into Dark Ambient music, then you will be very pleased by this release, however if you do not like releases like this, then avoid the album since it will bore you to death.
Ambient Raw Black Metal newcomers Canis Dirus hail from Minnesota, USA, yeah you read correctly from the USA. This two man band is probably one of the best new bands of the genre hailing from the USA besides Wolves Of The Throne Room.
Invoking the old Burzum sound as well as the insane vocals of Bethlehem’s first albums “A Somber Wind From A Distant Shore” is a very solid release that features a very primitive and raw sound that will send shivers down to anybody’s spine after listening to it in the dark or better yet in the woods.
The Dutch duo of Urfaust comes back with their latest 2 song EP “Einsiedler” and after doing a bit of research about this band I figured I was into another pointless voyage from ‘just another’ crappy Ambient/Raw Black Metal band, and I was very wrong about this.
“Einsiedler” features over 18 minutes of mesmerizing Ambient/Raw Black Metal that should be set as one of the standards for the genre. Their amazing ambiance created by the keyboards in the track “IX Einsiedler” is both eerie and enthralling I have not enjoyed a simple but well composed keyboard arrangement like this one in quite a while. While you still have the traditional shrieks on the song, they also added a very melodic clean vocal that complements the track to perfection. The overall down-tempo and doomy feeling of this song is amazing and it’s probably one of the reasons I enjoyed the full 11 minutes it lasts.