Imagine waking up to a world you’ve never known, in an area where you’ve never been. The man-made city lights give way to post-apocalyptic darkness, in an industrial wasteland where you’re surrounded by heavy machinery that hasn’t been affected by the near complete annihilation of human existence. You find yourself on the run, with nowhere to hide, with no sense of direction, guided only by your heightened sense of awareness for survival. The noise generated by the machines grow louder, almost deafening, as they close in on your existence. There are others on the run as well, and you watch in complete horror as they are decimated by the industrialists. You may be safe – for now – but you can only run for so long before you become a victim of the industrial takeover. This is the kind of bleak story that Black Earth auspiciously creates with their sophomore effort entitled, ‘Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation’. Containing forty five minutes of bludgeoning, ritualistic & industrial Dark Ambient, Black Earth have set out to conceive a soundtrack for the end of the modern world and the dawn of the post-industrial wasteland.
From the onset, “Doctrines Of Dissociation” provides the sudden impulse of urgency as if mass annihilation is imminent. With tribal-like thumping beats and harsh industrial soundscapes that gets louder and darker throughout the track, it pulls you in and grabs a hold without letting go, barricading the mind of all positive thoughts and dragging you down to an agonizing demise. Without skipping a beat, these soundscapes morph into “Abject Practises Beyond The Threshold”, where the listener is now subjected to grim, inaudible vocals that provide an endless nightmare to the rhythmic patterns. “Behold The Serpent” contributes the same chilling vocals, only now the multitude of industrial sounds are at maximum volume and are coming from all angles, with improvised guitars to add another layer to emit a grand feeling of claustrophobia. Right from the start, “The Sharp Blade That Mutilates The Void” produces a feeling of severe tension and anxiety as if you suddenly find yourself on the run from an entity that you cannot see. Although you know it’s there, it’s proximity cannot be determined. During the middle of the track, the industrial soundscapes giveaway to dark ambient drones and provides the feeling that you’re suddenly alone, although you feel you are being closely watched by your predator . “Drowned Under Seas Of Coagulation” is another ritualistic drone piece that – although not as harsh as some of the previous tracks – sets a very dark and depressing tone that is equally eerie in nature. “Lurking Hounds Stagger In The Deep” starts with a constant, deep thudding noise and is joined by some deep growls, ritualistic drones and evil, off-key synthesized noises that add an extra feeling of dread to the track. The song slowly fades into the albums final track, “The Mourning Waters Where Fire Never Dwells”. Whereas the previous track may be considered the climax in the fictitious story of the industrialists harsh takeover, this track is the descent from the madness, a sort of winding down of all of the ritualistic patterns that have ceased the brain for the previous forty one minutes. This is a much needed cool-down track, to allow for the mind to readjust after soaking in Black Earth’s soundtrack of decimation.
Dark Ambient is the perfect genre for letting your imagination run wild on creating a story that matches the music. Although a lot of Dark Ambient is deep droning with soundscapes and field recordings, most of it is rather smooth and mellow, albeit evil in tone. However, Black Earth plays a very ritualistic, industrialized droning Dark Ambient that is harsh on the body, mind & spirit. Even though you may not be able to kick back and relax with a Black Earth recording, you can certainly visualize being in another world, far from the reality for which you live today. This is another scorching hot winner for Cyclic Law Records! Support this amazing artist by clicking on the link below and downloading ‘Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation’ now.
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!