Regen Graves Delivers A Cacophony Of Desolate Ambience On ‘Climax’

If I had to summarize my thoughts of the latest Regen Graves album, ‘Climax’, in a single word, it would be unsettling. There is something very disconcerting with this release and if I were to offer my opinion as to what the overarching theme is, it would be “abandonment through chaos.” Each of the six tracks on this recording shakes the foundation of dark ambient music and expands upon bereft energy to reclaim an insurmountable space of bleak, ominous refrain while challenging the listener to identify the boundaries of unpleasantries and infirmity. Even with that being said, there is an amiable amount of sustainability with these tracks, specifically with regards to arrangements and how compelling it really is.

Lead off track, “Immutable Reality” begins with a slightly distorted drone and morose soundscapes, setting a scene of obscurity and gloom right off the bat. Off-kilter organ chimes present an anatomical sound that depicts a particular calmness amongst an apprehensive environment. As the droning menace grows thicker and more evil, ambiguous samples produce an ominous theme of pre-apocalyptic visions. “The Last Stage Of Decline” commences with grim, celestial modulations that ride the spectrum of audial terror. Soothing but austere narrations add a bleak atmospheric while Berlin School styled sequences build in layers. A deluge of sound samples and effects complete this unconventional track but will leave the listener wanting more. “The Window” begins with a rhythmic pattern that is easy to follow along with, while haunting synth leads and elongated drones fuse in total solidarity. A progression of sound is ever so present here, as a multitude of arrangements complete the cycle of chaotic ambiguity. “Digetic Distortion” is aptly titled, as a barrage of stringed mutilation and amplified buzz emits a grueling appeal. While awaiting full-scale havoc, bits of sonic sounds adds a level of intensity that demands to be heard. As the murmur continues, it becomes more earth-shattering by the second. “Nothing Will Be Better” starts with a traditional Dark Ambient vibe and a hint of horror-generated sounds can be heard off in the distance. As it slowly crescendos, in unison with the bellowing drone, sinister back masking narrations create a sense of fear and apprehension. This continue for a few minutes before dying out into a single instance of deep, dismal droning. The final track on the album is the bonus track, “Heat”. Taking the listener on a completely different journey, this trance-like EDM track provides a foundation of mesmerizing beats, rhythmic synths and assorted samples to create a futuristic style of music that blends obscurity with pop fascination. I wouldn’t mind if Regen Graves created a whole albums worth of this type of music. A very interesting, yet powerful way to complete this chilling album.

This is my second time reviewing a Regen Graves album on this site and they definitely do not disappoint. Their brand of Dark Ambient may be off the beaten path (in relation to traditional Dark Ambient music), but it’s certainly an unheralded journey into a darkened world of celestial atmospherics and haunting malevolence. ‘Climax’ is a fantastic album that is sure to get multiple listens in order to intake everything that is happening across these six magnificent tracks. Please show your support for this amazing artist and download this album from the link below.

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Links:

https://regengraves.bandcamp.com/album/climax

Drones Of A Lighter Nightmare Prevail on Sonologyst’s ‘Interdimensional’

I truly enjoy the bleakest of Dark Ambient albums. As with any other genre, there are times for a particular taste that maximizes the power of connection between music and the listener. One of my favorite sub-genres of Dark Ambient is Drone. Sure there are some similarities between Drone and say, Industrial Ambient but it has some differences as well. Instead of harsh tones and mechanized discordance, there is a reticent, more ominous sound that allows for the utmost space for meditation and a dream-like state for potential out-of-body experiences. One artist that majestically captures these types of moments is Sonologyst. The latest album, ‘Interdimensional’ is a top-rate experience in eerie modulations and dismal tones that are equally creepy as they are thought provoking. These six tracks create a dynamic world of gray, scenic prowess and a cold atmosphere that blurs the line between dark and light.

Haunting lead off track, “Ad Astra” slowly comes into picture, like a group of propelled planes slowly flying overhead, destined for a doomed mission. As soundscapes fuse this modulated terror, a complex scenario builds despite the minimalistic tones. The various sounds create a revolving intonation that builds and collapses, causing terrifying moments of anxiety and angst. The relentless chaos doesn’t let up, even as the track fades into oblivion. “Interdimensional Beings” immediately sets a lethargic pace with low-end rumbles and spots of synth notes that blend in chaotic discord. As this nightmare settles in, the tonal quality increases and expands to include random sound bytes and unhinged effects. As it nears the final moments, celestial tones produce a nostalgic effect, which shows a complete balance between disorder and minimalist aptitude. At just over four minutes long, “Paraphysical Phenomenon” is not only the shortest track on the album, but probably the most adventurous one as well. Beautiful synth melodies clash with spacious drones and the result is a mesmerizing blend of sonic tranquility that gives the illusion of endless travel beyond the deepest corridors of space. Going from the shortest song to the longest, ‘Through Memories And Galaxies” is a near fifteen minute ride through muffled voids and spacey vacuums and exudes a supremely addictive host for traveling through blissful territories of the mind. Barely audible vocal narrations and lengthy drones complete this lengthy effort that goes from dreamy modulations to terrifying screeches. “Multiverses” commences with some of the darkest drones presented on this collection of songs. Unparalleled soundscapes hint at a celestial vibe while the overall tone continues to thicken throughout. There are moments of psychedelic sound play that emphasizes a tumultuous moment in time. Complete with very eerie undertones, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The last track on the album is “God-Level Traveller” and it begins with very demented droning sound until a peculiar instance comes into play, altering the scaled synth notes at a slow pace. The natural hissing in the background adds a dreamy essence while minimalistic noise continues to gather, creating an abrasive tone that is quite quixotic. This is certainly an impactful statement to end this very dark and brooding musical collective.

Sonologyst exquisitely bridges the gap between several sub-genres of Dark Ambient music while producing elite electronic euphoria. ‘Interdimensional’ is masterclass in drone music that branches out with a plethora of haunting soundscapes and production tactics. The end result is an amazing album that is surly to stand the test of time. Don’t sleep on this album, as I highly recommend it for those that expect an esoteric and ominous audial output. Check it out at the link below and support this prodigious artist and the addictive music he produces.

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Links:

https://sonologyst.bandcamp.com/album/interdimensional

Ideal Father Examines The Despotic Aftermath Of An Industrial Age Coup With The Chilling, ‘Paradice Death’

The coldness of industrial music has a particular haunting effect that emits emotional angst, rebellion and sometimes fear. The influence of an industrial-themed environment is the essence for blazing energy across multiple genres of music. Boasting an apocalyptic setting or ventures in dystopian wastelands, Industrial music is a tantalizing hybrid of music and machine, joining forces to lay the foundation of corrupt manufacturing lineage. In the realm of Dark Ambient, industrialized influences play a crucial role on one of the genres most harsh sounding sub-forms. Ideal Father grasps that ideology and doesn’t hold back with delivering a savage performance in ‘Paradice Death’. Nine tracks of grinding decay is all that it takes to create a despondent world of barbarous and strident modulations to help desensitize the traumatic situations of futuristic environments.

The dissonant lead off track, “A Mind In Evil Ruin” pulls no punches as it crashes in like a video game character warping to a desolate world, right in the middle of scenic terror. Haunting, reverberated drones drift in like a sandstorm on a reluctant desert town, unable to flee the grasp of demise in any direction. A variety of effects set a creepy vibe as the wall of noise surrounds you in every direction with no viable means of escape. “In Paradice Death” commences with a supernatural narration that sounds like a menacing black metal styled vocal with an echo effect that is made for ruining all positive thoughts. A squall of ear-piercing synths and soundscapes project an even darker world of hatred and corruption while inaudible voices and screams can be heard throughout, cementing this nightmarish vision of disturbing results. “Blood Torrent” begins with heavily distorted tones that are reminiscent of the distant buzz of mechanical infrastructures running on autopilot and out of control. Various disturbances echo from left to right, as if you’re being stalked by a maniacal being. “Crepuscular Soul” emits a muffled, underwater sound that loops uncontrollably while discordant tones and buzzes build around it. This track also offers clean and clear synth passages that are just as poignant as the other, darker tones set forth on this album. It’s almost as if it’s playing a bizarre scale that is melodic in nature but instead discharges an accord of sadistic intent. “Tongue Mosaic” is one of the shorter songs in this brooding collection, but it’s intermittent spikes of tonal despair, set on top of a sustained drone, presents a harrowing look at nightmarish entities in the void of nothingness. “Crosshair Mantra” starts with a doom-laden drone with heavy modulated breathing sounds that soon fuse with vociferous synth shrills and gruesome effects. The field recordings in this track display a scene of horror and ferocious resolve toward the end of existence. Life forms become scarce as mechanical objects rebel and conquer in pre-programmed unison. “Wall Of Crying Eyes” is a minimalistic piece with divergent drones that sway in and out of audial captivity, while mechanical noises meander aimlessly in search of their next victim. Sonic and celestial modulations depict a retrospective vibe while the tonal distortion of assorted soundscapes create a sense of abandonment and isolation. The massively distorted take off of “Nobody Will Know” is a severe reminder of a condemned society and the point of no return to normalcy and conventional existence. As this dynamic increases in layers, the sound thickens into a spiteful wall of harmonized noise and it’s deafening quality becomes even more mesmerizing as it continues to play out. The final track on the album is “Dream Slurja”. Signaling the end of existence for living organisms, this minimalistic piece represents the true dawn of industrial power and it’s agonizing takeover of humanity. With a deficient dose of harsh effects, this is one of the more peaceful efforts in this collection but none less terrifying than the rest of the album. Hints of stifled vocals and discrete field recordings are antagonizing reminder of the strength of industrial components and the new mechanical civilization that will forever remain a dark spectacle of potent energy.

Ideal Father just may be my new go-to artist for when I desire the hasty sounds of industrial ambience. With only a few albums in circulation, ‘Paradice Death’ has proven to be a jolting experience in the harsher side of Dark Ambient music. This sound and style isn’t for everyone but for the unique audience that lives for this experience, then look no further than Ideal Father. Please show your support by checking out this album at the link below.

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Links:

https://idealfather.bandcamp.com/album/paradice-death

Monstruwacan Transcribes The Struggles Of Agony With The Ritualistic And Ominous ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’

If I asked you to provide one word to describe how you feel about music (in general), I’m sure their would be no wrong answers. No mater what adjectives are used to characterize your perception of music, there is no doubt that it’s a powerful entity. Music is inspirational, emotional, provides comfort, describes other subject matters in a relatable way, and is a reliable source of affection and warmth. Many of these identifiers can be associated with the massive audial offering by Monstruwacan, ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’. Six tracks of haunting modulations that provide a ritualistic listening experience through grim guitar tones and decaying vocalizations. These songs are an amenity for coping with grief and well, life in general as the turmoils we are all faced with on a regular basis seem to never end.

Blistering album opener, “Which Side Are You On (w/The Windborne Singers)” just may be my new favorite song! Featuring a sorrow song-style vocalization about old Union worker banters, this jubilant piece supremely incorporates droning soundscapes to give it a cinematic sound that are reminiscent of the musical endeavors of early Zeal & Ardor. The vocals specifically standout, as the quartet harmonizes beautiful with crystal clear annunciation, thwarting the listener back to the days of coal mining and black lung disease along with the perils of that era. “Mourn At The Grindstone” quickly builds into an eerie, minimalist drone that captures the essence of dread. Faint wails of a guitar can be heard in various spots, adding to the mystique of the song. As this tonal creature grows in volume, the sense of misery become obvious while the shrills of ominous soundscapes continue to fluctuate. Suddenly, harsh narrations divulge information of sincere pain. You can hear the agony as the vocals elicit painful cries and every strum of the guitar is like opening an emotional tomb of anger and resentment. I can imagine this is what it would sound like if Sunn O))) and Blood Of The Black Owl we’re to collaborate. Next up is the somber, “Pupils Like The Hole In Space Where It Sings”. Commencing with a melancholic guitar part, things quickly spiral down into a harsh guitar tone with full-on distortion and resonance. This doom laden masterpiece also features deafening screams and harrowing, bleak ambience, as the mood is quickly set for a slow decent to annihilation. The torment continues with “Feast In The Dark”. A perpetual drone is accompanied by low, back end soundscapes that are audible enough to peak your curiosity. Just as this mild endeavor begins to settle in, heavily modulated guitar chords bear down like a speeding freight train while strident vocals evoke a story of bitterness. “Song For The Dead” begins as a spooky Dark Ambient piece that casually infuses bits of guitar effects. The elongated drone provides a demonic backdrop and when the harsh narrations come in, this becomes a complete ritualistic experience. The middle section of this eight minute opus softens to a simple drone that fades to the point of obscurity and then blazing guitar chops ignite a doom laden offering that showcases the climactic ending of angst and fear. The final track, “What Keeps Us In This Wretched Place” begins with a dose of sonic soundscapes that reside more in the background instead of the forefront, as if we can soon expect vociferous leads to play out. A ton of reverb is used in the beginning section, kindling a stark setting of bleak space ambience. As the droning grows louder in volume, it’s apparent that we will soon see the end of this amazing journey. Layers of drones and effects dredge forth until the song faintly comes to an end.

Every once in a while, an album comes along and completely blows me away. ‘Mourn At The Grindstone’ is that album and then some. These songs are well thought out and put together with meticulous detail so that is flows with utter transparency. Caldon Glover, the mastermind behind this project, knew exactly what he was aiming for with this album and the results are in – Monstruwacan are already becoming a heavy hitter in the Drone Metal/Dark Ambient sub-genre. Although this album has been out since May of 2021, it deserves to be heard by a much larger audience than what it already has. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one right away and support this artist by downloading this masterpiece at the link below.

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Links:

https://monstruwacan.bandcamp.com/album/mourn-at-the-grindstone

Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem Synthesize For Dungeon Synth Greatness On ‘Shadows Reflected’

Two of Dungeon Synth’s upcoming artists – Caliginous Empire & Natura Carcerem – have joined forces for the monumental offering, ‘Shadows Reflected’. However, this is no simple collaboration; this is two compelling creators showcasing the best side of their craft and extending a long overdue exposure to up and coming artist as they show solidarity in one of the best musical genres around. Caliginous Empire exhibits a soothing blend of symphony tones and melancholic soundscapes, while Natura Carcerem ventures more into aspects of Dark Ambient and ominous atmospherics. However, on this joint venture, they both step out of their comfort zones and expand on their musical creativity resulting in an ethereal experience that flows with haunting transparency.

“Before I Depart” is the somber album opener that starts with melodic keys and piano chops that slowly builds into a grand intonation. A short narration constructs an ancient storyline before percussive beats and layers of melody complete this soothing musical affair. The excitement really begins on “Hidden Penumbra”. Commencing with the soft crashes of ocean waves on a desolate, ancient shore, dense keys and pads create a fantastical soundscape of cinematic proportions. Soon, the tonal keys descend into an emotionally-charged passage of atmospheric modulations and alluring patterns. Out of nowhere, the track blasts into a melodic Black Metal section, complete with harmonic guitar chords, blast beats and ominous vokills. It then dwindles down to a quiet symphony of swaying keys that close out the track. The next track is “Reflected Shadows” and it showcases the talents of both musicians as they merge their unique sounds to present this stunning effort. A gentle piano ballad starts this epic adventure then an array of sounds and effects slowly builds a wall of discordance that is hypnotizing to say the least. Toward the end, tasty guitar leads mirror the main melody and establish a theatrical dose of affinity and atmospheric creativity. Natura Carcerem presents the next two tracks, the first being “On The Precipice Of Despair”. This is a beautiful flowing song that is held together by rigorous drum beats and celestial keys. Filled with eerie arrangements and haunting soundscapes, there is also an effervescent crypt hop beat that will have your head bobbing for the last portion of the song. The final track is the ghostly, “These Shadows Know My Name”. The cawing of crows and frightening modulated tones produces ghoulish atmosphere of haunted mansions, graveyards and nocturnal creatures that are bound to scare all those in their path. A soft Berlin School sequence adds a nice touch, as it increases the nostalgic vibe. More narrations and Black Metal vokills close out the track as this exceptional album draws to an end.

It’s never too late to recognize a fantastic album. ‘Shadows Reflected’ was released almost a year ago and it – so far – has stood the test of time, as these songs are unique, impressive and memorable. Caliginous Empire and Natura Carcerem have successfully blended their talents for supreme song writing and arrangements on this album and I can only hope that they will team up again in the near future to present us with another endeavor of this magnitude. If you like your Dungeon Synth meshed with other style of music, do not look past ‘Shadows Reflected’ as this is a one stop shop for your extreme Dungeon Synth needs.

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Links:

https://uncomfyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shadows-reflected

https://caliginousempire.bandcamp.com

https://naturacarcerem.bandcamp.com

Eyre Transmissions XVI: Interview With Improvisational Ambient Prodigy, Mora-Tau

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Mora-Tau by way of his 2020 album, ‘The Light Of the Winter’. Something about it was very nostalgic…very haunting. Upon further probe into his Bandcamp page, I discovered an alluring and eclectic cosmos of improvisational recordings that are addictive and more importantly conceptualized based on a specific theme – particularly around horror, nightmares, worlds end and retrospective subject matter. Needless to say, Mora-Tau has become one of my favorite Dark Ambient producers and I couldn’t wait to have a conversation with him to find out what makes this project so unique and special. Hope you enjoy this interview.

1. Thank you very much for this interview opportunity. Mora-Tau has a rather short recording history but has left quite an impression on my. How did this project start for you?

As you pointed out, I only started publishing my work around 2009. I was born in 1959 and I will be 63 this year, so it’s not a long career.

For about 10 years, from the age of 15, I listened exclusively to progressive rock. I now listen to a wide range of music genres, including jazz, avant-garde music and club music, but most of it came through progressive rock. Even punk rock.

The most influential artists at that time were Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield, Steve Hillage, Gong, Popol Vuh and of course King Crimson. Well, this is a very conventional list.

I started working under the name ‘mora-tau’ around 2008. I had been creating music before that. But I was satisfied with just playing them for my friends. I didn’t do any live performances. I had no formal musical education, so I’m not very good at playing an instrument. So I couldn’t even imagine the day when I would be playing in front of other people.

In 2008 or 2009, I discovered the music publishing website jamendo.com. By registering on that site, I was finally ready to release my music to the outside world. It was then that I named myself ‘mora-tau’. The name comes from my favourite 1950s horror film The Zombies of Mora-Tau (with my favourite actress Allison Hayes playing the bad girl, who turns into a zombie at the end).

Around the same time, an acquaintance invited me to perform at his shop (which was a bookshop) for almost the first time in my life. That was a lot of fun! And that was the start of my live career.

I consider myself ambient music, drone music and experimental music at the moment. I feel that these three genres are often balanced and mixed in one piece.

It was only after 2000 that I started to listen to this music seriously, in other words systematically and consciously. Before that, I was looking for my own music, imitating what I had heard. So it wasn’t until I started performing live that I got the style of music I was aiming for.

The first music that made a big impact on me was Eliane Radigue, a pioneer of electronic music who manipulated an ARP2500. I found the drone music she produced to be very simple, but with immense depth.

Another hero of mine is Morton Feldman. When I met Feldman, who produced very long, very slow music (sometimes over five hours of music), that music melded with Tangerine Dream, Harmonia and Eliane Radigue in my mind and became a big part of my own style It has given me suggestions.

This is ‘the origin of mora-tau’.

Wow, it’s a very long answer! I’m sorry.

2. I’ve noticed that on the liner notes of many of your recordings on Bandcamp your work mainly consists of improvisations. Do you typically have a plan of what you are going to play before recording or is it completely improvised?

I record almost all of my compositions as completely improvised performances. On very rare occasions I may write a musical score, but it is a sketch for memory.

However, in the last few years, I have often decided on a scale only at the beginning of a performance. Especially for live performances, I always decide on just the scale. Sometimes I move on to another scale during the performance, and sometimes I just finish it. The reason why I decide on it is simple. I don’t want to make a mistake in front of the audience :-).

Recorded performances are edited using DAW software. Sometimes it is just the same thing as played, with a few tweaks. In most cases, however, editing is essential. Balancing between tracks, noise reduction, sound quality adjustment, etc. are always done. The song is then cut into several parts. Sometimes I’ll delete parts, sometimes I’ll change the order, and sometimes I’ll layer completely different tracks that were previously unreleased. Sometimes I create a piece by layering several tracks that were recorded at completely different times and have different tempos, tunes and tonalities.

Once I have finished recording, I change my mind and think: ‘This is all just material’. And in the editing process, I emphasise an improvisational sensibility. I rarely work in advance. My style is as improvisational in the editing as it is in the performance itself.

3. You have quite a few live recordings from Bar Lynch (in Utsunomiya, Japan). How do you prepare for those sessions and how is the audience response to your work?

Lynch is a very small bar in a narrow alleyway; it overflows when 20 people arrive. The sound system for live shows uses the shop’s audio system. Otherwise, artists bring their own amplifiers.

I always have about three synthesisers available, with the necessary effectors connected to them, and record them on a mixer/recorder, a ZOOM R-16. The output from that is then input into Lynch audio.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-lynch-oct-19-2021

So the sound quality is by no means top-notch. But because my recordings do not go through the shop audio, I can guarantee the same quality as studio work. Many of my customers listen to me while they chat. No, they are not listening? But some of them listen intently, clap seriously and ask questions after the performance. Yes, about one person every six months.

My turnout is very low, only a few people at most gigs. Sometimes there is only the master. On those occasions, I play around with phrases and developments that I think the master will enjoy. Of course, I never play to the extent that the whole structure collapses, though.

4. I lived in Japan for almost 24 years and really loved the music scene however, my only electronic concert experience was seeing Merzbow live in Tokyo a few times. How is the Electronic/Ambient scene in Japan these days?

Sorry, I actually don’t know anything about the music scene in Japan. I live in Utsunomiya-City, which is 100 km north of Tokyo. The famous Shinkansen bullet train will take you to Tokyo station in an hour, but I rarely go outside my area.
I’m like Rapunzel living in a tower.

I keep up to date with new music through streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube and CD shopping, but so far I haven’t found the Japanese scene to be very interesting.

5. You’ve made several recordings for International labels such as Church Of Noisy Goat (Brazil) and Kalamine Records (France). How did those endeavors come about?

Both labels approached me through them. I never approached them myself. I think they liked something about the music I was making and invited me.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-october-landscape

6. Do you plan to release anymore albums with those labels, and possibly others?

Neither of the two labels has a specific release schedule. I send my work to them about four times a year. Then I ask them, “If you like it, will you release it?” I have never had anyone say “No”.

I will continue to regular releases, where possible. However, there is no fixed schedule. If invited by another label, I’ll see what they’re up to and think about it. Of course, my basic attitude is “anyone, anytime, is OK”.

https://thechurchofnoisygoat.bandcamp.com/album/wellcome-back-nuclear-summer

7. As for your music style and influence, how much of it is influenced by Japanese culture, folklore and spiritual meaning?

The deepest part of the psyche must be inseparably influenced by it. For example, many of the phrases I play unconsciously have a Japanese melody.

But it’s rarely conscious. Before making track, I watch a film or read books, looking for something to inspire me. If I’m inspired by something Japanese then I’m strongly influenced by it. I’ve never been aware of any other influences beyond that.

Of course, consciously or not, ‘Japan’ is firmly rooted in me. When I improvise, I am very conscious of this. Such as when I play the ‘Japanese phrases’ I mentioned earlier. Perhaps I am imprinting ‘Japan’ more deeply in my mind through improvisation.

8. One of my favorite albums by you is called ‘Swirl’. It has a very retrospective and minimalistic vibe to it. What was it like to record this album and what is the meaning behind this amazing music?

Thank you very much. I like that album very much too.

At that time, I was thinking of putting my impressions of the B-Movies of the 50’s to music.
The theme is “guidelines for music production” for me. The light of the lighthouse. A guide to the completion of the work.

This is the case with most of my work.
I say to myself ‘Let’s start to make music inspired by “The Thing”! ‘. But when done, it can be The Thing, but it can also be “Quatermass Xperiment”, or “Frankenstein”, or “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas”. You must have been disgusted at how lazy it was.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/swirl

Shortly before making ‘Swirl’ I bought an analogue synthesizer with a sequencer. And I wanted to use it to make endless music. That’s how I started with my technical interests.

It’s all about how to combine different approaches: adjusting parameters to make small changes, changing effects in real time, using delays to layer sounds from other equipment. “Swirl” is the result of this research into how different approaches can be combined to create long ambient pieces of music. It’s the honest answer. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you.

9. There is another album called ‘Still Here’. In my opinion, this is one of your darkest recordings. What was the main focus behind this album?

This one, contrary to ‘Swirl’, was made with technology I already had at my disposal.

First, there was ‘Story’, which I wrote in the liner notes. How can I live in a world where the world has disappeared and no one can hear me? This was expanded upon in Still Here.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/still-here

At the same time, I was obsessed at the time with the image of a ‘world on the brink of destruction’ as depicted by J.G. Ballard. I felt that I was living in a terrible world, in a time when I was trapped.
To express this, I partly used contemporary musical techniques such as atonal and whole-tone scales. I think these techniques also promote darkness.

10. One of your latest albums is called ‘Brave New World’. However, in the liner notes, you state, “There is No New World Anywhere”. How does that tie in to the music on the album and what is the meaning behind this recording.

Mmm…
When write it like that, it seems to express a deep philosophy. But there’s a bit of deception there.

It started from my own feeling that “there’s nothing new in this album. Every part of it is a repetition of what I’ve done before”.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/brave-new-world

Of course, I don’t always try new things in all my work. I think it’s fine to use only familiar techniques of expression, if the resulting work is emotional. That’s why I can write “There is no ‘new world’ anywhere.” It’s a self-deprecating joke!

The music for the album was done, I thought “This album is GOOD!”. But I couldn’t think of a title. At first I thought of “fragment of memories”, but then I thought it sounded like the title my past albums. After a few days of deliberation, I decided on the current title as a kind of compromise.

11. I’m really interested to learn about the equipment you use for recording? Can you please share your setup to the fans?

The main equipment is listed below. This is where we choose and combine the equipment for our gigs.

Analog Synth:
Moog Sub Phatty
Arturia minibrute
Behringer Crave
Pico System Erica Synth

Virtual Analog Synth:
Yamaha CS1x
Modal Electronics SKULPT Synthesizer
E-mu Proteus2000

Soft Synth:
Future Audio Workshop Circle 2

DAW Software:
Audacity

Effector:
Delay
BOSS DD-20 GIGA DELAY
tc electronic Flashback2
JOYO D-SEED II

Reverb
BOSS Digital Reverb RV-5
Behringer RV600 Reverb Machine

Looper
BOSS Loop Station RC-3
tc electronic DITTO X4 Looper

Multi Effector
ZOOM G2

12. Other than Bar Lynch, do you play live gigs at other venues?

Yes.
Since last year I have been playing at ‘Igno…. . book plus’ (an antiquarian bookshop) every three months or so. There are also a few live music venues where can play. All of them are in Utsunomiya city.

13. Do you plan to release any physical media of any of your albums or will you stick with digital releases?

I actually released a CD a few years ago under the title “the old village”. 300 copies were made and over 200 are still unsold. I don’t think releasing any more CDs. It’s too costly. I would like to release a cassette tape.

14. I’m always looking forward to hearing new music from you. What do you have planned for releases in 2022?

Thank you very much. In 2022 I’m aiming to release an album every month, hopefully one that You will like.

15. Thanks again for your time and for sharing your musical journey. Do you have any final thought for those that will read this interview?

I was born in 1959, so I don’t think I’ll have another ten years to be an active musician. Nevertheless, I don’t want to stop playing music and I hope to go deeper into it. If you don’t mind, I would be very happy if you could stay with me for a while longer.

Links:

BC: https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com

IG: https://instagram.com/sleepshow

Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part V

It’s almost mind numbing to see how great the Dark Ambient genre has not only grown, but expanded in sound. It seems as if harsh noise and industrial ambience is coming more into existence and coupling with the bleak intonations of Dark Ambient soundscapes and drones. The albums in this list represent change, growth and also homage to the influences of modern day Dark Ambient music. I hope you enjoy these summary reviews as much as I did putting them together.

1. The Owl – Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity

The Owl specialized in noise terror and monstrous modulations that are presented in a controlled chaos offering. ‘Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity’ is an improvised endeavor that plays on the decline of normalcy and the abruptness of ataxia. Rigid guitar tones set against the strident sounds of industrialized soundscapes and eerie narrations set a precedence of tonal despondency. As mesmerizing as it is turbulent, this albums is just another gem in the vast The Owl discography.

https://theowl.bandcamp.com/album/55-beyond-the-vastness-of-infinity

2. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Loud Nothing

Multi-talented, multi-genre artist Aleksis Tristan Shaw, once again dabbles in the world of Dark Ambient music with the twisted oblation, ‘Loud Nothing’. Combining the forces of demented horror sounds, spacious soundscapes and drifting drones, this is a compelling story of electronic proportions. Elongated drones provide a hypnotic state while supernatural subtleties and sequences keep the listener from completely going under with hints of smoldering tension. At times, spacey, and other times downright grim, this recording is a full offering of Dark Ambient amusement and is fascinating to say the least.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/loud-nothing

3. Crepuscular Entity – Zwolf Bagatellen

‘Zwolf Bagatellen’ is an exercise in harsh frequency delivery and the chaotic amplification of audial discord. Consisting of twelve tracks of white noise, with belligerent modulations, this is a test of determination and surviving the true grit of noise ambience. Filled with abrupt soundscapes and extreme reverberation, this album is a massive overdose of music that is meant to overtake the sense and infiltrate the mind. Listen at your own risk but prepare to be amazed at the indulgence of extreme electronic music.

https://crepuscularentity.bandcamp.com/album/zwolf-bagatellen

4. Drone Islands – Volume I / II / III

‘Drone Islands – Volume I /II / III’ is a massive collection of ambient magnificence, containing beautiful audial offerings from an array of artists. This album combines the work of all Drone Island releases to include, ‘Land Rising’, ‘The Lost Maps’ and ‘Stellar’. Some of the biggest names in the Dark Ambient community lend their services to this recording such as Ashtoreth, Kammarheit, BlackWeald, Taphephobia, Alphaxone and Infinexhuma. These types of collective albums are a real treat, as you get a cluster of unique musical achievements in a single album. This is an exemplary collection that must be heard.

https://eighthtowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/drone-islands-volume-i-ii-iii

5. Long The Night – Illusion

‘Illusion’ is an assemblage of beguiling drones with cinematic-like production. Although starting out with a light ambient vibe, the mood swiftly changes on track two, “Untold Mind” and a belligerent tone is thrusted into this space ambient endeavor. These songs sequentially crescendo into a mammoth-like sound and slowly fade out into oblivion before shifting to the next moment of surprising moments. There are moments that are influenced by the Warhammer 40k sound, while the majority of the album is like a dark space excursion. This is an excellent album that fits right in with some of the top names in the genre.

https://kalpamantra.bandcamp.com/album/illusion

6. Pavor Nocturnus – Bosch

Pavor Nocturnus specializes in flowing light drones that are delivered in an obscure pallet of ominous soundscapes, torturous industrial sounds and peaceful samples and field recordings. All fused together, this is an eerily harmonious endeavor that will be pleasing to fans of multiple Dark Ambient sub-genres. ‘Bosch’ is eclectic blend of soulful modulations that don’t have a particular flow (from track to track), but works very well in the overarching concept of the album. This is an amazing recording that I cannot recommend enough.

https://musicpavornocturnus.bandcamp.com/album/bosch

7. Sij & Textere Oris – Reflections At The Sea

Sij & Textere Oris is one of the most fascinating Dark Ambient collaborations on the Cryo Chamber label roster. Although only having released two albums on the giant label, they are both top quality endeavors that are unique in their own way. On latest effort, ‘Reflections At The Sea’, soothing drones are met with enchanting vocal melodies and theatrical reverberations that produces a theatrical-like sound. From piano chops to random sound effects, this album is put together magnificently and will warrant multiple listens. This is definitely one not to miss.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-at-the-sea

8. Melanohelios – The Durance Machine

In my opinion, Melanohelios doesn’t put out music often enough. There is something very addictive with Melanohelios albums and I can’t quite put my finger on it. However, I can say that what you’ll get with each album is an exclusive listening experience – one just as good as the next. On ‘The Durance Machine’, there are two tracks of mind-melding drone work that lasts the better part of thirty six minutes. While listening, you’ll find yourself drifting between peaceful experiences and terrifying moments that flow together with extreme transparency. This is another alluring album from such a reclusive entity.

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-durance-machine

9. Marco Pianges – Somewhere

Dark tones and blistering keys set the backdrop for this escapade of quality electronic tracks. With a plethora of samples and soundscapes, this short album is a cacophony of aggressive moment and angst-filled resilience. The genius aspect of this album is the malevolence hidden in the peaceful details – like a field of beautiful flowers in the dead of winter. Even with just twenty minutes of playing time, this five track album is a beast to contend with and will surely please all fans of Dark Ambient music.

https://ukhanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/somewhere

10. Northumbria – Isolering

If you’re a fan of Dark Ambient music, you should at least be aware of the haunting entity known as Northumbria. With a list of unrivaled albums on the Cryo Chamber label, the stringed duo often ventures out independently and continues to produce quality ambience. On 2021’s ‘Isolering’, we’re presented with four ominous tracks containing nearly seventy five minutes worth of mesmerizing intonations. These extended efforts take the listener down a blackened path and instill a relentless blend of lethargic tones and reverberated modulations that are simply paralyzing. In my opinion, this is one of their best efforts and the mood that it sets is quite compelling.

https://northumbria.bandcamp.com/album/isolering

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Cementation Anxiety Discharges Industrialized Dynamism On The Austere ‘Prospects Of Dissolution’

By design, Dark Ambient represents a sort of frigid, ominous variance of meditative music. A genre that soothes the mind and haunts the soul, dismal drones and soundscapes empowers the listener to drift in (mostly) apocalyptic settings and advance on portentous endeavors in – what seems like – slow motion. However, not all sub-genres of Dark Ambient follow that narrative as industrialized ambience presents a bleak side of this obscurity, producing more of an angst-like approach to audible reasoning. One such artist that excels at this approach is Cementation Anxiety. On latest album, ‘Prospects Of Dissolution’, three long tracks create a particular madness that corrupts the soul with harsh tones and a maddening approach to perilous drones. Meant to be heard as a single instance of mayhem, this is nearly twenty four minutes of rigid ambience with an outcome of severe proportions.

Opening track, simply titled “I”, commences with a malevolent commotion, as if saying Welcome to the industrial wasteland, where pollution-heavy skies and abandoned factories set a desolate scene. Looping drone of mechanized strength don’t let up for over ten minutes, while viscous soundscapes bear down on the listener at full force. Random tones and samples create a menacing plot full of negativity and resilient evil. This song is like an endless maze of torment, creating suffrage through apprehension and dread. As the track increases its modulating output, it morphs into the second track “II” rather than drifting off into obscurity. Pressurized drones reek havoc on the senses as the unknown lurks around every corner. Not knowing what to expect, tensions increase while assorted soundscapes and tones seem slightly buried in the mix before slowly ascending into audial darkness. The main drone accelerates with unabridged rancor, dragging the lister further into the abyss of uncharted terror. Just as the maniacal endeavor seems to be at its peak, it partly abolishes some of the harshness before leading into the third and final track, “III”. This final plight of audial terror presents over eight minutes of minimalistic modulations that act as a rigid recovery of the previous tracks as the deafening chaos suggests that there is no escape from the impending doom that awaits. The final few minutes dies down into a less modulated drone with reverberated soundscapes that drift in the background. This shows the collapse of civilization and ruins the chance of any return to a stable environment.

Cementation Anxiety produces top notch industrialized ambience and excels at telling a darkened stories of futuristic worlds and unexplored settings of demise. Although ‘Prospects Of Dissolution’ is an entertaining and important recording for the genre, I truly wish that this album was about an hour long. It’s so easy to get lost in the discord, but as soon as you do it seems like it’s over not soon after it begins. I highly recommend checking out this album, especially if the harsher side of Dark Ambient is your thing. Please click on the link below and support this exceptional artist.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://cementationanxiety.bandcamp.com/album/prospects-of-dissolution

Not Dungeon Synth Nor Dark Ambient But…Fifteen Albums From 2021 That (for me) Transcended Greatness!!

Although The Dungeon In Deep Space is primarily focused on Dark Ambient and Dungeon Synth, I take great pride in the fact that my love for music has no borders. I’m a life-long metal fanatic but there are so many more genres that I love and respect. Here are some of my favorite albums of 2021 and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

1. Spiritbox – Eternal Blue

https://spiritboxofficial.bandcamp.com

A lot of hype surrounded the release of Spiritbox’s debut album ‘Eternal Blue’. Prior to its release, quite a few video singles were released that catapulted the band into a much bigger realm. Was the album worth the wait? Absolutely!! With an impeccable blend of djent metal and commercial anthems with a slight pop vibe, the album lived up to the hype and much more. Soaring vocals, masterful instrumentation and top notch songwriting make this one of my favorite albums of 2021. Best of all, there was a cassette release as well!

2. Atomic Skunk – Wisdom Of The Sun

https://atomicskunk.bandcamp.com/album/wisdom-of-the-sun

I’ve been a huge fan of Atomic Skunk since 2009 and it’s the blend of light ambient, World music influences and a plethora of soundscapes & field recordings that make this style so unique. After an 8 year hiatus, Atomic Skunk started releasing consistently great albums in 2019 and has been on a relentless escapade since then. This years ‘Wisdom Of The Sun’ has been one of my favorite electronic album of the year and I hope this pace continues for the foreseeable future.

3. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

https://cannibalcorpse.bandcamp.com/album/violence-unimagined

Hands down, ‘Violence Unimagined’ is Cannibal Corpse’s best album since 2006’s ‘Kill’. I’m not sure if it’s the addition of Erik Rutan (who recently replaced Pat O’Brien) or the fact that their songwriting is getting better with age. Either way, this is a banger of an album from start to finish and it reiterates the fact that Old School Death Metal is alive and well…and here to stay.

4. Kowloon Walled City – Piecework

https://kowloonwalledcity.bandcamp.com/album/piecework

Kowloon Walled City excel at creating a lethargic brand of Post Punk. The songs are complacent, not overly aggressive and no other band does it quite like they do. As adroit songwriters, they are able to blend heavy music with scaled back distortion while maintaining a massive sound. ‘Piecework’ is one of their best albums and I still listen to it on a regular basis.

5. Cosmic Abyss – Midnight

https://cosmicabyss.bandcamp.com/album/midnight

Cosmic Abyss is one of the best DIY artists in existence right now. Producing an offshoot brand of Doom Metal with an alluring ambient vibe, this is obscure experimentation at its best. ‘Midnight’ is one of his best offerings thus far and sets a high bar for other artists that dabble in this style of music.

6. Dinosaur Jr – Sweep It Into Space

https://dinosaurjr.bandcamp.com/album/sweep-it-into-space

80’s alt-rock masters, Dinosaur Jr., continue to release their brand of pre (and post) grunge rock. Expect plenty of fuzzy guitar tones, laid back vocals and well executed songs that continue to impress from an aging band that doesn’t see an end in sight.

7. Human Figures – After An Ordeal

https://popnihil.bandcamp.com/album/after-an-ordeal

If you grew up in the 80’s and were exposed to the surge of dark wave and post pop and liked it, then look no further than Human Figures. Creating a resurgence of the aforementioned genres, Human Figures excels at recreating that retrospective vibe and the production value alone is the icing on the cake. ‘After An Ordeal’ is an EP’s worth of incredible tracks that are sure to impress the listener with its emotional output and captivating sound. Don’t sleep on this one!

8. Breather 1 – The Noodle Bar

https://breather1.bandcamp.com/album/the-noodle-bar

Breather 1 has the whole cyberpunk and synthwave vibe down pat. ‘The Noodle Bar’ is a massive conceptual album that takes the listener on a retrospective journey in a futuristic setting. Sit back, grab your favorite headphones and enjoy this staggering ride to an enchanted world that you won’t soon forget.

9. Friendly Donut Shop – Childish Footsteps

https://friendlydonutshop.bandcamp.com/album/childish-footprints

There is a reason that Comfy Synth is a thing. It was meant to be a peaceful approach to the easy listening of obscure music. Friendly Donut Shop takes that concept seriously and is one of the best in the business. Latest release, ‘Childish Footsteps’ has a soothing and warm feeling that will take the listener away from their worries and replace it with positive energy. Another amazing effort by Friendly Donut Shop and I hope more albums of this variety are on the way in the near future.

10. Primordial Serpent – The Winter Warrior

https://primordialserpent.bandcamp.com/album/the-winter-warrior

Upon initial listen I was blown away by ‘The Winter Warrior’. Primordial Serpent has a serious knack for writing aggressive tunes that conjure that primitive sound of early 90’s black metal. With a lo-fi production and contentious style, this is exactly what I want to hear when listening to barbaric black metal.

11. Phurpa – Hymns And Rituals Of Gyer

https://modernbon.bandcamp.com/album/hymns-and-rituals-of-gyer

Phurpa takes ceremonial chanting and Tibetan ritualistic vocalizations to the next level. For some, an acquired taste must be obtained before soaking in the deep value of a Phurpa recording or you may not be able to handle it. However, for others that like it, the output is extremely rewarding. ‘Hymns And Rituals Of Gyer’ is nearly three hours of extreme mediation through deep chants and throat singing. Ancient instrumentation are used to give this bleak occasion a setting of ritualistic darkness.

12. Mastodon – Hushed And Grim

https://www.mastodonrocks.com/?frontpage=true

Although Mastodon is not as heavy as they were when they first started out, for what they lack in the “heavy” department, they more than make up with superior songwriting. This mammoth two-album set of songs is some of their best – and most accessible – work to date. There are some heavy tracks on here as well as dark ballads and they are all amazing. What’s more impressive is the three-vocal attack that just keeps getting better.

13. Flotsam And Jetsam – Blood In The Water

https://www.flotstildeath.com/news/flotsam-and-jetsam-releases-title-track-brand-new-video-of-upcoming-album-blood-in-the-water/

80’s Thrash Metal pioneers Flotsam And Jetsam may not have a storied career like that of Metallica, Megadeth or Slayer, but you have to be impressed with their sticktoitiveness approach to releasing music. ‘Blood In The Water’ is their fourteenth full-length album and quite possibly their best to date. Every track is a banger and the vocals, music and production are the best they’ve ever been. Definitely check this one out if you’re into that classic Thrash Metal sound with a slight modern influence.

14. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon: I

https://convergecult.bandcamp.com/album/bloodmoon-i

I love collaboration albums and when I heard that Converge and Chelsea Wolfe were releasing an album together, I almost lost my mind. At first, I had no idea what to expect, especially since the styles of both artists are on the opposite end of the spectrum. However, the results is a clean mix of both artist with even distribution of styles and pristine song writing. I wish more artists would follow the lead of Converge and Chelsea Wolfe and push the envelope of fusing styles. This is amazing stuff.

15. Novemthree – Storms Of Memory

https://glassthroatrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/storms-of-memory

I’ve never been disappointed with any release from Glass Throat Recordings. With artists such as Blood Of The Black Owl, Moon Mourning Earth, and Cedar Dreamer, Glass Throat Recordings releases Nature-inspired Folk music with elements of acoustic passages, ambient, and impressive vocalizations. The addition of Novemthree is just a natural progression of the label and ‘Storms Of Memory’ is one of the finest albums to be released this year. Light vocals, dreamy instrumentation and the occasional percussion input are stand-out factors for this highly impressive album.

Top 10 Dark Ambient Releases Of 2021

I almost don’t like putting together these year-end Top 10 lists because it’s so hard to pick 10 albums out of the hundreds or thousands of Dark Ambient releases in a given year. However, at the same time, I do want to show my respects to the albums that held the highest entertainment value for me, thus equating to my FAVORITE Dark Ambient albums of 2021. I really hope you enjoy this list as much as I had putting it together and if there is anything that strikes your attention on here, please check them out and show your support for these amazing artists. Without further a due, I present to you my favorite 10 Dark Ambient albums of 2021.

10. Blackweald – 666 Minutes In Hell

https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/666-minutes-in-hell

What better way to get this list started than an album consisting of nearly eleven and a half hours of diabolical Dark Ambient. ‘666 Minutes In Hell’ is that album and just the length alone is downright captivating. As for the music itself, this is some of the most sinister Dark Ambient I’ve heard in a long time and the endless supply of field recordings and soundscapes are enough to make an actual trip to hell seem like an endless endeavor. This is a very creative album that sets a gloomy atmosphere and only Blackweald could pull this off with such a grim attraction.

9. Xerxes The Dark – Soundtrack To The Blind Owl

https://xerxesthedark.bandcamp.com/album/soundtrack-to-the-blind-owl-24bit

Xerxes The Dark continues his string of impressive releases with the Industrial-styled, ‘Soundtrack To The Blind Owl’. One of his most chaotic and abrasive releases yet, this album is not to be taken lightly, as the amount of discord and pandemonium contained within can be alarmingly harsh if not expected. However, for me, I love this type of audial chaos and for nearly fifty three minutes, XTD thrashes the listener through a gauntlet of maniacal sounds and glitches by way of synth and guitar manipulation. Definitely check this one out if you’re into the more extreme side of Dark Ambient music.

8. Dead Melodies – Fabled Machines Of Old

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/fabled-machines-of-old

For the past couple of years, Dead Melodies has been one of the busiest and most consistent Dark Ambient artists around. From amazing solo efforts to haunting collaborations with the likes of Zenjungle and Beyond The Ghost, he has amassed quite the discography of varied material. ‘Fabled Machines Of Old’ is another prodigious notch in his belt with a ferocious blend of Dark Ambient tones, haunting acoustic guitar passages and the warm embrace of dark noir styled jazzy impulses. The result is an album full of assorted & gloomy characteristics that are extremely fulfilling and a breath of fresh air for the Cryo Chamber label.

7. Mora-Tau – Wellcome Back, Nuclear Summer

https://thechurchofnoisygoat.bandcamp.com/album/wellcome-back-nuclear-summer

Mora-Tau has quickly become one of my favorite Dark Ambient artists with his brand of exhilarating improvisations. Releasing a magnitude of albums on his own Bandcamp page, as well as several other labels, it’s hard to pick a favorite album – especially since they are all so amazing. However, one that I keep returning to the most is the dispiriting ‘Wellcome Back, Nuclear Summer’. These four tracks describe a dismal scene of a bleak, post-nuclear atmosphere of nothingness and regrowth. Using an assortment of synth effects and drones, Mora-Tau is like a voiceless narrator for a scene filled with disaster and radiance. I’m so glad that Mora-Tau exists at this point in time and I highly recommend checking out his whole discography, but starting with one of my year end favorites, ‘Wellcome Back, Nuclear Summer’.

6. Wampyric Solitude – Echoes Of Undying Darkness And Bloodshed

https://wampyricsolitude.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-of-undying-darkness-and-bloodshed

Dungeon Synth maestro, Wampyric Solitude has not only created one of my favorite Dungeon Synth albums of the year, but he’s also produced one of my favorite Dark Ambient album, ‘Echoes Of Undying Darkness And Bloodshed’. Expecting another Dungeon Synth masterpiece, I was both shocked and blown away by the sounds of menacing drones, ominous atmospherics and apocalyptic styled soundscapes that decays from within. This is bleak adventure that I can’t stop listening to and I would to love to hear more of this type of dynamic caliber from Wampyric Solitude in the very near future.

5. Dahlia’s Tear – Adrift On The Edge Of Infinity

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/adrift-on-the-edge-of-infinity

Anyone that is familiar with the works of Dahlia’s Tear can agree that there is a recognizable sound throughout the impressive discography. However, it’s the Cryo Chamber releases that finds the artist at his best and the post-apocalyptic presentation is as doleful as it is hypnotizing. Just when you think you’ve heard the magnum opus effort by Dahlia’s Tear, along comes another album of equal or better quality. ‘Adrift On The Edge Of Infinity’ is a driving force of intensity that exudes melancholic proportions with a haunting soundscape. I eagerly await new albums by Dahlia’s Tear and this one was no exception and it surely doesn’t disappoint.

4. Sydalesis – Living Machine

https://sydalesis.bandcamp.com/album/living-machine

‘Living Machine’ is a masterclass in Berlin School styled Dark Ambient music. This mammoth recording hosts 14 tracks of lenitive, atmospheric anthems that expands beyond two and a half hours of playing time. Mixing ambient music with Berlin School sequences has become one of my favorite styles of electronic music and I tend to get completely mesmerized by its output. ‘Living Machine’ elicited that exact result from the initial listen back in April until now. This album remains a fascinating experience and it – unfortunately – didn’t get the attention that it deserved. I highly recommend checking this one out immediately.

3. Hilyard – Division Cycle

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/division-cycle

The albums that Hilyard produces for Cryo Chamber are just different – in a great way. He seems to pull out all the stops when making music for the giant label and ‘Division Cycle’ is my favorite Cryo Chamber label release for this year. An excellent blend of Space Ambient and minimalistic droning, this album was an immediate hit and greatly surpassed all of my expectations. Subtle soundscapes and industrial undertones generate an atmosphere of endless tranquility, darkened by blissful aggression. This is one of the most meditative albums of the year and I still can’t get enough of its bleak embrace.

2. Delmak-O – The Colony

https://delmak-o.bandcamp.com/album/the-colony

I must say that ‘The Colony’ was quite a surprise upon initial listen. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. However, what I got was one of the most impressive Ambient albums that I’ve ever heard. Fusing Berlin School sequences with Space Ambient drones, otherworldly soundscapes and a Sci-Fi conceptual story, this album is a masterpiece from start to finish. This is one of those albums that you can blast in a pair of good headphones and be taken away on an astral adventure without any care in the world. A very enjoyable album that brings a much needed variety to the Dark Ambient community.

1. Sumatran Black – A Taxonomy Of Grief

https://sumatranblack.bandcamp.com/album/a-taxonomy-of-grief

I’ve been a Sumatran Black fan for a few years now and equally love the other projects by the same artist, Black Box Memories and Atasehir. Even though the output of dystopian style Dark Ambience has been quite impressive, ‘A Taxonomy Of Grief’ is light years ahead of previous efforts. For nearly two hours and twenty minutes, the listener is treated with a melancholic blend of mesmerizing synths and mournful soundscapes that depicts a gloomy reality of dealing with personal bereavement and loss. Each track completes a cycle of majestic aplomb through soothing arrangements that are insanely breathtaking. Because of these alluring intricacies, ‘A Taxonomy Of Grief’ is easily my favorite Dark Album of 2021.