Hiemis Contributes To The Worlds Ominous Demise with Bold ‘Hyperborea’ Requiems

We can easily associate Dark Ambient with post-apocalyptic times. Seeing that the cold, stale future of an industrial wasteland and the anarchical takeover of society can parallel the droning soundscapes that many DA artist portray them to be, it’s easy to make that comparison. Although not all dark ambient is notorious for this theme, it has become a staple thought process of the listeners imagination when zoning out to a good album, especially when the music is enhanced by a superb album cover and long tracks to set and maintain a certain mood. However, on the latest recording by Hiemis called, ‘Hyperborea’, a dismal picture of the horrors of war, personal torment, and post-traumatic anxiety is smeared across six monumental tracks. From eerie soundscapes and choir-like chants, to winter cold field recordings, these and other evil sounds augment the minimalistic low-end drones to create a recipe for an integrated and depressive audio assault.

“Yikilith” commences the attack right away with a bizarre opening keyboard section, followed by some quiet yet monstrous tones just as the droning begins. Choir-like singing – although inaudible – can be heard in the background, adding an additional frightening layer to the mix. The next track, “Urbo-Sathla” contains beautiful female chanting vocals in a few spots, giving this track a really creepy vibe. I can imagine a troop of soldiers finding solace in an abandoned cathedral, right after a hard fought battle, and unsure of their potential rescue from the situation at hand. This is probably my favorite track on the album and it could easily be on the soundtrack of a top-budget horror movie. “Tsathoggua” is a shorter track but has a consistent, droning sound throughout with added gloomy keys that provide a sense of urgency. The following track, “Voormithadreth” is a twelve and a half minute long polar ambient hymn that gives the listener the feeling of solitude, or even anxiety from the lack of knowledge of not knowing what is to become. Throughout the track, random noises emerge, making the listener more anxious of the unknown. “Polarion” has almost a dark jazz feel to it, as if chamber music meets chilling lounge music with added warm drones in the background. The trance-like sounds almost give this song a depressive feel, making it one of the darker songs on the album. The albums final track, “Yhoundeh”, is another short track containing a simple, yet affective dark drone, with some looping atmospherics layered over the top. The message that this track conveys to the listener is that although the battle is over, there is no winner. The damaging affects of war has affected both sides and recovery for all is now necessary.

The Noctivigant Collective label out of New Mexico is home to some of the worlds most innovative artists when it comes to dark ambient and experimental music. Releasing “Hyperborea” on their label is a collaborative effort that I hope will continue for many more albums to come. Hiemis is a very talented artist that has managed to keep the ideas fresh and the overall theme of “Hyperborea” in a league of its own. Show your support by downloading the album from the link below.

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Link:

https://noctivagantcollective.bandcamp.com/album/hyperborea

Black Earth Destroys The Post-Apocalyptic Future With Their Industrial Ambient Nightmare, ‘Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation’

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.

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Link:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/gnarled-ritual-of-self-annihilation

Lush Atmospherics And Acoustic Ambient Guitar Are Defining Moment For Peter Bjärgö on ‘Structures And Downfall’

After fronting the Swedish neoclassical dark wave band Arcana for nearly two and a half decades, Peter Bjärgö has decided to fully concentrate his musical talents and efforts in his own eponymous project. With a musical shift focusing more on dark atmospherics and songwriting geared toward live instrumentation backed by droning keys, Peter embarks on a soulful dark ambient journey filled with crystal-clear production, haunting vocal patterns and melodies throughout that show a versatile album containing the complete package for pleasing the ear and mind. Peter’s latest solo album, ‘Structures And Downfall’ soars to new heights, creating a perfect wall of sound that is as much wistful as it is opulent.

“Inner Cathedral” opens with an alluring guitar riff with a slight reverb and echo that would even please the production efforts of the great Devin Townsend. That soon gives way to the addition of drums and a backing ambient keyboard track to add to the sorrowful grimness of the song. Peters vocals come in and are absolutely chilling. This is a slow, droning track filled with beautiful, harmonized vocals and live instruments and is one of my overall favorite tracks on the album. “Into Eternity” starts off as just a man and his guitar, but with exquisite production and the eventual inclusion of vocals and ambient keyboards. “Anemoia & Onism” is an instrumental piece that has a tribal drum-like pattern and long, drawn out keyboard patterns that provide both the melody and backing ambience for the track. “When Thoughts Become Your Enemy” is another angelic piece that contains a very hazy, acoustic guitar riff, which is soon complimented by a graceful piano arrangement. “Structures And Downfall” is another one of my favorite songs as it slowly builds with a dream-like guitar riff, simple drum pattern, and a droning keyboards that constantly crescendo in the background. When Peter finally sings in the last half of the song, it’s very reminiscent of David Gilmour singing any of the classic songs from the ‘Wish You Were Here’ album. “Disintegration Of The Mind” showcases Peter’s vocal talents once again as he pushes the boundaries of his lower register and belts out a beautiful vocal melody from the very depths of his voice. The final track on the album, “Winter Song” is a very gloomy track, exposing the grayness of winter as it doesn’t get any brighter than perceived seasonal representation of the song.

Peter Bjärgö has struck gold with has latest release ‘Structures And Downfall’. Although it’s unlike any dark ambient album you’ll hear anytime soon, the atmospheric structure of these songs and the overall production, easily make this one of the album of the year contenders of the genre. Although vocals are used sparingly throughout this recording, there is not a single spot where it sounds discordant or disconnected from the track for which it is contained. The Cyclic Law Label once again produces another high-quality gem in its lineup of unmatched artist. Show your support by clicking on the link below to purchase this excellent album.

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Link:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/structures-and-downfall

Moljebka Pvlse Examines Behavioral Impulses Through Chaotic Field-Recorded Soundscapes And Translucent Drones

If you’re a fan of the Cyclic Law Label, then chances are your musical taste expands greater than just Dark Ambient alone. Many of the artists have such a broadened sense of direction, that it’s hard to tie them down to a single genre, even though they may be solidly based in some type of ambient music. One artist that stands out in this endeavor is Swedish-based Moljebka Pvlse. Specializing in bizarre field recordings and extended droning rituals, Moljebka Pvlse drags the listener through an excruciating experience like no other. With hints of industrial ambience and apocalyptic soundscapes, one must be prepared for an audio journey that is equal inhuman and breathtaking. The four unfurled tracks that are presented on ‘Komoku’, are a resounding insight to the behavioral limitations of the mind, and the after effect that are conferred by the time the recording end has been reached.

The therapeutic festivities kick off with the seventeen minutes long “A Repetition Without Origin”. Right off the bat, the audio assault pushes the boundaries of sensory overload as various field recordings and drones clash in an epic battle for tone mastership. I can imagine walking in a pitch-black industrial containment area, in which evacuation alarms are ringing and escape routes have been demolished. As you try to escape your surroundings, matters get worse as additional eerie drones flood the senses. Haunting tones continue to invade your brainwaves as you’ve nowhere to go. This tracks is just test one of four. “An Emptiness Of Language” is an exhilarating track that shows no restraint for emitting audio atrocity. As the deep, extended drones penetrate the airwaves, you find yourself chained to a table in a small room, with a table and only lit by black lights. In your mind you can foresee the terror that awaits but are unable to call out. Unable to scream. There have been many here before you and you won’t be the last. The terrifying field recordings provide much anxiety on this track, even though it’s the shortest one on the album. Next up is the twelve and a half minute long “The Function Of Remembering”. To go along with the cyclic droning, bizarre instruments can be heard, playing non-melodious tones as if your in a circus full of deranged clowns with no means of escape. Even though no one in their right mind would dare enter such a place, you did, and without any recollection. At around the five minute mark, a grotesque recording creeps its way into the mix as panic begins to set in. You’re surrounded by these obscure noises but see absolutely nothing. As they get closer, the hair on the back of your neck stands stiff as you try to recollect your whereabouts. Suddenly you awake from this nightmare that seemed all too real, but find yourself chained to a table in a black light lit room. The final track on the album, “And The Farewell To All That One Has Lost”, could have easily been written for the final climactic scene for Stanley Kubrick’s, ‘The Shining’. For nearly twenty two minutes, there are evil forces at work on this dirge that administer a final sendoff of normal mental appropriation that abandons all hope of recovery and rescue. Although there is an eclectic mashup of styles on this track, and it’s less harsh than the previous ones, it still provides the resources needed to challenge the intellectual ability of ones mind when coping with traumatic experiences.

Moljebka Pvlse have a proven history of releasing drone and field-recording based albums. However, with ‘Komoku’ they’ve reached the pinnacle of their recording existence and have provided a platform for which the listener can place themselves in an imaginative scenario that exudes unlimited amounts of detail. This album’s is as much entertaining as it is intriguing. The German-based label, Cyclic Law, has provide a suitable home for such a wonderful artist. Show your support by downloading this outstanding recording at the link below.

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Link:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/komoku

Council Of Nine Dissects The Trials And Terrors Of Cult Followings with ‘Davidian’

Triumph does not always follow tragedy, especially when it comes to the likely results of climactic cult endings when hundreds – sometimes thousands of followers – are tricked into thinking that a mass suicide is what it takes to live the eternal life with their supreme being. Unfortunately, only the non-participating living are able to carry on the historical stories of the fallacies that were created to brainwash so many misfortunate and innocent people. Council Of Nine’s second album dedicated to the atrocities of mass cult followings, ‘Davidian’, is a stark reminder that sometimes it is too late to get out once you’re in too deep.

“Mt. Carmel” is a soothing, yet bleak droning track that sets an excruciating tone for the album and provides a feeling of helplessness even if there is the ability to reach out for help. “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” contains the sounds of ghostly, hollow tones and the sense that something evil (hidden amongst the good) is about to take place, almost as if this is the calm before the storm. “Blood On Your Hands” finalizes the bizarre cult ending with its sweeping orchestration-like sounds and frantic field recordings to symbolize that this is the epic ending for the countless followers that are mesmerized by being whisked away by their supreme being. “Revelator” paints a scene of total silence, and by silence I mean a compound filled with multiple deaths, lying silently and dressed the same in their beds as if their souls had been lifted from their lifeless bodies and transported through another realm. “Day 51” is a gorgeous, space ambient track that provides closure to these heinous cult crimes. The title track, “Davidian”, adds layers of peaceful synthesizers with the addition of acoustic piano to provide a calming effect after all of the tragedy that has already taken place. “The 7 Seals” is a deep and evil sounding drone that is a reminder that even after the tragedies of one cult is complete, another will commence to take many more innocent lives.

Council Of Nine has done an excellent job creating another dark ambient album dedicated to the tragedies of cult followings. This first album in this nature, 2018’s ‘Exit Earth’, was heavily influenced by the Heaven’s Gate cult. ‘Davidian’ continues down the same path and delivers quite a punch. This is dark ambient at its best, especially when the listener can imagine and formulate a story based solely on the music alone. This makes for a truly valiant effort from Council Of Nine and I hope more albums continue down this same path. Show your support for the Cryo Chamber Label and for Council Of Nine and download this magnificent album!

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Link:

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/davidian

MUUR’s bombastic approach to dark ambient creates a new level of ritualistic obscurity with ‘Bod’

Although the term Dark Ambient has a clear definition of what it represents on the surface, the genre goes much deeper than the aesthetics of droning soundscapes and eerie field recordings. From the early beginnings of analog synthesizers to the inception of electronics, field recordings, narrations, Gregorian chants, and acoustic instruments, dark ambient has developed into an intriguing, multi-layered spectacle that crosses multiple genres and appeals to a wider audience than ever before. MUUR takes all of this in stride and presents ‘Bod’, a fifty one plus minute dark ambient ritual that will equally appeal to fans of Sunn O))), Phurpa, and Neraterræ.

The track begins with some ominous ritual sounds with a slow introduction of haunting whispers, chants and electric guitar chords. In the background banging drums can be heard and slowly get louder as they coordinate with the main riff of the song. At around the twelve minute mark, the drum beat turns into more of a tribal pattern as the fluidity of the track increases. Several minutes later, the music gives way to some breathtaking Gregorian style chanting that creates vocal-like ambient texture that isn’t rivaled by many artist in the genre. At the thirty minute mark, the tribal-like drum patterns make their way back into the mix, along with a few field recordings that provide the sensation of a climactic ritual observance. This is soon joined by the low-end tones of an electric bass and guitar with the same style riff as in the beginning of the song. More chanting is introduced, as if the high priest of the dark is presenting a sacrificial offering to the gods. With just twelve minutes left in the song, all of the instruments and soundscapes come to a halt and give way to a harsh guitar tone as if the sacrifice has been completed and the offer to the gods has been accepted.

‘Bod’ offers a very unique insight into the future of ritualistic dark ambient music. If you like the harsher, more experimental side of dark ambient, this just may be the recording for you. The many types of unique, atmospheric expressions offered on this album are very well put together and thought provoking. The Cyclic Law Label has picked another superb artist to add to their lineup and this one shouldn’t be missed. Please support MUUR by clicking on the link below and downloading ‘Bod’ and enjoy the ritual ambience that it provides.

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Link:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/bod

Hiemal Paints A Vivid Reminder Of Infamous Nuclear Disaster In ‘Ashen Winter Of Chernobyl’

It’s no secret that modern day humanity loves a good disaster story, especially if it made it’s ways to the annals of history at the expense of hundreds (or even thousands) of lives, or if the monetary value was so high, that it would take decades for companies to recover from them. Just a few off the top of my head that I can recollect are the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Bhopal gas spill in India, sinking of The Titanic, the Pan Am/KLM Tenerife Airport disaster of 1977, and most famously, the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The Chernobyl disaster painted an extremely grim picture of how government & society – at the time – dealt with downplaying an incident of such a magnitude, that many lives were lost, a complete city was left in ruins and never to be inhabited again, and the cancerous fallout still lingers in survivors of the incident to this day. There have been many fictional and non-fiction movies and TV shows, and musicians that have become a sounding board for the incident in popular culture. However, none of them have quite hit home like ‘Ashen Winter Of Chernobyl’, a near two and a half hour-long monument by Hiemal.

The forty two minute long album opener, “Ghost Town” tells a dreary story of life in Pripyat after the last of the city’s population abandons for safety. These smooth, spacey drones sway back and forth in an eerie pattern as if you’re along in the sunless city, patrolling the streets to ensure the evacuation process has completed successfully. “Chernobyl’s Shrine” is a twenty six minute long, extremely bleak drone, that has a very calm and demeaning wintery vibe, as if you’re standing in one of the desolate parks looking out into the nothingness and holding your hand to catch the snow. Only it’s not snow but the traveling ash from reactor number four, less than twenty miles away. Next is “Falling Ash Over The Exclusion Zone” and it continues with the same atmospheric standard as the previous track. Knowing what this album represents, this track is especially relaxing and frightening at the same time. The final epic song on the album, “The Forests Claim Back Pripyat” is a heavyweight anthem coming in at over forty five minutes long and represents the many years of solitude the city has gone through and the only inhabitants allowed are that of Mother Nature. As the ash fades, and the smog gives way to sunlight, natural growth takes over Pripyat and reclaims its territory.

Hiemal have created a wonderful story that tells the harsh reality of mans mistakes and the disappointment of never recovering. ‘Ashen Winter Of Chernobyl’ is well written and produced and the atmosphere on this album is simply stunning. Support this outstanding artist and download this album by clicking on the link below.

Link:

https://hiemalambient.bandcamp.com/album/ashen-winter-of-chernobyl