Blackweald’s ‘Leonov’ Is A Bleak But Breathtaking Homage To One Of The Greatest Space Explorers Of Our Times

Music with a unique purpose or common theme tends to be right up my alley. Despite the genre, I always tend to lend my ears to conceptual albums, as the stories tend to be as intriguing as the music. Most of my conceptual music entertainment tends to come from rock and metal bands such as Yes, King Diamond and Carach Angren. However, over the years, as my love for Dungeon Synth and Dark Ambient grew, I realized that although there weren’t necessarily an exclusive number of concept albums, many albums revolve around a specific topic or theme, sprouting an increased imagination while listening to music from both of these genres. More so in the Dark Ambient genre, concept albums are more prominent, as the depth and darkness of the music creates an atmospheric universe to picture everything the artist is trying to convey. That’s exactly the case with the latest release from Blackweald called ‘Leonov’. A thirty seven minute dark space adventure that pays tribute to Alexei Leonov, the first cosmonaut to ever conduct a spacewalk. Although broken up into eight tracks, this is a single, seamless piece that puts the listener right in the heart of this milestone mission.

To begin this historic achievement, album opener “Korolev, Glavny Konstruktor” starts with a short Russian language narrative as deep, airy drones launch this track into the atmosphere. Layers of whirr and synth effects courageously build as if trying to outdo the noise level of the other. Then, it quietly fades away into the next track, “Grechko, Космонавт 34”. Mostly made up of subtle nuances and effects, these are the final minutes and checks that Leonov are going through as he prepares for launch. “196503180700000” begins just as the previous track ended. There is a short music sample that plays just before the launch sequence, reminding Leonov of home one last time before departing Earth. At the end of the launch sequence, various sonic noises can be heard, releasing a cosmic energy into the air. The next track, “_” consist of bizarre, screeching noises and profound drones as if Leonov’s spacecraft has successfully passed Max-Q and is well on his way to the confines of space. With the jettison of booster rockets and exterior noise at a minimum, only the ticks and alarms of internal equipment can be heard – which is what this track may portray. Random noises and distant signals assist the Cosmonaut with guidance and trajectory as he heads toward his rendezvous point. As he gets deeper into orbit, the mesmerizing drones become more prominent and overbearing, taking center stage of any sound effects that may have been heard previously. “Foothold In The Heavens” contains additional narratives as Leonov prepares for his spacewalk. The menacing drone in the beginning is soon joined by a spacious synth tone to add an infinite dimension. However toward the end of the track, the drones turn into malevolent sounds of evil with hints of heavy breathing in the foreground. “Walk On Home, Boy!” Is an ethereal track with the sounds of a heartbeat in the beginning. These are the climactic accents of the compelling spacewalk in the purview of open space. From buzzes to crackling noises and engine sounds, these are the only comforting subtleties for the Cosmonaut looking to make history and this track perfectly provides the setting and feeing that must have been during that anxious time. “Upper Kama Upland” contains more bizarre twists and noises with looping drones in the background. A sample of a Morse code audio capture reveals a voiceless communication between Earth and the Cosmonaut. About halfway through, wind effects are added with high-frequency drones that shift in modulation with every loop. As the wind sounds fade, cosmic keys play a melodic dirge and the track ends with a classic song sample from yesteryear. The final track on the album, “Ivanna//Malfunction” is a bass heavy track with no shortage of drones and eerie effects either. Inaudible narration samples can be heard, as if something has gone wrong and at the same time synth keys fluctuate from low to high volume and then drift back off again. This repeats through the duration of the song and finally in the end, a deep droning tone plays one final note to send the album out on an frightening ending.

‘Leonov’ is Blackweald’s most mature and adventurous effort to date. Not only did the artist pay a proper homage to the historic ventures of Russian Cosmonaut, Alexei Leonov, but the production of the colossal drones, mission control narratives and synth effects seem impeccable and pristine. If you’re a fan of deep space dark ambient with narrations and otherworldly samples, then you’ll love Blackweald’s ‘Leonov’. Please download this album by clicking on the link below and support this monumental artist.

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Links:

https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/leonov-2

The Unnerving Sounds Of A Decaying Season Elicit Haunting Memories On House Of The Maker’s ‘The Autumnal End’

With the inevitable change of seasons approaching every few months or so, a transition in mood and distemper is sure to follow. Usually, the changeover from spring to summer leads to a particular excitement that boasts a broad spectrum of energy and engagement with the outside world, as it represents brighter, happier times. However, as autumn progresses into winter, it brings about a different set of emotions and synergy that is far less content. As the tree leaves begin to deaden and fall at free will, the crisp sunlight gives way to gloomy skies and despondent memories. The music of House Of The Maker fulfills all of these grim moments with ‘The Autumnal End’, a seasonal dirge saturated with powerful drones and organic field recordings. At just over one hour in duration, these five dynamic tracks tell a dismal story of the perpetual cycle of life and death of the forest and it’s inhabitants and all they go through to struggle for survival.

The gradual decline begins with “A Fragile Soul Swaying In The Storm”. At just over thirteen minutes, this is a persuasive and extensive introduction to the withering elements that are plagued by change. From the soothing opening sounds of birds chirping in their natural habitat and the discordant synth tones that soon follow, its apparent that an inevitable collapse is soon at hand. Eccentric keys and the random sounds of a rainstick are just the start of desolation as haunting drones cycle through various frequencies and ranges, never finding an exact comfort. There is a horrifying presence about this track that brings about an anxious empathy, descending into a depressing lull. Toward the end, as the drones start to fade, desperate cries of a bird flying away from danger reminds us that the end is near. “A Small Frog Hopping Through A Pool Of Blood” starts with the subtle sounds of a late autumn rain shower, leaving a layer of dampness on the forest floor. The chirps and whistles of nocturnal creatures describe the darkening scenery as day turns to night. Ceaseless drones create a sense of awareness as additional sound effects illuminate the atmosphere with a tinge of unpleasant fate. About halfway through this fourteen and a half minute track, the field recordings conclude and layers of compounding drones desecrate the airwaves, sending evil vibrations through the standing water left by the evening time rainfall. The resonation of the nocturnal creatures return for the final minute of the track as the presence they feared subsided into the night, allowing them to roam free once again. “A Life All But Forgotten” continues as the last track ended, with the evening chirps of nightly critters. However the deep drones and synth effects set in early to give an incongruous effect. At nearly sixteen minutes, and the longest effort on the album, this track details the lethargic seasonal extinction of woodland life. Assorted bizarre instruments sounds are arranged to represent different aspects of the season and in between, ghostly winds and natural commotions provide the feeling of deep wood enthrallment. “A Funeral For A Friend” establishes a calming synth melody combined with ethereal drones and field recordings as if all life in the forest has finally surrendered to the change of season. As the rain field recordings increase in volume, jarring synth effects become more discordant and haunting. The final track on the album is the climactic, “The Autumnal End”. Continuing with the consoling sounds of a neverending rain storm conjoined with delicate but austere drones to form a lumbering vision of grays and blacks, the daylight never reaches its peak of brightness due to the thick layer of fog and smog. The vibrating sounds of Tibetan singing bowls resonate a season of endless dreariness before high-toned keys come into play as if to condemn the proceeding misfortunes.

Although this is not your typical run-of-the-mill dark ambient album, ‘The Autumnal End’ skillfully establishes itself as a genre highlight due to its wondrous use of field recordings, natural sounds, assorted instruments and credible back story. The drones are meticulously used and minimal use of synths and keys makes this an extremely unique recording as well. This is definitely one of my favorite dark ambient recordings of the year so far and I can’t recommend this one enough. Please click on the link below and download this amazing album – you’ll not be disappointed at all!

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Links:

https://noctilucant.bandcamp.com/album/the-autumnal-end-2

Mombi Yuleman’s Menagerie Of Soundscapes And Drones Unify As A Single, Unyielding Entity on ‘Wendigo’

Throughout history, mankind has been obsessed with folklore of the unknown, tales of the bizarre and unexplained and just about anything in between that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Although there have been many traditional mythical legends passed down through the generations, a new genesis of strange & horrific tales are told through creepypastas – short stories meant to frighten readers – as the new means of malevolent storytelling delivery. Whether this form of scare tactic is transmitted via short-story, film, television, or on the Internet, the audience is in for a quick burst of grim tales that will leave a lasting appalling sensation. However, what if another means of conveyance was through the daunting sounds of Dark Ambient music with masterful soundscapes and subdued drones? The always impressive Mombi Yuleman presents his brooding new evil anecdote, ‘Wendigo’, a masterclass in electronic music that extends four exciting drones in a disturbing adventure and sends the listener on a daring journey full of haunts and paralyzing fear.

At just over fifteen minutes in length, “Possession” quickly sets the mood with a dismal and perpetual drone that gradually builds in volume, while including haunting synth effects and ghostly modulations. Giving the listener time to imagine their own frightening scenario, faint soundscapes are introduced to solidify the effect of this nightmare. However, close to the halfway mark, discordant keys and beautiful synth tones add a sense of melody to the track, taking it in a different direction. Various animal sounds are made know, followed by strong, manipulative drum beats, as if a climactic escape is close at hand. Suddenly, it all stops except for some layered, deep drones that are completely mesmerizing until the very end. “Fear” begins with polarizing drones that are sure to emit a sense of angst and despair. Several minutes in, there is a distant but muffled hammering sound, as if someone is trying to escape from an entrapment of sorts, brought forth by a lunatic on the loose. As the hammering sound stops, strident soundscapes prevail, sending the listener deeper into their evil dreams. Suddenly, the drones become louder and more sepulchral as if the nightmarish demise is close at hand. After a few minutes of this agonizing terror, it fades out into the sound of someone hesitantly breathing, the true-tale sign of being afraid of being caught. Only accompanied by random discordant noises, this is audio terror at its maximum. “Acceptance” is the longest track on the album, clocking in at just over sixteen minutes. However, as you close your eyes and release your mind to this nefarious expedition, it doesn’t quite seem that long. However, you’ll not be the same afterwards. Lengthy drones that resemble more of a space ambient tone will have the listener feeling as if they are lost in deep space, sucked up into a black hole and whisked away into the far reaches of the universe, never to have communication or contact with other humans ever again. However, there will be others! The ominous sound effects at around the six and a half minute mark are a bleak resemblance of having contact with other life forms and as that sound continues to play out, it’s joined by low-end bass tones at around the eight and a half minute mark and simulates ACCEPTANCE of acknowledging other life forms. However, that doesn’t mean there is always peace between the species. At around the twelve and a half minute mark, the track takes a dark dive with buried drones and echoed sound effects that are extremely creepy. Thunderous bass sounds crash into the mix as if to destroy everything in its wake. What a fantastic song with a cinematic and climactic ending. The final track on this colossal album is “Feed”. Although it’s the shortest track on the album, it’s still a ten and a half minute hearty dose of disturbing Dark Ambience that will leave you in a puddle of sweat. Starting right away with a loud drone, soundscapes and field recordings, this piece wastes no time setting a frantic mood. All at once, pounding drums roll in like a violent storm and are ready to commence with all-out destruction. Although seeming random at first, they are set in a tribal like pattern and continue to grow strong and angry. Toward the end of the song, ancestral chanting joins the drums as if an ancient ceremony is about to take place. Swarms of flies buzz in all around, as if they’ve been summoned by this ceremonious ritual to finalize the devastating effects of their mission. Suddenly the flies disappear and the ritualistic music ends soon after, bringing this amazing album to a close.

This is the second Mombi Yuleman album that I’ve reviewed for my site and his music continues to astound me. The mystifying affect that I feel when listening to his albums lead my imagination to places that are unfathomable. ‘Wendigo’ is truly a magical experience and one of the most remarkable Dark Ambient albums I’ve heard in a while. I can not recommend this album enough and I also highly recommend checking out Mombi Yuleman’s impressive back catalog as well. Do yourself a favor and don’t go another day without listening to this album. Please support this amazing artist and download ‘Wendigo’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://mombiyuleman.bandcamp.com/album/wendigo

Neraterræ Once Again Collaborates With Superior Dark Ambient Composers To Conceive The Ghastly ‘Scenes From The Sublime’

Last year, Neraterræ and his team of brilliant contributors, rendered one of the most accomplished Dark Ambient recordings of the year with ‘The Substance Of Perception’. Amazed at the depth and quality of that album, I immediately began to wonder how it would be topped. Fast forward to March of 2020, and the release of sophomore effort, ‘Scenes From The Sublime’, greeted us with a particular coldness that I could not wait to dive into. Although we see the synergetic return of the great Xerxes The Dark, Neraterræ hosts a new line up of willing collaborators to inflict a certain level of bleak disruption to your normal sense of mental prowess. At a hefty seventy two minutes long, these ten painting-inspired tracks of ominous drones, apocalyptic soundscapes and eerie, yet atmospheric arrangements will provide the listener with an out-of-body experience, as if succumbing to the participation of astral projection.

The aphotic journey begins with “The Last Abjurer (feat. Phelios)” | Inspired by Zdzislaw Beksinski’s AA72. The low-end synth effects fluctuate to unreachable depths as it paves the way for translucent drones and soundscapes, creating a paralyzing storm of audible penance – the genesis of the obscurity and depth perception that will follow for the remainder of the album. “Fate Unveiled (feat. Dødsmaskin)” | Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s Visions Of The Hearafter, opens with a thumping bass tonal sound, followed by ghastly howling winds and dim sound effects that will make your skin crawl. After a short breather that features some backward tracking samples, the heavy thumping bass sounds continue with accompanying distorted noises. “In Deafening Silence (feat. Phragments)” | Inspired by Ilja Yefimovich Repin’s Ivan The Terrible And His Son Ivan, starts with twisted synth tones then is systematically fused with an evil sounding drone, as if a sudden annihilation were about to commence. This is much like a calm-before-the-storm piece, as there are quick blasts of harsh tones in this otherwise placid offering. “Thou, Daemon (feat. vocals by Yann Hagimont from Cober Ord & George Zafiriadis from Martyria)” | Inspired by Francisco Goya’s The Exorcism, is definitely the most malevolent sounding track on the album, largely due to the fascinating guest vocal arrangements that span from soft narrations, screams & screeches, to resonating sinister chants and throat singing, that are clearly designed alter the mental purification process – whether for good or evil. The constant, profound drone allows the vocals to take center stage and complete the purging ritual process. “Passion Domain (feat. Mount Shrine)” | Inspired by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog, is the most meditative piece on the album and probably my favorite track. Beginning with hissing loops and subtle analog-sounding drones, this song has a very 80’s retro vibe to it. The perpetual drone is reminiscent of a spinning propeller of an airplane, as it’s flying high above the clouds at the crepuscule of night. Clocking in at just over ten and a half minutes, this is the longest track on the album but as you get mesmerized by its audible beauty, it somehow seems like it’s one of the shortest. “The Unfathomable Lives Again (feat. Xerxes The Dark & Cober Ord)” | Inspired by Johann Heinrich Füssli’s The Nightmare, features a surfeit of industrial influenced soundscapes, along with some creepy, inaudible whispers. Throughout this track, there is a lot of manic ideas with nefarious intentions and although this is the shortest track on the album, it’s just as nightmare inducing as the rest. I would be weary to close my eyes on this track, especially at night! “Doorway To The I (feat. Alphaxone)” | Inspired by Zdzislaw Beksinski’s AE78, is a Deep Space Ambient venture with warping synth effects and high-pitched keys that contrive a disturbing atmosphere. As if a cosmonaut were on a doomed mission, hearing abnormal sounds just before his demise, this track is providing us the same intense, discordant environment. “The Collapse Of Matter And Time” | Inspired by Salvador Dali’s The Disintegration Of The Persistence Of Memory, presents a somber atmosphere with its nominal synth tones and deathly drones. The ticking of the clock solidifies an anxious emotion as the mournful frequencies emitted may be a cause for distress. “Towards Oneiric Truths (feat. Leila Abdul-Rauf)” | Inspired by Arnold Böcklin’s Isle Of The Dead, is another enthralling piece that features clean piano chops and dreamy female vocals. Just as all of the pieces are coming together and you find yourself getting lost in the music, it all fades out into a field recording of water softly crashing on a seashore. The final track on the album, “Virtues Of The Dawn (feat. Shrine)” | Inspired by Joseph Mallord William Turner’s Light And Colour (Goethe’s Theory) • The Morning After The Deluge • Moses Writing The Book Of Genesis, is another long-form, hypnotizing track that is constructed for you to close your eye and get lost in its chaotic and alluring turbulence of creativity. Starting off soft and subtle, the intensity and melodic synth gradually increase over the next eight minutes. Although there are multiple layers of music happening here, the elegant keyboard create a certain harmony that is both dystopian-like and graceful. A perfect way to end such a miraculous album.

Neraterræ is the consummate producer of Dark Ambient music. Not only does he consistently gather top-notch musicians of the genre to collaborate on his stunning albums, but his musical vision is always running on all cylinders, allowing him to create massive audio adventures filled with emotion and mental stimulation. ‘Scenes From The Sublime’ is an exceptional musical journey that – in my opinion – surpasses the debut album. Neraterræ has upped the ante with this album and the songs are bolder, more emotive, and pull you in with ease. If you were a fan of ‘The Substance Of Perception’ the you’re going to love this one even more. Please show your support for Neraterræ and download this amazing album from the link below.

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Links:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/scenes-from-the-sublime

Scott Lawlor’s Conceptual Dark Ambient Thriller, ‘But Everybody’s Gone, So I Will Never Know’, Is Not Far From Becoming Reality

Space exploration has to be one of the most daunting and exhaustive tasks ever faced by humans. From working in zero gravity, claustrophobic-like conditions, astronauts face many physical and mental constraints that only a few percent of the population are privileged to encounter. Other than a couple of audio and video transmissions, astronauts are segregated from all of society and communications with friends and loved ones are atypical. ‘But Everybody’s Gone, So I Will Never Know’, is a conceptual, dark ambient odyssey about a lone astronaut finishing up his mission on an orbiting space station before heading back to Earth. However, garbled transmissions over the airwaves have indicated the rise of a global pandemic, in which the Earth’s population is suddenly succumbing to a deadly virus. Although it’s too late to turn back now, voices across the airwaves are telling the astronaut not to return to Earth. This story tells of his harrowing adventure as he returns to the unknown.

“Pandemic Unfolding” begins with space station communication transmissions accompanied by eccentric samples and effects. As this coalescence of interstellar sounds begins to fade, deep drones and various news transmissions paint a vivid picture of what’s to come. The seriousness of the situation is evident as “Departure From Space Station Omega” blasts off with more compelling drones that sound abysmal and gravely hollow. Final audio transmissions can be heard as the astronaut prepares to depart for Earth on a doomed trajectory that is not yet known. Back on Earth, the pandemic is in full eruption as “Shelter In Place” is the order given to everyone in a last ditch effort to stop the spread of the rapidly expanding virus. Containing more ominous drones and narrative samples, this track is a vivid reminder of a stark reality that is a part of real-world current events in 2020. The minimalist approach makes this seem even more disturbing than usual. The near sixteen and a half minute long “Quarantined In Space” is one of the highlights of the album as the massive drone tone sounds as if the astronaut is orbiting the Earth, waiting for that final transmission from Mission Control, verifying that it’s safe to pierce the atmosphere and navigate to the landing zone. However, that authorization doesn’t take place and the astronaut feels as if this wasted time is like being quarantined in a void. Eerie voice narrations haunt the protagonist has he anticipates his own arrival back on planet Earth. About halfway through the track, the drones change in pitch, as if circumnavigating the globe has brought the astronaut back to sun lit conditions. Peculiar sound effects add a sense of terror to this track as this doomed mission keeps getting worse. Back on Earth, panic mode has set in as “World Closing Down” sets the scene for the new normal through the globe. From teleworking, lack of supplies, social distancing, permanently closed businesses, home-schooling and a disparity of local governments, the pandemic has taken over society and has set new standards. Minimal drones with bleak yet soothing tones incite peace and calmness, but the narrative samples provoke a sense of anxiety and panic. “Approaching A Condemned World” is full of garbled transmissions and placid drones that provides a safe path for the astronaut to finally come back home – so we think. Unsure if the transmissions are giving the authorization to return to Earth, the astronaut makes a command decision – based on his low return provisions – and starts the trajectory toward home. The albums title track, “But Everybody’s Gone, So I Will Never Know” features some manic narrations with the help of a miniport speech synthesizer. In the background, a thumping bass symbolizes an erratic heartbeat as the horrors unfold before the returning astronauts eyes. The albums final track, “Empty World” combines the menacing sound of a deep space drone and the peacefulness of piano keys. Un-acknowledged upon his return from Space, the astronaut departs his spacecraft and finds a world much different from the one he left behind. The piano melody in this track symbolizes the beginning of a state of depression that he starts to feel as he soon realizes that he stands alone in completing his mission. A very dark, but excellent way to end this amazing album.

Scott Lawlor is a jack-of-all-trades musician that excels with themed ambient releases. Whether it’s light ambient, dark ambient, noise, experimental, or piano improvisations, Scott puts his imagination to work in order to release some of the best ambient music around. ‘But Everybody’s Gone, So I Will Never Know’ is no exception, as it’s one of Scott’s darkest and most ambitious releases to date. Fans of space themed dark ambient will love this album and I can not recommend this one enough. Please show your support and download this grimly amazing album from the link below – and check out Scott’s massive back catalog while your at it.

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Links:

https://scottlawlor.bandcamp.com/album/but-everybodys-gone-so-i-will-never-know

Common Eider, King Eider, And Cober Ord Collaborate On Mind-Blowing, Ritualistic Soundscape Called, ‘Palimpseste’

If you think that it doesn’t get any more desolate than the sounds of brooding drones and the menacing soundscapes of dark ambient, then think again. Add in the natural textures of ritualistic ambience and horrific field recordings and the nightmares that you can only imagine will come to life. This is the haunting sensation the listener will undergo while listening to the jolting collaboration between Common Eider, King Eider & Cober Ord called, ‘Palimpseste’. With these five tracks clocking in at around forty seven minutes long, the listener should be prepared for a darkened, ritualized experience filled with essential tones, frightening whispers and bleak drones that are not only mesmerizing but intensely thought-provoking as well.

“Tombs – Earth’s Sacred Womb” begins with a deep, rumbling drone with the sound of soft, dripping rain. There is a slight commotion going on in the foreground and as it stops, ritualistic tones commence. Distant screams can be heard in the background as Tibetan-like chanting start a ritualistic process. Solid instrumentation assists the ritual, like the rumblings of an older model propelled aircraft. Additional instruments are introduced as well, as malevolent sounding whispers signify that the ritual is well in progress. After some harsher tones, the final few minutes consists of a heavy rainfall field recording and the dissipating sounds of wretched vocals and various drones. “Reclamation Of Water” is another ceremonial process that features layered chanting and nightmarish whispers. The assorted tones and field recording heard in the background add to the viscous tone of this recording and it draws the listener in as if they are participating in the reverent events. “Offerings A Wound” contains more of a normal styled vocalization than the chanting heard on the previous tracks. The thumping bass track adds a layer of random assault sounds to the mix, creating a dark and tribal-like offering. The use of assorted ceremonial instruments maintains the integrity of the spiritual aspect of the overall recording. “Calling To The Feral Ones” uses acoustic instruments to create a liturgical vibe, as if ancient cultures were calling upon their deities for guidance. The use of hollow whispers makes this a really creepy track and I can honestly say there probably aren’t many other recordings quite like this out today. The final track on the album, “As The Spirits Watch Over Us, We Reciprocate”, is one final ceremonial experience that combines all of the strengths from the previous tracks. From the deafening whispers, emotional drones, diversified ritualistic instruments, and acoustic sounds, this track is the perfect grand finale for this spectacular recording.

‘Palimpseste’ is not your typical dark ambient recording, it’s a ceremonial experience that demands the listeners time and attention in order to fully appreciate the magnitude of what all is going on. It’s easy to tell that Common Eider, King Eider and Cober Ord dedicated a lot of time and effort to make this a solid listening experience. I highly recommend this for fans of ritualistic dark ambient and heavy use of field recordings. Please support this incredible release by downloading it from the link below.

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Links:

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

Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth Recordings To Enthrall You During The Global Pandemic Continuation

Back in March, I published a playlist of Dark Ambient & Dungeon Synth recordings to help tide you over during the shelter-in-place order. Well – here we are – almost two months later and not much has changed, with the exception of a lot of great music being released. So, whether or not you’re still stuck at home, or have the ability to venture out, please enjoy this personal playlist of Dark Ambient and Dungeon Synth recordings that have been keeping me entertained lately! This is all great stuff so please support these artist and download an album or two!

Dark Ambient Playlist:

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-psychonaut
https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-drift
https://blackweald.bandcamp.com/album/leonov-2
https://noctilucant.bandcamp.com/album/the-autumnal-end-2
https://roberteggplant.bandcamp.com/album/earth-sinking-into-water

Dungeon Synth Playlist:

https://varkana.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-terror
https://lordorots.bandcamp.com/album/latzineko-erresumaren-itzulera
https://namelessking.bandcamp.com/album/downfall-of-drangleic
https://wyrmlodge.bandcamp.com/album/the-short-but-touching-tale-of-slime-golem
https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-cruelty

There Is A Dark World Order Evolving On New Risen Throne’s Latest Magnum Opus, ‘The Outside’

The unknowing of what the future holds is like an obsession. Whether we continue to advance in technology and expand physiological boundaries or descend into a foreseen doomed planet, the outcome is an exotic mystery. Given the current state of the world with the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, a futuristic apocalypse is not so far fetched. With millions of people becoming effected, hundreds of thousands of people dying, supplies running low, economies crumbling before our very eyes, we are in the early stages of a possible apocalypse. This is the perfect environment for Dark Ambient music, as this is the setting that is conceptualized the most. Imagine a full-on decimation of the world with no means of viable recovery and after several centuries, a group of survivors begin to investigate the cause of this total annihilation. That is the concept behind the latest cinematic Dark Ambient adventure by New Risen Throne called, ‘The Outside’. Containing seven monumental tracks of bleak and gloomy Dark Ambient, New Risen Throne sets the bar for theatrical and atmospheric music. As a bonus, there are an additional eight tracks of older New Risen Throne material that has been deconstructed by some of the most reputable artists in the Dark Ambient genre.

“The Outside (I)” sets the grisly scene many centuries in the future as profound and despotic drones create a slow, dark grind of unknown discovery. As the tone increases, narrative samples of someone appearing to be in distress adds a horrific texture to the track. Multi-layers of synths and pads resonate evil intonations as malevolent discoveries are imminent. “What We Have Seen” is like a nightmare all in itself, starting calm and increasingly adding soundscapes that will agitate the dead. The background, hollow drones play a key role in this track as they are not overly aggressive, but make their presence felt in a frightening way. About halfway through, a discordant riff can be heard, boasting the despondency of the emotional landscape that is being portrayed. Additional guitar tones and vocalizations add layers of empathy and dread which sends this blistering track into realms of the unknown. “The Outside (II)” begins with alluring drones that slowly increase with the introduction of industrial soundscapes. As the protagonists in this story rummage through the wastelands in search of the answer that ended the world centuries before, one has to wonder if they are fearful for what may be found. As thunderous percussions hammer out a distorted beat in a rhythmic pattern with manufactured sounds, the intensity grows, creating an anxious feeling. This combination comes to an abrupt halt as bizarre and inhuman vocalizations are heard explaining a possible truth of the past. “Corrosion Of Pillars” wastes no time sounding the alarm as abysmal siren-like tones emit a harsh warning. Creepy drones are brought forth along with booming percussive beats, making it obvious that the answer may soon be found and an unsettling reveal is about to be told. “The Outside (III)” continues with the industrial influenced Dark Ambience with mechanized soundscapes and eerie atmospherics layered with haunting drones. “The Outside (IV)” begins with various field recordings and echoed effects, as the climactic ending to the story begins to unfold. The sinister vibe on this track is what nightmares are made of and may also result in a negative ending while the search for answers comes to a close. “Birth Of A New Disciple (II)” is the malevolent conclusion to ‘The Outside’ and a multitude of profound sounds and textures are brought together as a new world order is in formation. From tribal drum sounds, choir-like chants to hollow drones and ritualistic undertones, this track has all of the key elements to become a soundtrack for the post-apocalyptic dawn of a new civilization.

It doesn’t stop here though. Although ‘The Outside’ is the complete package for a Dark Ambient masterpiece, the bonus material is equally as mesmerizing. These eight additional tracks are previously recorded material that have been remixed by some of the top Dark Ambient Artists in the genre to include: Sysselmann, Visions, Taphephobia, Phantom Ship, Vestigial, Apocryphos, TeHÔM, as well as New Risen Throne. If I had to pick a few stand out tracks amongst these, they would be, “A Vision Of The Hidden (Sysselmann Remix)”, “Sigh Of The Soul (Apocryphos Remix)” and “Withered Regions (TeHÔM Remix)”.

Without a doubt, New Risen Throne is one of the leading Dark Ambient artists in the world. By adding a relevant, theatrical story line to his cinematic brand of music, the creativity of his craft sets him miles apart from most others in the genre. ‘The Outside’ is a visionary album and one of the best Dark Ambient recordings of this year so far. I highly recommend checking out this extremely addictive album, so show your support by downloading it from the link below.

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Links:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/the-outside

Akashic Envoy Records Assembles An Immense Compilation For A Charitable Cause Called, ‘Apostils Against Hegemony, Vol. I: Transitive Properties’

I love compilation albums for several reasons. For one, they are usually extremely long and provide near endless amounts of entertainments. Secondly, it gives us listeners an opportunity to check out artists that we’ve never heard of before. Especially in this incessant sea of Bandcamp artists, it’s nearly impossible to catch every amazing artist that’s out there. Akashic Envoy Records recently summoned LBGTQAI+ artist from multiple genres to lend their amazing talents not only for this behemoth of a compilation, but also for a great cause. Akashic Envoy Records has decided to donate 100% of the sales of ‘Apostils Against Hegemony, Vol. I: Transitive Properties’ to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide amongst LBGTQAI+ youths. The fantastic music on this compilation range from dark pop, synth wave, death metal, black metal, dungeon synth & dark ambient. For my reviews, I typically provide a breakdown of each song on an album. However, due to the sheer size of this compilation, I’ve decided to pick ten of my favorite tracks and talk a little about those. That’s not to say the rest of this album isn’t worthy, because that’s not the case. This is one of the most interesting and entertaining compilations I’ve heard in a really long time. However, If I were to write about each track, it would take you an hour to get through this review. That being said, let’s get started!

“Dew Tipped Grass Along The River Banks” by Bowels Of Eternity is a theatrical adventure with massive dungeon synth undertones. Dark ambient like drones and atmospherics, complimented by eerie soundscapes and textures puts this track in a class all of its own. “Ghost” by Forbihavet is an unforgettable post-metal affair that will insert the listener into a fantastic, dark world where somber melodies slowly build like overflowing volcanic lava. The ethereal acoustic ambience floats endlessly like objects in the vast universe. However, as the instruments become louder, the mood becomes more dense. The elongated buildup leads to an emotional and climactic ending that is heavy and energetic. “Her Stillborn Body” by Putrescine is a brutal, death metal affair with old-school 90’s style production. The high-pitched screechy vocals take turns decimating the ear drums with low end gutteral growls. The music is ferocious without being over the top and the amazing guitar solo is a welcoming sound – especially since a lot of bands turn a blind eye on solos anymore. “Ancestral Magick” by Mutable Body is a really cool synth track that builds slowly, layer by layer, until a full on melodic assault takes the listener into a dark world of fantasy and fiction. There are plenty of otherworldly effects and smooth droning to boast a huge sound, but the real treat here is the keyboard arrangement that remains constant throughout most of the track. I could listen to this stuff all day long and never get tired of it. “Evocation I” by Guan Yin, is an eerie track full of samples, soundscapes and gruesome vocal effects that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I sense a ritualistic theme to this track and as it proceeds, the listener is subjected to cultural beauties and horrors that may not be fathomable by some. Listening to this track is a very rewarding experience, as it’s so different, yet fits right in. “The Void, Transmuted” by Blood And Dust is one of my favorite tracks on this compilation as it mixes the aggression of synth wave and the deep droning sounds of dark ambient music. It slowly builds out of a simple drone, layered soundscapes and simple narrations, then mutates into a multi-layered synth wave track as if the climactic ending of an 80’s horror movie is coming to an end. “His Words Are A Void” by Vulgarite is a blackened doom metal track with a great main riff that is layered to have a slight echo sound. Although the vocals are typical of a harsh black metal style, the music has a bit of a post-metal influence, so all of this combined makes for a stunning track that will embed the listener into a trance-like state. “Six Of Swords” by Jenn Taiga is a progressive synth masterpiece. This track is a mix of something you would hear from the Stranger Things soundtrack, 70’s style fusion progressive rock, as well as the instrumentation from the Swedish band Anekdoten. Jenn Taiga is something special, as it takes an extraordinary ear for music to write a track like this, with such passion and restraint. “The Worm/The Wretch” by Age Decay is one of the most unique tracks that I’ve ever heard. It has a good mix of singer/songwriter, metal, clean & harsh vocals and masterful songwriting. If I had to sum up Age Decay in a few words, I would say it’s a metal version of The Swans – which is a huge compliment. This eleven and a half minute track flows between soft acoustic parts and bombastic metal parts, with all around great vocals. Finally, “Wealth Beyond Measure” by Mausoleum Wanderer is a dungeon synth track that tells a voiceless narrative in the most legendary way. Pulling no punches, Mausoleum Wanderer brings his “A” games in a cinematic score-like anthem that soars high above many tracks of this nature. Beautifully produced and with a clear and crisp sound, this track is a very mature step for Mausoleum Wanderer and I’m looking forward to many more tracks like this from him.

Aside from the ten tracks that I just wrote about, this is an overall extremely impressive album and Akashic Envoy Records couldn’t have done a better job assembling a group of top-notch artists with great talent in a wide-array of genres. It’s not often that you get to hear a compilation of this nature that contains all of your favorite genres of music. At just over three hours of playing time, there is plenty of music to explore on here and I’m sure there are some artists on here waiting for you to discover their awesome music. Since this all for a good cause – supporting The Trevor Project – I highly recommend you clicking on the link and supporting this magnificent compilation album!

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Links:

https://akashicenvoy.bandcamp.com/album/apostils-against-hegemony-vol-i-transitive-properties

Boschivo Form Anomalous Compositions On The Outlandishly Diverse ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’ Offering

Now it’s time for something a little different. And when I say different, I mean a cacophony of obscure musical genres ranging from Dark Ambient, experimental, noise, dark folk, and any twisted ritualistic audio terror that you may not think of, to form an integrated euphonious choir of melody. Welcome to the distinct world of Boschivo, where anything goes and there are no borders for harmonic tastes. On ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’, elemental bizarreness is pushed to the limits as magnetic drones are accompanied by acoustic guitar, clean & harsh vocals, various synths & pads, and an array of styles to keep things interesting from song to song. Although this may be a challenging listen for some, it’s without a doubt, a rewarding experience for most others. Let’s dive right in.

“Pozzoscuro” starts with a single droning sound and some ceremonial overtones before a grim acoustic guitar riff takes over. Priest-like chanting accompanied by some eerie background noises blend well with the music. Soon the chanting is replaced by distant sounding vocals, but just for a few bars. The track ends with multiple guitar effects playing altering notes. “La Dania Perversa Delle Falene” is all over the place as it begins with cathedral-style organs and strange vocal effects before giving way to a deep guitar and bass riff that is played over a narration. Soon, that is followed by some harsh vocals while the guitar tone becomes more distorted. About halfway through the track, sampled effects and whispers mesmerize the listener before a frightening organ sound once again infiltrates the airwaves. Like a disharmonic orchestra, this part of the track is like listening to the dead come back to life. “Il Rituale Delle Mosche” features dissonant guitar riffing and haunting narrations, as well as industrial ambient noises. Additionally, soothing guitar riffs and clean vocals come from out of nowhere, almost seemingly out of place but fitting right in at the same time. “Essenza Di Te” continues with the clean vocals, but the guitar riffs are played on on an instrument that seems out of tune. Interestingly, it sounds rather awesome – especially for this album, and I wouldn’t expect to hear anything less. This track also features a great bass line as well – that is played in tune. “Distorta Luna Sterile” is a dark folk track with some excellent droning going on in the background, as well as some creepy sound effects. “Venere D’avorio” has a dark pop vibe to it, albeit with a very discordant sound effect in the foreground. The vocals are very clear on this track but there are echo effects in use to give it a grim feeling. “Quando La Morte Verra’” is a beautiful, dark acoustic passage with whispering narrations and deep droning in the background. Although this is a short and simple piece, it’s one of my favorites on the album. The final track on this underrated masterpiece is the title track, “Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione”. At almost eighteen minutes in length, it’s the longest track in the album and definitely shows what Boschivo is all about. Starting with background drones, ringing bells and simple percussions, other samples and effects are thrown in along the way, including deep, death metal like growls. As these heinous growls continue, church organs begin to play, adding another element of surprise to the album. Eventually, multiple loud bells begin to ring at different tone levels for a divergent sound mix.

Boschivo is an interesting artist that knows no boundaries. Combining all sorts of obscurities to produce a compelling musical experience, this album demands your full attention – and multiple listens – to really appreciate the value of the art for which it provides. ‘Bardo Dell’Autodistruzione’ is an addictive album that doesn’t reside in a particular genre, however it belongs everywhere. If you have an open mind for challenging, but rewarding music, look no further than Boschivo. The album is available for FREE DOWNLOAD from the link below, so check it out.

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Links:

https://totenschwan.bandcamp.com/album/tsr-112-bardo-dellautodistruzione