Eyre Transmissions XX – Interview With Cryo Chamber Labels’ Multifaceted, Dark Ambient Producer, Tineidae

One thing that is really unique about the artists on the Cryo Chamber Label, is that they all have their signature sound that distinguishes them amongst their label mates. Tineidae brings a fresh, exciting sound that is perceptible in several ways. For one, there is an invigorating fusion of Berlin School, trance, and other facets of electronic music that create a futuristic sea of emotion. There is also an abrupt sense of dystopian landscapes that are crushing in every way. That being said, Tineidae has become a premier up-and-coming Dark Ambient artist that you won’t want to miss. I had a chance to catch up with the rhapsodic producer to find out more about this exhilarating project, it’s beginnings and what the future holds.

1. I really appreciate this interview opportunity. Tineidae has already released a few really impressive albums on the mighty Cryo Chamber label. How did that relationship come to be?

Hey and thanks for the questions! Cryo Chamber is a bunch of creative people with quite a specific aesthetic, that I myself dig. I liked some of the older stuff of Atrium Carceri released in Cold Meat Industry era (in fact that was one of the first dark ambient projects I have enjoyed listening to). Naturally after some time I had a change in the sound of the project that seemed to be fitting. So as per usual, I looked up Cryo Chamber demo policy and sent in my demo (which was EXO at that time). It was a gradual development and there was communication going on between Simon and me, but in the end he quite liked it and so EXO was set to be released through Cryo Chamber.

2. ‘Exo’, released in 2020, had such a massive, dystopian sound – which perfectly matched the times of the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Did you explore a lot of Dark Ambient tones or situational events when coming up with your signature sound?

Ah man, it’s hard 😀 I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember what led me to it. It’s just more bass-heavy ambient, I guess. I wasn’t really aiming at something specific, as most part of it I think was created still when pandemic wasn’t a thing. But yeah, it played nicely together, esp. that I like heavier and darker feel in music in general.

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

3. You impressively blend in subtle bits of Berlin School and Trance. What are some of your influences for the Tineidae project?

Funny that you mention trance, and actually you’re quite on point 🙂 For Berlin School electronica part, I think most of it comes from the time when i was a kid and my parents and i liked to listen to a lot of 80s electronica on cassetes or vinyls. And for trance, yeah, all the supersaw trance of 2000, but also later post-industrial stuff (aggrotech, rhythmic noise, dark-electro etc.) were all heavily focusing on synth leads with that trance-like feel and that is the kind of music that i like to this day. I just like catchy melodies i guess.

4. Before Tineidae, were you involved with other musical ventures?

There were some, yes, fortunately none of those are on the Internet anymore (or at least I hope so). At around 2007-2008 when I was quite under influence of post-industrial (and esp. goth industrial on peak of its popularity), there was one project where together with another guy we were making music (something akin to aggrotech) and I was on vocals. It was fun, there even were some local gigs, but ultimately I stopped enjoying it after a few years. Later on there were two other bands (some black, some death metal) where I tried as a vocalist, but I think I attended a few practice sessions at most and didn’t really feel like it was my thing.

5. Since you mentioned Black and Death metal, do you there there is a parallel between extreme metal and Dark Ambient music?

Oh absolutely. Someone was asking me on discord some time ago about what it feels like to release stuff on Cryo Chamber and be part of its roster, and I was joking that it often feels like a chill-room for tired metalheads, as a lot of artists are or were involved in different kinds of extreme music.

6. Earlier this year, we saw the release of ‘Mothership’ which greatly expanded on the ‘Exo’ sound. What was the process like going into producing this album?

It was indeed an attempt to expand the setup and have some more bits of lore here and there suggested by the track names. The sound turned to be a bit more aggressive (at least now when i listen and compare, i feel like it is), unintntionally, likely again due to the heavier influence of industrial and other dark electronica i’m into lately. We’re not done yet tho 🙂

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

7. What kind of world/dimension do you want your listeners to experience when listening to your work?

I don’t like to have things overly specific, as this way every listener has their own story in mind that unravels with each album. For me personally it is a story of distant future where people drift through space living aboard huge motherships, harvesting resources from the planet’s atmosphere, discovering new habitats and lifeforms.

8. “Behind The Seal” is my favorite track from ‘Mothership’. There are so many explorations in this track that make it stand out amongst the others. What was your vision for this particular track?

For people who are still living on the planet’s surface, Mothership is more of a mystery, they only see its lights slowly drifting in the night sky every once in a while, knowing nothing about what’s actually happening inside. As the album is retold from a point of view of a new recruit who comes aboard the mothership, it is that moment of unveiling the greatest mystery of his life (as no one ever returns back from the Mothership).

9. In terms of the equipment that you use for recording, did anything change between albums or did you use the same gear? Can you describe what your recording setup is like?

The setup is rather minimal – field recordings are done with good old Zoom h2n, some sounds come out of Roland JD-XI, some from a bass guitar meticulously tortured by different exciters, but like 95% is in the box (VST synthesizers and effects, samples etc.). Actually i think i even got the whole process of making at least one of the tracks during live-streams (uploaded to my youtube now), and that one was 100% in the box (okay maybe some odd field-recordings or other noises from “outside” sources, but that’s about it).

10. Going back to ‘Mothership’, another track that I find truly impressive is “Manufacturing Facility”. The dynamics of that track is so massive and the sampling sequences are quite mesmerizing. Do you approach each track with a particular idea or do you build a story and find ways to connect each track?

Thanks, yeah that’s a neat track. Usually there is a rough idea it all starts with and there are different approaches to try and implement it, sometimes it takes a good bunch of attempts to get somewhere. In this particular case it all started with a sound design session, which means, i just get some sound source and try to destroy it with a variety of effects, modulations and what not, all while recording it. Then a resampling comes into play, where I pick the parts that I like the most and do another bunch of processing and mangling and modulations and what not. The process continues till I arrive at something that feels particularly close to what I have in mind, or if not I may restart it from scratch. In this case I had a bunch of “best picks” from one of such sessions, that sounded quite mechanical to me. At that time I already had an idea of a space inside the Mothership that would be some sort of a factory or a refinery unit, so all these things pretty much started falling into their places after some time spent arranging and playing with moods and melodies. In other tracks I sometimes start with melodies instead, and continue developing ideas with more focus on melodies, but resampling and sound design usually still find there way in.

For the second question, I tend to have an idea first and at least try to lead the sound that way (it doesn’t always work tho and sometimes music just starts living on its own, which isn’t bad either)

11. Most recently, you released a collaboration album with Drifting In Silence called ‘Simulation’. How did this partnership come about?

Derrick has found me on facebook and IG some time after ‘Slowly Drown In Static’ was released. at that point I haven’t heard his music yet, we had some chats about music in general, he’s just a cool human being who happens to have a similar taste in music. At some point we started discussing the possibility of a collaborative release, and yeah he had some amazing ideas and so he was more like leading the way and we started working on it (slowly, with some breaks at least on my end due to IRL stuff and having several other projects ongoing at the same time – bad time management skill, simply put).

https://driftinginsilence.bandcamp.com/album/simulation

12. Musically, both Drifting In Silence and Tineidae are sonically different, yet the combination of these projects work quite well. How did the two of you collaborate on the actual song building?

As I mentioned, Derrick had some really good ideas, and some jams and drones recorded in his studio – those were a starting point. Some tracks were in my opinion pretty much ready, so i probably added just a bit of flavor, and others we worked on different layers, sometimes adding sometimes taking out things, or even splitting and rearranging some of the longer tracks giving them different feel and texture. There was quite a bit of experimentation and trusting the gut feeling so to speak on my end, but i feel like for the most part those experiments turned out pretty good.

13. Do you have any plans to collaborate with other artists in the future?

I love collaborations, really, often to the point that I start too many and have hard time finishing any of those in a timely manner. And so this year several of those came out and some yet to come out at the end of this year, and there are still several ongoing and I can’t wait to share more info about those when they’re more fleshed out.

14. Speaking of collaborations, I just realized that you took part in last years’ annual Cryo Chamber Lovecraft release, ‘Dagon’. What was that experience like?

The whole collab is akin to a big brainstorm process, but in musical terms – all artists have some ideas and generate sounds and drones that are fitting the narrative or overall atmosphere,and then those are used as building blocks to form a bigger picture. It’s a pretty cool opportunity, esp. for a more sound-design-driven approach (as not everything has to be a drone or a melody), and you get a chance to focus on the fine details of each sound as much as you want to. Also limited sound pool lets you find different ways for implementing creative decisions as some of the sounds may be out of your “comfort zone” and you have to figure out how to make it work the way you want it to.

15. When not creating music yourself, who are some other artists (any genre) that you enjoy listening to?

Without a specific order or priority: Access to Arasaka, Sole Massif, 0 0 0, Belief Defect, X1-Y2, LORN, Cresil, REZZ, Tzafu, Swarm Intelligence, Maenad Veyl, Swarm Intelligence, Braden Koksal, Filmmaker, Jim Kimchi, meii, Prox.Bleep, Carpenter Brut, Sierra, Restive Plaggona, Pact Infernal, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and stuff in that vein.

16. If not done so already, are there plans to bring Tineidae to a live setting?

Likely the other way around (at least for now) 🙂 Back in the days of Tympanik Audio, I had some live shows and performances here and there. Currently with all the stuff happening IRL I doubt I’ll be able to properly prepare for live events, so instead i’d rather focus on production more and stream the process for anyone finding any helpful info in it.

17. Again, I truly appreciate your time and most of all, the fantastic music that you produce. Do you have any final thought for your fans or anyone else that may be reading this article?

Thank you so much for the questions, and you’re very kind. Stay true to yourself, put the most effort into what makes you feel complete or fulfilled, make your dreams into goals and plan on how to realistically achieve them (if possible of course), and most importantly try to keep your physical and mental health in check. Cheers!

Links:

Bandcamp: https://tineidae.bandcamp.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/71ne1dae?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tineidae_music?s=21&t=Hx6EUIQZatjekYSjrQhWCw

Interstellar Space – All Hallows’ Eve Extravaganza 2022

For some reason, trees seem to be synonymous with all things spooky and evil. Whether it’s a darkened forest in a horror movie, or the ruffling of leaves in an evening breeze that has us looking over our shoulders for something creepy, trees create a space of frightening imagination with limitless potential for purpose. For Halloween, trees portray a gruesome shadow in the night that causes goosebumps and chills when not expected. Remember the tree in the original Poltergeist film? They also create a blockade for hiding behind so that you can jump out and scare your friends while trick or treating. Whatever the case may be, trees serve more of a purpose than the ecology for their existence. Like trees, music provides the same escape by enticing an imaginative spark for which you can escape from reality. That’s exactly the case for these twelve chilling albums. They are the soundtrack for the season and so much more. Please enjoy these summary reviews and show your support for these artists by downloading their killer albums. Happy Halloween!! 🎃


1. Lamp & Dagger – This Tape Is Haunted Too!

Lamp & Dagger is back with their second spooktacular collaboration, featuring a handful of ominous artists that aim to frighten your very existence. From Sombre Arcane’s psychedelic massacre to a modicum of Dark Ambient soundscapes from The Night Keep that feature morbid field recordings and samples. FVRFVR offers a chip tune spectacle that is part crypt hop and part nostalgic cinema. Whispering Mirror offers a droning canticle full of gruesome modulations, while Halm conjures up some disgusting field recordings to create a gruesome scene of terror. The final track by Spectral Manse proposes a climactic ending with eerie narrations, malevolent haunts and lots of dark melody that penetrates deep in the psyche, proving that the sequel is just as damning as the original offer. I’ll never get enough of these compilations so I’m already looking forward to Halloween 2023.

https://lampanddagger.bandcamp.com/album/this-tape-is-haunted-too

2. Guild Of Lore – Night Of Halloween

Dungeon synth stalwart, Guild Of Lore, steps beyond the realm of Winterstead, leaving behind the Medieval intonations to embrace a world of 80’s-influenced synthwave with elements of cinematic horror. The results are a fascinating blend of B-horror movie anthems full of ghoulish field recordings, theatrical samples and rhythmic patterns that scream the elements of classic horror film soundtracks. “Lurking In The Shadows” is a prime example of ample beats, darkwave undertones, and retrospective synths, while “The Festivities” is done in the style of a skit, with spooky narrations, haunting screams and bleak atmospherics. This is an album that’s not just enjoyable during All Hallows’ Eve, but can provide eerie entertainment throughout the year, and for many years to come.

https://guildoflore.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-halloween

FABLEHAVEN: “None who enter will leave unchanged. Trespassers will be turned to stone.” – Brandon Mull

3. Erythrite Throne – A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadow Of Death

If your not listening to Erythrite Throne on All Hallows’ Eve, then you’re either very much afraid or have already been bitten by a post-apocalyptic zombie. In the case of the latter, perhaps ‘A Shade Of Melancholy In The Shadows Of Death’ has become the perpetual soundscape for your existence. Expertly fusing classical synth tones and the occasional blasts of tasty percussion, this is another magnum opus from the master of Dungeon Synth music. Just as the title suggests, this album is a bit more lugubrious than other Erythrite Throne albums, but that’s what makes this project so special. Especially on Halloween, this is some classically creepy music to enjoy on this malevolent night.

https://serpentsswordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-shade-of-melancholy-in-the-shadow-of-death

4. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Crooked Teeth

The ever so cleaver Aleksis Tristan Shaw once again keeps us on our toes with a musical endeavor that defies genre categorization but is presented just in time for Halloween. These three tracks showcase beautiful, yet twisted piano melodies with a dreamy, atmospheric production. Just as the album cover suggests, I can only imagine a blurry figure sitting behind the ivories and playing these dirges to conjure up the spirits of ancient past, allowing them to provide frights once again. Although each track is different, they each have a thematic element that maintains a dark but elegant mood. A full album of these ghastly sounds would be awesome as well.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/crooked-teeth

“No one who loves the woods stays on the path.” – Millie Florence

5. Wodenwyrd – The Teutoburg Massacre

Wodenwyrd presents a rather unique recording as a short narrative is read over obscure backing tracks that fusses Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient and synthwave. Read over a series of Acts (seven in all), the story summarizes the first battle between German forces and the Roman Empire around 9 AD. As compelling as the story is, the music fits perfectly and produces a brooding gray background for a malevolent narrative. There are three stand alone tracks that serve as an intro, intermission and outro and they explore more nostalgic territories such as 80’s cinema and dreamy effects. In all, this is a fantastic album and I wouldn’t mind having a series of recordings in this style.

https://wodenwyrd.bandcamp.com/album/the-teutoburg-massacre

6. Born From Pain – Begotten (1989)

Just in time for Halloween, Born From Pain delivers another compelling motion picture re-score. This time, 1989’s horror/fantasy film, ‘Begotten’, becomes the object of creativity as the quest for Dark Ambient obscurity reigns supreme. Over seventy two minutes of ethereal order becomes the pallet for rediscovering this film in a more sinister light. The film itself, is supremely bleak and a boldly obscure statement for cinema at the time of its release. If your a fan of cult filmmaker, Maya Deren, then you’ll have a good understanding of this film. As for the music, Born From Pain masterfully captures that essence with gloomy soundscapes and haunting effects that will lead to nightmarish outcomes in itself. Another fascinating adventure that I can’t recommend enough.

https://bornfrompainbm.bandcamp.com/album/begotten-rescore

“When you go into a forest, anything can happen” – David Farr

7. Scott Lawlor – The Livestream Series, Volume V

Scott Lawlor, the king of spatial Drone music and a jack-of-all-trades Ambient musician that never stops working and has enough released material to create the soundtrack to your very existence for years on end. On Halloween of last year, he produced a five hour livestream special that will be digitally released on Halloween this year. Spanning eleven tracks, this colossal of an album, flows like a never ending experiment through celestial voids and dark passages, as enigmatic effects combine with baneful textures to create the realm you’ve always dared to travel through. Each track presents a malefic journey through dark regions of the subconscious, bringing a terrorized reality to the forefront of the mind. Good luck getting through all five hours of this but enjoy the breathtaking adventure along the way.

8. Orcchasm – OrcChasm!

Orcchasm is truly unique experience, as we encounter a variety of musical intonations during this thirty one minute endeavor. From creepy ambience and whimsical synths to bazaar arrangements and nonstop frills, this is a musical adventure that is equally enjoyable and fulfilling. From grandiose, Medieval incantations to light, flute fills, you never know what direction the music is headed. However, hold on to your witches hat and broomsticks because this is a venture that won’t want to miss. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, showcasing a story of dark dungeons and numerous escapades. “Groping For Wild Hogs In The Dark Paphian Abyss” is my favorite track and it truly represents the musical prowess of this album as a whole. Don’t pass up on this warm journey into the wildly unknown.

https://orcchasm.bandcamp.com/album/orcchasm

“The forest was not dark, because darkness has nothing to do with the forest – the forest is made of life, of light – but the trees moved with wind and subtle creatures.” – Lauren Geoff

9. Pumpkin Witch – The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Halloween favorite, Pumpkin Witch. However, after finally rising from the Orange tomb of seasonal vegetation, they’ve returned with their most enigmatic spectacle to date, ‘The Return Of The Pumpkin Witch’. Eleven spooky anthems that provide an audial bludgeoning for almost forty four minutes, these progressive haunts are just what the doctor (or vampire or serial killer) has ordered to infiltrate your Halloween playlists. From distorted, doom-laden guitar tones and retrospective drum beats to hair raising electro sequences and synthwave tactics, this is the album that checks all the blocks for horrifying entertainment. Tape hisses and reverberated production efforts create a sinister ambiance that drives the mail in the coffin (no pun intended) for this masterful recording.

https://pumpkinwitch.bandcamp.com/album/the-return-of-the-pumpkin-witch

10. Ammothea – My God Is The Moon

Ammothea, the ambient-infused post metal project by Glacial Anatomy, is truly a riveting encounter that satisfies the pallet of those that enjoy the multi-genre experience. Soft, careening vocals, doom metal riffing and dreamy production yields a hypnotic effect, so that you can sit back, close your eyes and indulge in your own trip. These five tracks disperse almost sixty four minutes of playing time but, it’s over before you know it due to being completely lost in the mix of these alluring intonations. “Depth” and “My God Is The Moon” are standout tracks that incorporate a more upbeat approach without diverting away from the haunting gray that the entire album discharges. This is an extremely impressive release and I’m already looking forward to more from this artist.

https://syrupmooserecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-god-is-the-moon


11. Whöreplay – Whöreplay

A good dark wave tune goes hand in hand with the Halloween season, given its close ties to Gothic romanticism, vampires and grim landscapes. It also has provided bleak, atmospheric backdrops for scenes in classic horror films such as ‘Silence Of The Lambs’. This two track spectacle from newcomer, Whöreplay, fits right in with all of the aforementioned. Although only five minutes long, the artists wastes no time setting the listener on a collision course with haunting electronics, reverberated vocals, and a dreamy production. These tracks slice through like a jagged dagger, leaving a spot of coagulated blood for the creatures of the night to feast on.

https://whoreplay.bandcamp.com/track/misery

12. Unsheathed Glory/Ozeregroth – Nights Shadow Darkening

There is no better time to come together for delivering a darkened dungeon synth experience than Halloween. Unsheathed Glory and Ozeregroth combine their talents of Medieval summonings to render a five track split album, culminating in twenty four minutes of effortless canticles set to the gloomiest night of the year. Not only does each artist produce two tracks of their own, but they collaborate on the daunting self title track. Although each artist delivers contrasting tones, they mesh together very well and and flow transparently with ominous accord. This is one of my favorite Dungeon Synth collaborations of the year and I hope these artist get together again in the future, to produce more music like this.

https://unsheathedglory.bandcamp.com/album/nights-shadow-darkening

Additional forest photos courtesy of Carlton Whittle Photography. Please follow him on IG:

https://instagram.com/a_window_with_a_view?utm_medium=copy_link

The main article image is a unique creation from the WOMBO Dream APP.

Until next Halloween…

The Nebula Breviary – A Voyage Through The Black Hole With Kalamine Records

Kalamine Records has been delivering stunning releases on its Bandcamp page since 2019. The online label from Bordeaux, France specializes in Dark Ambient, Noise, Experimental music as well as a vast array of obscure genres that migrate well off the beaten path. Producing top quality material on a regular basis, it’s difficult for me to schedule these albums for a normal review as I simply don’t have the time. However, with the introduction of this column last month and the multitude of spectacular albums that Kalamine Records have put out as of late, the timing was right for me to pick ten of these albums for summary reviews. I hope you enjoy this article and please check out Kalamine Records at the links below.

1. Mono Hideout – True Lord

‘True Lord’ is a thirty three minute session of adversarial ambience that depicts a dystopian atmosphere of chaos and evil. Although these tracks are shorter than the typical Dark Ambient intonation, the urgency of soundscape buildup and dismal drones fuel a fire of angst-laden heresy that are compelling as much as they are effective at providing huge, atmospheric settings. From celestial & spirited pieces like “Harpocrates” to sinister and minimalistic drones of “The Snake Himself”, Mono Hideout has fabricated a world of dark malevolence.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/true-lord

2. Helecho Experimentar – OU.. OU.. Sintaxis

Helecho Experimentar combines ominous sound effects, samples and controlled noise on the brilliant release, ‘OU… OU… Sintaxis’. Commencing with a thirty six minute opus that forges a tumultuous passage through layers of obscure musical stanzas, this album presents a relentless impression of restrained noises and hasty modulations. Truly a unique recording, this will soon become an addictive listen as the effort to notice additional peculiarities throughout, are inevitable.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ou-ou-sintaxis

3. Mora-Tau – The Five Sutra

Mora-Tau has quickly become one of my favorite Dark Ambient composers and his ever-growing catalog of consistently great recordings is something to be proud of. ‘The Five Sutra’ is another paradigm of esoteric compositions that slowly portrays a story of tragedy through elongated drones, repetitive synth manipulations and a deep venture into angst-filled arrangements. This collection of retrospective anthems provide almost two hours of listening pleasure, allowing the listener enough time to mediate in its thought-provoking sound.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-five-sutra

4. Eijra Woon – Leïla

‘Leïla’ is a compelling offering of Dark Ambient, drone, noise, glitch and a touch of EDM, all wrapped up in a audial adventure that is both seductive and thought provoking. Haunting samples and various spots of vocalizations complete this mesmerizing collection of sonic objects that will leave the listener in a relaxed state at times, as well as emitting bouts of angst during other times. These twelve tracks ebb and flow into various emotive states and the harrowing soundtrack that ensues, is sonically unparalleled. Upon completion of this sixty five minute opus, the listener may become paralyzed with emotional shock and drenched in sweat from sheer survival of the audial jolt that took place.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-la

5. HEL – Innocently Wicked

HEL incorporates a plethora of vocal manipulations to establish a baseline of obscure ambient for showcasing a provocative blend of harmonizing textures and meaningful poetry. This anomalous recording also includes a variety of field recordings and effects to round out this massively peculiar effort. Taking a cappella to extreme realms, HEL emits an uncompromising take on enigmatic, yet experimental music. Highly recommended for those that are brave enough to indulge in uncompromising reaches into evanescent realms.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/innocently-wicked

6. Christian Fiesel – Barren Land

‘Barren Land’ sounds like a dismal exploration into mystical territories during the cultivation of 70’s or 80’s progressive-influenced synthwave. Vast wastelands are brought to light with soothing orchestrations and mesmerizing drones, as tranquil modulations produce a landscape of effervescent bliss and slow-moving sequences. This one hour long track is a lot to consume, but is equally rewarding and ominous sections fuse together in a single instance, as if wandering various rooms in a mansion, searching for clues to a portentous and puzzling storyline. One thing that remains constant throughout is the vibrant drones that seem peaceful and resonant.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/barren-land

7. Philippe Simon – Amarante

‘Amarante’ is a colossal offering of minimalistic Dark Ambience that stretches beyond the imagination and pushes the boundaries of atmospheric synth music. At almost eighty minutes in length, these seven tracks produce a transient environment of electronic music that combine Berlin School, drone, space ambient and quirky effects with resilient results. As these long players unwind, a deluge of celestial textures tell a haunting story of abandonment and foreboding solitary confinement. These songs are equally soothing and enthralling to say the least and once you begin this epic journey, it’s hard to stop. Enjoy this sonic masterpiece and the reward is well worth the endurance.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/amarante

8. Wasatch Front – I Walked Up Stairs

‘I Walked Up Stairs’ showcases a fascinating blend of Dark Ambient, industrialized soundscapes and contained noise. This is not one to relax to or have on as background music. Wasatch Front demands your full attention to the oblivion contained within these five tracks to fathom a true understanding of the audial depth that they collectively offer. Each track takes a grueling approach to the intricacies of obscurity as the listener ascends a staircase into the unknown. As the music breeches the subconscious, a perilous adventure awaits. However, be forewarned; what goes up, must come down.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-walked-up-stairs

9. Hostile Surgery – Into A Cold Light

‘Into A Cold Night’ contains six protracted anthems that extend to almost eighty minutes of playing time. These masterful drones mirror a creativity of malevolent proportions as they represent a barrage of hostile actions that can only be portrayed in nightmares. From deafening modulations to wavering sound effects, there is a certain demise that becomes paramount when indulging in its menacing grasp. Although each of these tracks produce a unique listening experience, the results for all of them is the same- dark, brooding ambience with rugged atmospherics that will leave the listener is a gloomier state than before listening to this massive recording.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/into-a-cold-light

10. Glamourie – Imaginal Stage

‘Imaginal Stage’ may just be one of my favorite recordings from Kalamine Records. It combines dark and light ambient with a touch of acoustic folk music and even some forest synth and there is so much variation on this album, it’s hard to grasp within a few listens. However, upon multiple listens, you’ll begin to experience a decaying, yet soothing journey into assorted realms of audial reassurance. On the downloadable version of this album, each track is combined with a beautiful, mystical painting that truly represents the soundscape that affectionately makes its way through the speakers (or headphones). This is such a delightful album and I highly recommend this for those that need a peaceful, meditative source to accompany them in their life excursions.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/imaginal-stage

Website: https://KalamineRecords.com

The King Of Gregorian Mantra’s, Metatron Omega, Is Back With Another Superior Performance With ‘ISIH’

Scorpio V, the driving force behind Prometheus Studio, is back with a new album from his flagship project, Metatron Omega. One of the few acts that produces Dark Ambient music that centers around Gregorian Chants, this Warhammer 40k-themed entity magnificently fuses soothing dark choir vocalizations with minimalistic, bleak ambience, resulting in an enthralling musical experience. In what may be his most sophisticated outing yet, ‘ISIH’ is the full experience of moody, ritualistic anthems that provide a grim landscape for ancient monasteries.

Right off the bat, title track “ISIH” secures a somber atmosphere with soothing Gregorian chants and effervescent ambient tones that flow like a transparent wave of breathless energy through high mountain ranges and cold, desolate valleys. The mood turn dark, as the ambience descends into the depths of bleakness with distant chants that are more sporadic than often. However, perfectly reverberated, it emits a trance-like feeling and subdues the listener with boundless bliss. “Megalosthronos” just may be my favorite Metatron Omega track ever. Commencing with a consoling drone, a tribal-like percussive element is soon embedded, tracing back to the likes of Paleowolf – where ancient civilizations meet theatrical ambience. Once the haunting chants are fused in, it creates a level of intensity and spirit that are completely unmatched. I certainly enjoy this direction that Metatron Omega has included in its repertoire of musical genius. “Imperium Novum” bleeds minimalistic ambience and the electronic-induced vocalizations are at times terrifying and more often mind-numbing. There are sci-fi elements in the narrative inclusions, as if an alien invasion has intercepted a communication transmission from an ancient culture. The weaving chants are mesmerizing and will leave the listener wanting more. “Arhontes” begins with an enthralling wind-like nuisance with the sounds of distant howls and screams. As the droning effort intensified, so does the angst of anticipation for where this track is headed. Chants of desperation are heard in sporadic patterns and when the depth of emotion finally fades, we are left with a calming path of destruction lead by deep, guttural chants and ritualistic ambience with a repressed ferocity and celestial intent. “Vyachnost” is another spectacular track that offers a rhythmic, drum track and the solar sounds continuously build throughout. Industrialized soundscapes and peculiar effects reflect a futuristic energy that is humbly met with ancient chants and warm synth patterns. There is a break toward the end where it morphs into a deep space ambient piece before returning to true Metatron Omega fashion. Vocalizations echo the synth modulations and are barely audible. However, it creates a type of discordance that is completely tranquillizing. “Blagoslovenie” is a return to form that can be heard on the likes of ‘Illuminatio’. The Gregorian chants are prevalent throughout and provide an immense ride into dark, enchanted territories. The deep drones are alarming at times and the moments of near silence – in particular – can be frightening. However, about halfway through, drums begin to fill the air with substantial cadence and synthwave elements are also introduced, as this song begins to take shape like the soundtrack for a Medieval battle. The final track on this monstrous album is “L.U.X.”. Commencing with looping chants and reverberated effects, this track isn’t as desolate as those that preceded it. The ringing of the church bells signifies the coming to an end of a ceremonial event, while the rest of the track continues to press forward with heroic expression. As the end nears, an incessant drone continues the pace as the all-to-familiar chants become softer and more distant.

Positioned in my Top 5 favorite Dark Ambient artist list, Metatron Omega continues to produce impressive albums that remain in line with its own ritualistic thematic expression, while supremely adding new elements and surprises that expand the boundaries of listening intent. ‘ISIH’ is no exception, as it’s probably Metatron Omega’s most expressive album to date. Including dark and light ambient elements and fusing percussion is a welcomed experience and I hope more of this type will be released in the future. If you can’t get enough Metatron Omega, make sure to also check out some of the other side projects in this same vein. Monasterium Imperi has everything you know and love about Metatron Omega but is less cinematic, while offering a deeper dive into the Warhammer 40k sound. Then there is Eshaton, which is an extremely raw and abrasive version that is gritty and relentless and at times has a Dungeon Synth vibe. At any rate, it’s easy to get lost in the realm of Metatron Omega and ‘ISIH’ is a magnificent album that truly represents this artist and craft. Click on the link below to download this album and enjoy the journey that it holds.

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Links:

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

https://prometheusstudio.bandcamp.com

Conducive Produces An Immense Image Of Controlled Turbulence On ‘Global Makeshift Wounds’

Like all other genres of music, Dark Ambient comes in all shapes and sizes (figuratively speaking). A variety of sub-genres keeps this obscure pallet of music interesting and unique – to say the least. One of my favorite offsprings of Dark Ambient, is Drone. I know what you’re thinking; isn’t Drone and Dark Ambient the same? Should it be in a separate category all together? In my opinion, yes, it should be separate because there are subtleties and intricate nuances that render them differently. Drone is more experimental, minimalistic and sometimes, hard to tolerate (by those that aren’t quite familiar with this style of music). However, there is beauty amongst the controlled chaos of Drone music and it’s contents are entirely open for interpretation. As for me, I love listening to Drone music while working, reading and when I need something in the background to help me concentrate. One up and coming artist that has caught my attention is Conducive, and with their debut album, Global Makeshift Wounds, out now on Veinte 33 Records, I’m happy to report that is some of the most trance-inducing Drone music I’ve heard in a while.

This forty minute turbulent broadcast is cleft into two parts. Separately, they stand on their own as narrative transmissions that detail a dark, scenic reality that plays into the senses and provides the essence of real-world chaos. However, together, they fuse a building chronological that portrays a dismal landscape of time, brutal machinery and the inconspicuous element that spews “we are not in control.” On the surface, “Global Makeshift Wounds #1” begins with the every day sounds of a hurried life, perpetuating that we have a certain control of our destiny. However, underneath, esoteric droning commences, setting into motion a controlled, chaotic modulation of tempestuous energy of impending doom. As the volume of this monstrous effort escalates above the existence of all other natural sounds, a peculiar comfort begins to exist, taking over the listeners ability to grasp the humbleness of existence. As we continue to sink into this eclectic drone, small subtleties begin to emit imperfections with the machinery, causing angst and misguided nervousness. There is nothing that can be done, other than to give in to the systematic noise and become one with the grueling soundscapes. Just as you begin to get use to this setup, we get a semi-abrupt ending, providing a well deserved break from the pandemonium. It’s mind-blowing how this didn’t feel like twenty minutes at all. “Global Makeshift Wound #2” commences with audial samples of people moving about as if it’s part of their daily routine. Like there is no care in the world or fears of what’s to come, the calming pattern of their ordinary commotion is soon to be preempted by another dose of overworked machinery that has been put through the rigors of systematic stress and pressed beyond their capabilities with no regard for its malevolent impact of failure. By the five minute mark of this track, the exhaustive industrialism materializes in full spectrum, drowning out the majority of the quotidian annoyances. There is a magnificent power that is portrayed by these layers of drones that contributes to the overall mesmerizing output of this track, achieving a substantial audial radiance in the process. At around the eleven minute mark, a tranquillizing dose of white noises are mixed in and duplicated about a minute later, producing a menacing buzz that can be a bit terrifying for those that are not use to this kind of ambient projection. At around fifteen minutes in, all hell begins to break loose, as the machines struggle to maintain form, creating a disruptive audial flow In frequency and initiating an reprehensible cacophony of destruction. At the end of the track, the machinery gives in its catastrophic demise, diminishing all sound abruptly.

This year is shaping up to the the breakout year for Drone music. As one of the more minimalistic elements of the Dark Ambient community, Drone music is on the rise and more releases of this kind are piquing my interest more than ever. Conducive is an amazing artist that can now be added to that list and ‘Global Makeshift Wounds’ is bound to make an impact. For a debut release, this album covers a lot of ground, in particular with the audial arrangements and the exceptional production. I highly recommend checking out this album and you can support the artist by downloading it from the link below.

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Links:

https://veinte33records.bandcamp.com/album/global-makeshift-wounds

https://conducivemusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Landsraad Impresses With Another Dune-Themed Juggernaut In ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’

Last year was a tremendous year for the Dungeon Synth community. We saw a plethora of albums being released by a lot of our seasoned favorites, cassette releases all over the place, and a ton of new artists making their way on the scene with various intonations of the genre and gaining a stronghold of fans that typically remain loyal to the music and fascination that it brings. One of those new artists, Landsraad, was a standout in my book with the mesmerizing album ‘The Golden Path’. Paying homage to the Dune series, that album could have easily been an unreleased soundtrack to the classic movie of the same name. The album was also in my “Top 10” list for Dungeon Synth albums of 2021. Fast forward to August of this year, and we are greeted with the sophomore follow-up album, ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’ and another trip back into the Dune universe. How does this album stack up to the debut? Let’s take a deeper dive into each track to find out.

From the opening progression of “A Secret Meeting//Edrics Precience”, the fantasy-based synth harmonies present a range of otherworldly emotions and melodies. Berlin School styled sequences places the listener directly in the middle of the Dune Universe, in the presence of a sandstorm of influential characters and fascinating plight. This is a beautiful album opener that respects the thematics of classic storytelling and fictional magnificence. “Face Dancer” immediately opens up with a bold modulated synth sound and an array of leads that build off each other, but always seem to be in unison in this heralded composition. “A Body In The Sand” is a light-hearted track that flows like a brisk breeze over vast mounds of endless sand, while the heat radiates off of its bright surface, producing hints of valuable spice. As if moving in slow motion, the droning nature of this track will leave one breathless and wanting more. “The Lion Throne//Walking The Path” brings a musical shift toward darker, somber tones and audacious radiance. Bringing back a classic, synthwave sound that will resonate with fans of 80’s electronica, the rhythmic succession of tone in this track leads to bleak adventures in euphony as imaginative excursions play out in the subconscious. The melodic journey really picks up with “Hayt”. The opening harmony is memorable and would last a lifetime (if I had my way). As one of my favorite songs on this album, it truly transcends categorization and could easily be included in a motion picture soundtrack. The sequential intonations casually ascend into a world of honor and dignity. “Stoneburner” continues on with the same emotive spirit of the previous track and the monumental music it contains creates an imposing force of majestic synth wizardry. This is another treasured track that is sure to gain multiple listens from fans of electronic music in general. Truly a masterclass in exquisite synth compositions. “Scytale (feat. Thanaphos)” returns to the buoyant sounds of the first several tracks, with dreamy passages and warm droning ambience in the background. This is an enlightening foray into more peaceful times and the arrangements are just a bundle of ear candy, full of tonal flavors that can’t be resisted. “Abomination Pt. 2” is a ballad of sorts, with minimal use of Berlin School sequences and deep pounding synth pads that thicken the sounds of this semi-upbeat performance. It’s as if a daunting trip to find a land of paradise, finally played out in the favor of the songs protagonist, proving the journey was worth the battle to get there. “All Things Yet To Be Said” is another noteworthy achievement that includes crisp, Berlin School patterns, wavy celestial drones and resolute synth leads that describe a drama unfolding with only the use of alluring arrangements. “Bijaz//Oracle” is an introspective offering that features an ornate harmony arrangement that is kind of hidden behind a wall of reverberated chaos. However, if you listen closely, you’ll be able to find a soothing culture of tones that are simply amazing. The albums final song, “A Path Broken//Walking Into Dune” is a breathtaking display of conclusive audial proponents that combine the efforts of the previous songs into an awe-inspiring summation. Multiple layers of haunting melody calmly collide with synth leads that extend beyond the reaches of space, yet gather all of the sounds into a cluster of tonal perfection. This track is such a a wonderful outro to this chapter of Landsraad’s Dune Universe and leave plenty of room for more innovative synth compositions to come in the future.

Landsraad is such an amazing project and it’s hard to categorize the true genre of the music contained within the highly impressive (but small) catalog of album. Of course there is a traditional Dungeon Synth influence but Landsraad also incorporates classic synthwave, Berlin School, soaring harmonies, and an amazing theme to produce a signature sound that can’t be denied. ‘Fate; The Inevitability Thereof’ is a thoroughbred recording of the highest caliber and just may end up on my year end Top 10 list. I highly recommend checking this album out as it has so much variety to offer. Also, the songwriting is out of this world and will surely peak the interest of those that love a good science fiction themed musical outing.

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Links:

https://landsraad.bandcamp.com/album/fate-the-inevitability-thereof

Caldon Glover Delivers A Ritualistic Incantation of Celestial Malevolence On ‘Death Mycelium’

Earlier this year, I reviewed an amazing album by Monstruwacan. It’s based on the sorrowful concept of grief and poverty and project mastermind, Caldon Glover excelled at creating a dismal state that listeners can dwell in and become at one with the music and theme. I wouldn’t necessarily call that album a side project, but it’s one that relates with the horrors of mankind and societal shortcomings. As for his main Dark Ambient project, Caldon Glover plunges into the very heart of mayhem and polarizing destruction with the harsh sounds of Indistrialized ambience and deep tonal modulations that produce a sinister atmosphere of gruesome discovery. On his latest album, ‘Death Mycelium’, he presents 5 tracks of violent commotion that weighs much more on the psyche than it does toward physical bloodshed. At almost an hour long, these songs send a pulverizing image of darkness and disturbing images by way of horrific drones and soundscapes. Let’s dive deeper into each of these tracks.

The ill-lighted album opener, “Gateway To The Fiber Network Deadworld”, begins with an isolated drone that sounds as if it’s drowning in frequency abandonment. Simplistic but relevant effects depict a scenery of obscure visuals and a dismal populace. As the mind starts to wander with a slow walk through destructive landscapes and architectural structures, soundscapes begin to build, increasingly becoming the dominate force in this song. Sounds of ghostly shrills begin to terrorize while hollow modulations multiple with a brutal sense of depth. It’s as if the clash between tangible disasters and deep space came to an infinite conclusion. “Sunk Into Thin Spaces” commences with several frightening tones, equaling that of the terrorizing music that plays in unison with a killing scene in a horror movie. Although a bit more minimalistic than the first track, it’s just as effective in creating a void that listeners can describe as they are falling endlessly into an abysmal pit. This song sounds like a nightmarish space disaster that has taken place far out of recollection of other beings. “Endless Worm” continues with the grimness but in a less chaotic way. Minimalist sound shift from hollow oscillations to desolate bitterness that seems perpetual. As this twelve minute song continues, deeper instances of continual drones push the boundaries of insanity. Although there is not much going on with regards to effects and soundscapes, there is something deeply disturbing with a track of this nature. Definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. Next up is “Broadcasting Calls Through Strange Winds”. The celestial launch of this intonation is like an unnatural velocity of force that is set to destroy all in its path. The deep bellows of synth pads create a reverberated sound much akin to our thoughts of what the frigid corners of the universe must sound like. At thirteen and a half minutes long, this is the second longest track on the album and is a tour de force of cosmic vacuums and the doomed pandemonium that is kept hidden within. The last four minutes is what nightmares are made out of, as if an unseeable force is pinning you down against your will and infiltrating your mind with terror and dread. The final – and longest – track on the album is, “Let Yourself Away From This Place.” At fourteen and a half minutes long, there is no denying that the bleak adventure that lay ahead will be lethargic and unbearable. Dreamy drones paint a picture of boundless turmoil and apathetic occurrences. The occasional use of percussion is a welcomed sound as it blends with the texture of the dreary soundscapes and ceaseless moments of tonal dissonance. Interestingly, the final few minutes depict a spot of hope, as warm drones enter the picture, shining a hint of light on the distant horizon. What a spectacular way to approach the final moments of this stunning album.

Caldon Glover has provided us with an array of Dark Ambient albums since 2018 and ‘Death Mycelium’ just may be his most challenging (and rewarding) album to date. There are no over-the-top cinematic tricks or indulgences, just bleak, atmospherics that takes the listener beyond imaginative realms. If you’re a fan of sinister and minimalistic Dark Ambient music, look no further than Caldon Glover. Click on the link below to download this amazing album, and check out the remainder of his discography while you’re there.

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Links:

https://caldonglover.bandcamp.com/album/death-mycelium

Xerxes The Dark Employs Metal Aesthetics To Intensify The Industrial Ambient Experince On ‘The Rise Of AI’

Xerxes The Dark is one of the most consistent artists of the Dark Ambient genre. Not necessarily when it comes to the Dark Ambient sound in the traditional sense, but with the unheralded impression of incorporating new ideas and tactics that indicates an endless realm of musical opportunity. With a string of highly influential albums that thrusts the Dark Ambient maestro into elegiac territories such as industrial, noise, fusion and metal, ‘The Rise Of AI’ just may be his most enigmatic release yet. With a futuristic story and theme that is not so far off from reality, this album thins the comfort zone of ambient music with a thrust into chaotic bleakness. Think about the hostile take over of bio-engineered humanoids in ‘Blade Runner’ with the invasion of indestructible alien robotics of ‘Terminator’ and then mix it with the technological destruction of ‘Black Mirror’ and you’ll have a sense of what the flow of ‘The Rise Of AI’ is all about. Let’s take a dive into this amazing recording.

Bold album opener, “The Rise Of AI” makes a critical statement for the flow and direction of the album. Slowly building into an industrial nightmare, this track more resembles Godflesh than dark ambience. From the steady cadence of drum machines and solid bass lines to a variety of voice samples and guttural transmissions, this track properly prepares the listener for the destruction that will soon follow. The nightmare continues with “Nuclear Winter”. Starting with eerie drones and haunting whispers, it quickly turns into an emergent, industrial anthem with muddy and distorted vocals. Guitar tones hint on melody but that quickly fades into a realm of bleak discomfort. “Take (No) Shelters” emits more dark ambience than previous tracks and is accommodated by stark samples and mechanized soundscapes. More vocal narration are heavily modulated and are right inline with the horrowing story that continues to unravel. “Synthetic Consciousness” is a full on Dark Ambient endeavor with a Space Ambient vibe, complete with celestial soundscapes and dark timbre that rapidly expands beyond the outer reaches of the universe. Malevolent machine nuances continue the harsh undertones of robotic supremacy. “Cyborg Soldiers” embodies an industrial sound with looping noises and drum beats, while a gritty vocal line chants in disdain. “Signaling The Alien Machine” marks a return to the Dark Ambient domain with a plethora of discordant noises and background echoes. As the drones increase in volume, muffled communications depict a scenery of imminent hostility. This calm before the storm approach creates a sense of anxiety and wonder, while complete AI take over is close at hand. “Simulating The New World” is a cinematic adventure that combines a barrage of industrial beats, melodic arrangements and and glitchy rhythms that flow together seamlessly. Portions of this track stimulate a warm sensation, as if there are light moments amongst the chaos that appear to be fathomable. “Interpret X11-01-10” is a short track that depicts communicative transmissions between AI and distant worlds. Soothing drones in the background allow this effort to be audible but untranslatable, as the evil machines prepare their next move for impending takeover. “Domination Of Humanoids” begins like a sneak attack with small, subtle noises as if being surrounded by unidentified beings. With a slow crescendo, industrial drum beats and bilious vocals elicit a constructive output that wages the war between AI and mankind. Like a battle cry of the ages, this track becomes a statement of dominance and leads the mission of AI acquisition. “Accessing Cosmic Memory” is a desolate ambient track that contains wavering drones, empty soundscapes and a looping pattern that signifies a positive communication efforts between the AI and their end goal. This expressive intonation creates a cessation of offensive strikes while vast information is being absorbed for future use. “Meeting Space Tribes” once again delivers a stark vocal arrangement with looping, industrial passages, while layers of drones produce a grandiose sound. The vocals spew a ton of pain and anger throughout and combined with the music, present a chilling, glacial landscape. “Intergalactic Empire” showcases a new side of the story as well as a new sound for XTD. With a melodic approach to Sy-Fi soundscapes, this track is industrial, yet light-hearted and probably one of the most accessible songs on the album. Complete with drum beats, bass lines and samples, this style is a welcome addition to the album as a whole and actually fits in quite well. Next up is “Holographic Wormhole Drive”. Not only is this the coolest song title ever, it’s also the closest this album comes to the traditional XTD sound. This is Dark Ambient in its truest form, with deep drones, creepy soundscapes and an overall menacing essence. There are several pitch shifts in this track that enhance the listening entertainment value, as well as present multiple sides to this gloomy effort. The final track of this epic album is the summarizing, “Gateway To The Unknown”. This is another scorching Dark Ambient masterpiece that includes some insane trip-hop beats and intense soundscape and noises. This ends the album in dominating fashion, just as the AI has systematically overtaken human kind, in this bewildering conceptual masterpiece.

I continue to be amazed by the many faces and directions of XTD. It’s safe to say that I never have any idea of the direction of each album, but pursue in amazement at how impressive each outting is. Whether it’s the established arrangement of Dark Ambient mainstays, drudging Noise Ambient, Industrial Ambient, or a conglomeration of the aforementioned, rest assured that the entertaining value (and listening experience) will be extremely high. ‘The Rise Of AI’ is right up there with the best that XTD has to offer and I highly recommend this for those that love an eclectic blend of electronic music styles. Please click the link below to download this incredible album and also check out the XTD back catalog while you’re there.

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Links:

https://xerxesthedark.bandcamp.com/album/the-rise-of-a-i

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

From the distant reaches of the macrocosm, I bring you another planetary offering of Dark Ambient summary reviews. This batch of Celestial Ephemerides offers a copious selection of mystical performances that surges deep in the spheres of dimly lit voids. From noise and ritualistic to supernatural soundscapes and haunting field recordings, this is the most impressive gathering of Dark Ambient albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in a while. Hope you enjoy!

1. Pillars Of Golden Misery – ‘Riders Of Misfortune’

‘Riders Of Misfortune’ is a majestic blend of discordant algorithms and resounding clamor in this abrasive but enjoyable offering. Served on a tumultuous platter of indignant ambience, this recording is not for the faint of heart or those with sensitive hearing. Piercing effects and elongated droning produce a disquieting pulse of audial horror that is as punishing as it is enthralling. Highly recommended for fans of harsh noise, glitch and transfixing avant-garde.

https://culturevomit.bandcamp.com/album/riders-of-misfortune-cult-vom-002

2. VSSP – ‘Modular Performances’

‘Modular Performances’ is such a fitting title for this massive collection of ambient tunes from VSSP. Innovative, tranquil, dreamy and calming are other adjectives that also accurately describe this seventy three minute offering that traverses the drone, space ambient and dark ambient genres. One thing that is predominant on this recording is the real sense of melody in each track. The emotional feeling is almost heartbreaking and sorrowful but extremely compelling to listen to. Highly recommended for background music on a cold, rainy day or while relaxing with the intent to cleanse the mind of negative thoughts.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/modular-performances

3. Sana Obruent – ‘Aftoktonia’

To these ears, this is one of the most complete Drone Ambient recordings I’ve heard in a long time. Aside from a few other artists, Sana Obruent is quickly becoming my go-to artist for epic drone excursions due to the prominent foray into meditative resonance. Minimalistic & simple, yet effective and powerful, ‘Aftoktonia’ is over one hundred minutes of reflective musings that brings together powerful drones and circadian effects that is as relaxing as it is strident. This is one of my favorite Ambient albums of 2022 and probably will remain that way for many years to follow.

https://sanaobruent.bandcamp.com/album/aftoktonia

4. Underwater Sleep Orchestra – ‘The Night And Other Sunken Dreams’

Underwater Sleep Orchestra, the new, brooding collaboration between Cities Last Broadcast and God Body Disconnect is a seventy eight minute magnum opus of polarizing dark ambient music. From hypnotizing drones to warm soundscapes, this is a project that I cannot wait to hear more from. These songs are lethargic and melodic and are a bit different from the typical dark ambient setting. You can definitely hear the input of each artist as they bring their signature sound to this musical alliance. Can’t recommend this one enough, especially if you’re looking for something to listen to while drifting off to never never land.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-night-and-other-sunken-dreams

5. Leila Abdul-Rauf – ‘Phantasiai’

It’s not often we get a fascinating album with trumpet and glockenspiel performances, but here we are. ‘Phantasiai’ is a spellbinding album of bleak expression with chilling vocals and dreamy production. Cyclic Law continues to recruit the finest artist that are ready to deliver the best of their craft. Thankfully we have Leila Abdul-Rauf to continue the flow and this album fits in with a long list of stellar releases.

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

6. O Saala Sakraal – ‘Heven’

The concept of improvisation by O Saala Sakraal is a must listen and ‘Heven’ is one of those albums that will draw the listener in based on the sheer amazement of the unknown. Although only 21 minutes long, this collection of spontaneous incantations is both ritualistic and engaging. Soothing vocal parts with sinister narrations coalesce with haunting atmospherics to provide a post-apocalyptic feel without sounding dilapidated. I can’t wait to hear more from this artist and thanks again to Cyclic Law for continuing to release amazing albums like this.

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

7. Muhd – ‘Dilogia’

‘Dilogia’ is another prime example of hypnotic ambience that builds in layers to achieve a fusion of synthwave and dark ambient excellence. Warm, harmonizing drones go through an assembly of thickening tones and modulated soundscapes to produce emotion canticles that represent an exceptional blend of retro and futuristic synth virtue. Also from the Cyclic Law label, it’s no wonder why this album made it into the lineup as it sounds fresh, inviting and completely divergent.

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

8. Yuko Nakai – ‘Me, And The Waters’

There is nothing more soothing than the blissful sounds of crystal bowls, harmonizing with natural soundscapes. Yuko Nakai excels in this area with a splendid three-track EP, ‘Me, And The Waters’. Fusing the sound of crashing ocean waves with extended hums of crystal bowls, beautifully arranged songs of scenic allure expel a magnitude of harrowing sequences that lure the listener in with unimaginable power. My only wish is that this album was about an hour long in order to fully appreciate its hypnotizing effect. Highly recommended for a deep, meditative experience.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/me-and-the-waters

9. Gdanian – ‘Submersion’

Gdanian is a new edition to the Cryo Chamber label lineup and upon initial listen, I can confirm that it’s the perfect label to release an album as alluring as this one. An oceanic-themed outing, ‘Submersion’ pulls no punches with including aquatic soundscapes and sub-surface atmospherics. Beautifully produced, each track immerses the listener into a vast world of unexplored adventure. With the feeling of unimaginable depth, there is no choice but to sit back and soak in (no pun intended) the bleak soundscapes and minimalistic drones. An amazing recording that should not be overlooked.

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

10. Lētum – ‘The Face Of Life And Death’

Lētum presents a cinematic nightmare of an album with ‘Tue Face Of Live And Death’. A conglomerate of disturbing samples and soundscapes backed by malevolent drones and pads. Horrifying vocal sequences are enough to to disrupt your sleeping pattern and send you down a vortex of enraged evil and madness. Coupled with theatric production values, this is a highly professional offering from one of Dark Ambient’s independent achievers. Recommended for Dark Ambient fans that don’t mind being on edge during a whole albums worth of menacing intonations.

https://letum.bandcamp.com/album/the-face-of-life-and-death

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Ager Sonus Takes Us On A Journey Through Ancient Civilizations On ‘Niflheim’

Over the years, the Cryo Chamber label has become my go-to label for top-quality, cinematic Dark Ambient music. Not only that, the label has introduced me to – what would become – some of my favorite artists of the genre. One of those artists is Ager Sonus. One thing that sets Ager Sonus apart is the inclusion of ancient mythological themes for each album and contrasting musical sounds that present a deep dive into the theme at hand. On latest album, ‘Niflheim’, Ager Sonus incorporates hoary deities and recollections similar to that of Norse mythology and civilizations. This alone creates a dynamic atmosphere that is supremely backed up theatrical ambient pieces, telling an age-old tale through superior musical expression.

Starting the album off in a tribalistic fashion is “Going North”. After a brief descent into dark modulations, a rhythmic beat begins and a variety of instrumentations treat us to a theatrical composition that depicts the beginnings of uncharted civilizations. Concluding with a jarring ambient section, this track sets a high mark for what will follow. “Murky Waters” introduces an array of field recordings and soundscapes that thwart this mystical journey into undiscovered realms. Synth leads create a chamber of wonder as it produces a visually bleak setting. Haunting vocal patterns and percussive moments broaden the scope of this intense recording. “Bonfire Stories” takes us back to ancient times of Viking warriors and the fight for land and heritage. This song creates such a magnificent image of natural landscapes and dark times of an age-old civilization with its pulsating beat and emotionally charged instrumentation. “Tundra” commences with a dark ambient vibe and slowly incorporates a mid-tempo, pulsating beat with Middle-Eastern influenced arrangements. I can imagine this song playing while venturing through a narrow alley with a multitude of people selling goods and pacing relentlessly as if there is no where in particular to visit. There is a sense of tense atmospherics as some sort of evil may be lurking around every corner. “Decay” has a beautiful new age vibe as a slower drum beat sets a steady cadence for alluring melodies and soundscapes. As crows let out harsh, modulated caws in the background, a sense of tranquility plays on through elegant tones. “Ghosts Of Battles Past” is one of the more darker tracks on the album, as bleak drones and sinister vocal patterns are featured. The flute-like leads produce a harrowing moment as serene charm and cold decay begin to fuse for a mesmerizing output. “Dreamland” continues the pace and aura of previous tracks with industrialized samples and a huge reverberated sound that produces a huge space for maximum audial control and imagination. Toward the middle of the track, an assembly of resonance – previously heard – slowly make their way into the mix and the outcome is simply amazing and addictive to listen to. This is without a doubt, one of my favorite tracks on the album. The final track, “Journey’s End”, supremely summarizes this spectacular album with evocative drones, natural field recordings and pounding beats that are more bombastic and destructive than they are rhythmic. However, it showcases the abrupt ending that was expected on this ancient expedition. The drones intensify and build in layers as this is probably the most traditional sounding Dark Ambient track on the album. Nevertheless, it’s such a soothing way to end an excursion that is full of triumphs, struggles and alluring engagement.

Ager Sonus never ceases to amaze me with his brand of cinematic Dark Ambient music. Whereas many of his albums are rooted and themed in existing ancient cultures, this album – in my opinion – is more inline with the beginning of times and how certain ancient cultures began. This is yet another amazing album from one of my favorite Cryo Chamber label artists and I highly recommend checking out ‘Niflheim’ if your itching for a wondrous audial adventure into ancient civilizations.

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Links:

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