The Last Weapon Compose Tranquil Dirges on ‘Seasons’, That Can Be Therapeutic For Lost Souls

Music is one of the most curative forms of medicines we have that is always readily available. Although it may not have any internal healing power, the mental relief that it gives us, helps us maintain a stable composure through the highs and lows while also giving us a coping mechanism for other obstacles that tend to get in our way. No matter what genre you’re into, there is always an artist, an album, or a song, that takes you out of the ordinary and into the realm of the extraordinary. Dungeon Synth is one of the most powerful genres that provides that type of outlet as it opens up the imagination to limitless possibilities. The Last Weapon have recently released their debut Dungeon Synth album called ‘Seasons’ and it is the perfect album for those that have had a time or two with dealing with depression or a negative impact in their life. Although blooming with impactful Dungeon Synth sounds, the overall aesthetics of the album is harmonious but with minimal synth lines, creating quite an impactful recording.

The opening track, “Desert: Ascension”, starts just like the daily occurrence of a morning sunrise. As darkness slowly descends into light, the dawn of a new presence fills the air and breathes new life in all living things as if starting anew all over again. This is exactly what I imagine as the slow, droning keyboards build into something out of nothing, creating a melancholic atmosphere that will put the spirit at ease. Every so often, a simple drum pattern makes its way into the mix, as the tune continues to embark on an endless journey. “Path: Open Eyes” establishes a simple Dungeon Synth rhythm then minimalist keyboards sludge forth in various sounds, while maintaining a beautiful melody. This track speaks volumes of a time when life was simple and there were no concerns of an expeditious world getting in the way. “Forest: Journey Of Restoration” has a quaint into that is reminiscent of 80’s synth wave, but that dissolves into a winter synth tune that is both somber and emotional. The lackadaisical vibe of this track is perfect for providing a sense of recollection on ones life and a possible sense of direction with moving forward in a positive light. “Endless Night” is probably the grimmest sounding tracks on the album and is like being left alone, deep in a desolate dungeon without knowing what’s going to happen. As the dark and layered keyboards drone on, the empty space is augmented by the addition of a drum sequence that provides sense of enthrallment. The final track on the album, “Deep Though” starts with an eerie keyboard sound effect, as if you are in a mesmerizing nightmare without a means to awaken. Although a chaotic scene is happening around you, everything is happening in slow motion as you try to adapt to this harrowing environment. The effect soon fades into a crescendoing keyboard ambience that is quite gloomy. After a while, the sound slowly descends into silence, ending the album.

The Last Weapon have debuted a very impressive Dungeon Synth album with ‘Seasons’. Although not your typical DS style album, which normally diving into medieval and mythical times, it caters more to those that have dealt with traumatic times in their lives. That’s the great thing about this (mostly) lyric less genre; we can create our own atmosphere based on what is generated by the music, and The Last Weapon has excelled in delivering music that will communicate with the mind. That being said, please show your support for this exceptional artist and download ‘Seasons’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://tlwmetal.bandcamp.com/album/seasons

Oestergaards Reveals A Maniacal Take On The End Of A Depressive State Of Mind With ‘Moloken’ EP

Sometimes the battles in our mind are much more difficult to overcome than physical battles. In reality, the emotional scars left behind from the devastating effects of depression and severe anxiety can last a lifetime, whereas most physical scars are only temporary and will fade away over time. Not only do emotional scars have a limitless timeframe, the way everyone deals with their own trauma is a work within itself. Unfortunately, many people unsuccessfully combatant their anguish, but others find solitude in various platforms as a coping mechanism. Oestergaards has found solace with the release of his latest EP, ‘Moloken’, a deep and dark ambient adventures that shows a fortunate escape from the struggles of depression.

On the opening track “Moloken”, industrial-tinged drones pierce through like an endless nightmare. The cavernous tones set forth are equivalent to being strapped to a bed – against your will – in a darkened asylum, where the staff are there to do more harm than good. Barely audible voices can be heard about halfway through, adding a dreadful vibe to this track. “Dihovle (The Whining Of Ordinary People)” has a discordant effect as if it could be an intro to a black metal song. However, that soon changes into a soft drone with light whispers and crystal clear pad sounds as if you’ve been left all alone and are free to leave the toxic environment of the asylum. “Agansam” contains various deep drones and gruesome sounding textures that will leave you with a discomforting feeling as it seems to suddenly end just as it’s getting good. “Assint (In The Name Of Nothing)” is a rather eerie piece as it begins with some distant, heavy breathing followed by a howling wind drone that grows louder and louder while various noises are happening in the background. The final track, “Stavsberget (No Horizon Left)” signals the end of the misery – whether good or bad. Grandiose drones and field recordings dominate throughout and the distorted speech track that can be heard in a few spots is creepy enough to start another anxiety attack. The song ends as if a needle has been stuck at the end of a record that has been playing seamlessly for hours.

Oestergaards has created a very therapeutic recording with ‘Moloken’, but I only wish that the playing time was double in length. This is top quality dark ambient and fans of Neraterræ and Monocube will love this. Although I will definitely be checking out the back catalog from this artist, I can’t wait to see what the future hold as well. Please show your support for this amazing artist and download this album from the link below.

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Links:

https://oestergaards.bandcamp.com/album/moloken-ep

Beyond The Ghost Invoke The Dark Essence Of Cinematic Elegance With ‘You Disappeared’

Dark Ambient has become one of the most adaptable forms of music around. Although normally known for its minimalistic droning and resourceful use of soundscapes and field recordings, I’ve seen a major shift toward a more cinematic approach to recording. Beyond The Ghost is one of the artists that uses this approach and their Cryo Chamber debut, ‘You Disappeared’ is chock-full of atmospheric & vivid details that could easily find its way on a movie soundtrack. Whereas a lot of dark ambient recordings carry a single theme (or concept) throughout the album, ‘You Disappeared’ has the unique distinction of each track standing on their own and representing a different idea. Each song careens through synchronized sounds led by sonic piano tones, live instruments and chilling ambience that transcends the ordinary bleakness of dark ambience.

“The Day You Lost Your Smile” grimly seeps in as if it’s on a mission to calmly – but abruptly – invade your ear space and fill your headphones with sonic resonance. Like an opening scene of a movie, this track sets out to make an impact statement and it succeeds in getting the mindset in the right direction. “Frozen In Time” radiates with its deep rumbling sounds and orchestrations as if it’s representing a depressing scene of agonizing loss. This track sounds as if it could have been a part of the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack, played in a scene where a horrific battle left many deaths. The albums title track, “You Disappeared” starts with a light drone, complimented with soothing soundscapes, and it slowly builds and shifts tones as if it’s trying to reach a climactic ending but never does. As the listener is left in a state of anxious approach, the song fades out. One of my favorite tracks on the album, “False Idols” starts with a creepy drone that glides from side to side. A soft piano arrangement is introduced and creates a totally bleak atmosphere as if a wintery town is suddenly overtaken by a vast fog and the streets become abandoned as everyone escapes for the warmth and comfort of a close by shelter. “A Bed Of Ashes” is a deep droning track that casually crescendos into an orchestrated score filled with melody and contentment. The deep grumbling of “Smoke And Mirrors” is like a scene from a horror movie. As various soundscapes add additional textures, the feeling of dread and discomfort take over. The addition of alluring live instrumentation creates a limitless boundary of where the imagination continues to flow. “Remembering The World As It Use To Be” is another superb cinematic track that has a ballad quality to it. With a soft Pink Floyd-like piano refrain and light vocal chanting, this is another outstanding musical realm for this album. “Quicksand” is another standout track as it slowly builds from a haunting drone to a captivating canorous anthem. The albums final song, “A Faint Light On The Surface” sounds as if a space ship is in deep space and traveling through a vacuum at speeds so fast, it seems as if they are moving in slow motion. Diverse samples and field recordings flood the song to give it new life and the live instruments stand out as the creative aspects. Although there is a certain beauty to this final track, it is also a rather disturbing piece, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the album.

Not to sound cliche, but Beyond The Ghost just may be part of the new breed of Dark Ambient. Providing much more than deep, epic drones and harsh textures, the songs on ‘You Disappeared’ are full of realistic visuals that span beyond the scope of the imagination. This album is a remarkable addition to the Cryo Chamber family and is a much needed addition to the dark ambient community. Show your support for this first-rate album and download it at the link below.

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Links:

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/you-disappeared

There Is No Escaping The Psychotic, Creative Prowess Of Inhum Awz On Stalwart EP, ‘Asylum’

The word Asylum is such a disheartening word. We mostly associate it with the institutionalization of mentally ill patients and the alleged horrors of corruption that come along with it. There have been many stories written, movies released, and documentaries produced that depict the sub-human conditions and atrocities of some of the asylums of the past. However, there is nothing like a good dark ambient album to put you in the right mood, that will provoke a certain relevance to the barbaric surroundings behind the confines of these enigmatic institutions. Inhum Awz has just the soundtrack for properly describing these nightmarish acts with the aptly titled, ‘Asylum’ EP. at nearly thirty minutes long, these four tracks waste no time portraying a concise narrative ranging from immediate consternation to extreme chaos.

The album opener, “Binah” starts with a very creepy vibe and some eerie soundscapes, as if someone is wondering aimlessly down a long, dark corridor of the asylum, looking for patients after a known breakout and escape has occurred. Not knowing what to expect, the wanderer, moves slowly and checks every room although the darkness keeps the details at a minimum. The music’s trance-like effects provides a sense of dread and enables the listener to submit themselves to the inner walls of the asylum as well. Various sounds and noises randomly creep from speaker to speaker, ear to ear, and succeed in putting the listener on edge as what’s next to come. The following track, “Spirale” begins with the thump of a low-end frequency tone followed by a random keyboard run and this repeats several times in a looping pattern. A deep ambient tone and additional soundscapes come into play as if the wanderer now finds themself in a sense of urgency. As they turn the corner down the next corridor, the dim light is replaced with red lights throughout the length of the hallway as well as the rooms. As the wanderer approaches the first room, he notices that it’s completely empty. Then he approaches the second room and it is empty as well, and so is the next, and also the next. This corridor has no patients. They are all gone. The disturbing tone in the music provides an emotional sensation for the listener to contemplate the next move for continued exploration or departing the asylum. Next up is the spectral sounding, “Séphira”. The higher frequency sounds of the synthesizers give this track a very supernatural feel to it, as if the asylum’s only current inhabitants are those of a metaphysical nature. Although there isn’t a lot of droning going on, there certainly is enough abstract keyboard tones to keep up with the creepy vibes of the rest of the album. The final song on this extended play is the minimalistic, “Trinité”. Their track builds like a finale of a TV show or a movie and the constant pounding of the drum is unnerving enough to make anyone want to make an emergency exit out of the asylum and find their way to safety. A subtle growl can also be heard in the background every so often, representing something otherworldly that may stand between sanity and reality. As the song comes to the end, it can be concluded that the ‘Asylum’ is just part of a vicious mental cycle that never ends and there is no escaping for anyone.

Inhum Awz has created a soundtrack full of relevance that properly represents the awful stereotypes of being committed to an asylum. With eerie soundscapes and calamitous keyboard and synth sounds, ‘Asylum’ is thirty minutes of non-stop, angst-filled dark ambience that not only brings the misery, but defines it as well. Italy’s Lake Label has signed another great artist in Inhum Awz and ‘Asylum’ is one of their best releases of the year. Show your support for Lake Label and Inhum Awz by downloading ‘Asylum’ from the link below.

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Links:

https://lakelabel.bandcamp.com/album/asylum

Top 10 Dark Ambient Releases Of 2019

I’ve been a huge fan of dark ambient for quite some time now but this is the first time that I’ve had to put together a Top 10 list of my favorite albums of the year. If the truth were to be told, this could have easily been a Top 50 list as there were so many exceptional releases this year. Instead, I want to give props to the following 10 amazing albums that have impacted me in multiple ways. Although there were many more astonishing dark ambient albums that were released in 2019, these are the ones that (in my opinion) have set the standard for modern dark ambient.

10. God Body Disconnect – The Mist Between The Mirrors

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-mist-between-mirrors

What a way to start this top 10 list. Right from the opening field recordings and narrative remarks, I knew instantly this was going to be one of my go-to dark ambient albums! Themed around emotional subjects such as disappointment & isolation, this recording is as therapeutic as it is relaxing.

9. Xerxes The Dark – Tower Of Silence

https://xerxesthedark.bandcamp.com/album/tower-of-silence

Xerxes The Dark is in my top 5 favorite dark ambient recording artists of all time, but XTD didn’t make my list based on a biased decision. ‘Tower Of Silence’ is simply XTD’s best release to date and one of my most listened to albums this year. Every track is haunting and addictive and will give you the feeling of being trapped in a post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland.

8. Melanohelios – VII: Warmth Within Endless Emptiness

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/vii-warmth-within-endless-emptiness

When it comes to space ambient, Melanohelios is one of the best in the business. On ‘VII: Warmth Within Endless Emptiness’, the drones are longer, chilling, and gives the sensation of relentless confinement on a doomed space mission. Seventy two minutes of vacuum filled incarceration will leave your senses void of all intelligible emotions.

7. Ruptured World – Archeoplanetary

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

I’m such a huge Ruptured World fan and the second album of the Planetary series, ‘Archeoplanetary’ is as good as they come. Whereas most Dark ambient recordings leave room for the listener to provide an imaginative scenario to match the music, Ruptured World prepare a captivating narration throughout the whole recording.

6. øjeRum – Without Blood The Sun Darkens

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/without-blood-the-sun-darkens

‘Without Blood The Sun Darkens’ is one of the most haunting and mesmerizing dark ambient albums I’ve ever heard. Consisting of a single, fifty nine minute track of repetitive and impassioned synths and pads, this song is about reflection and memory. This is still one of my favorite meditative albums to listen to.

5. Winterblood – Finsternis

https://winterblood78.bandcamp.com/album/finsternis

‘Finsternis’ is a very enthralling and hypnotic work of art that will leave you in a trance-like state throughout the hour long recording. Winterblood is like a dark ambient accomplice to the black metal band Paysage D’hiver, as I receive the same type of ardent pleasure from both artists. This album is a MUST HAVE for any true fan of dark ambient.

4. Neraterræ – The Substance Of Perception

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/the-substance-of-perception

Alessio Antoni has summoned an all-star line up for his debut project Neraterræ and the result is the impeccable recording, ‘The Substance Of Perception’. Each track is sonically different, yet they are produced as a seamless dark entity that is fathoms above most others. I cannot wait to hear more from this amazing project!

3. Ager Sonus – Mithra

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

‘Mithra’ is probably the most musically diverse album in my top 10. Taking us back to Ancient Rome, Ager Sonus uses subtle stringed instruments and grandiose drones to create a vision of enchantment and fascination. I still listen to this album on a weekly basis and although it was released in March, it continues to grab my attention with each and every listen.

2. Monocube – Substratum

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

Monocube has to be the dark ambient sleeper artist of the year. With almost no attention drawn to this album prior to its release, I downloaded it solely based on the reputation of the Cyclic Law label lineup. One of the best decisions I made all year, as ‘Substratum’ is a mammoth of an album. The hollow – but frightening – drones will make you feel claustrophobic and uneasy and will leave you with a sense of uncontrollable anxiety. Although very minimal and austere, I tend to find new ambitious elements every time I listen to it.

1. Metatron Omega – Evangelikon

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

Metatron Omega is another one of my favorite dark ambient artists and anytime there is a new release available, it’s an instant purchase from me. ‘Evangelikon’ is a mastercraft in ritualistic dark ambient music with beautiful Gregorian-style chanting and unnerving drones. I listen to this album continually and it’s without a doubt my favorite dark ambient album of the year.

Minimalist Dreamy Drones Produce Maximum Effect On ‘Virtual Goddess’ Transmission By Seffi Starshine

Vaporwave specialist Seffi Starshine has built a short, yet elaborate career on music’s more obscure and experimental components. The naiad and co-founder of Girly Girl Musik & Fireflower Vapor has released numerous solo and collaborative efforts ranging from drone, dark ambient, vaporwave, naturewave, electronica and other forms of esoteric music that you may have never heard before. However, on ‘Virtual Goddess”, Seffi Starshine successfully launches into the atmospheric pressures of space ambient and the result is a chilling, atmospheric album packed with nominal, galactic drones that will take you on a bleak, orbital adventure. At just under fifty minutes, these five basal transferences may just put you in a state of deep space hibernation until you’re ready to submit to the goddess herself.

The albums anterior transmission, “Office Drone Blaster” gently evolves from out of thin air and induces shapeshifting sound effects as droning pads seer through the cosmos like a spacecraft exiting our solar system for out worldly adventures. The sound is extremely fluid yet gradual in the way it approaches in and out of climactic tones. “CGA Sunrise” immediately takes flight in a monotone sound as if a spacecraft traveling at warp speed has just passed Max-Q, where the air has become lighter and communication conveyance to mission control has ended abruptly. “Virtual Goddess F.A.E.” has a more gloomy sound and the hollow radiance of synthesizers produce a dismal resolve to depict an eerie point of no return for a doomed spacecraft that has lost its navigational way. “DOS By Dusk” fades in and out of higher frequencies beautifully as if properly maneuvering through a celestial waste field. The layered synths create a very subtle atmospheric presence and this proves to be a very diverse track. The final track on the album, “Sleepytime For CGA Sprites” is an eighteen and a half minute journey through time and space in which there is no control over any matter or being, past or present and the power of the layered drones represent the feeling of hope and relaxation. The lush tones weave in and out of emotional state of consciousness and never break the continuous pattern of evolvement.

Whether intentional or not, Seffi Starshine has crafted a fascinating space ambient album. With minimalist, dreamy drones and expertly crafted sonic arrangements, ‘Virtual Goddess’ borders between ambient and dark ambient, as there are multiple moments of eeriness that can easily thwart this recording in either of those directions. This is one of those recordings in which you can sit back, don your favorite earphones, close your eyes and loose yourself in a world where space – and the vacuum-like void it creates – overtakes your conscious. Support this brilliant and versatile artist by downloading ‘Virtual Goddess’ from the link below. Additionally, check out her other projects via Fire Flower Vapor & Girly Girl Music at the links below.

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Links:

https://houdinimansions.bandcamp.com/album/virtual-goddess

https://girlygirlmusik.bandcamp.com/music

https://fireflower.bandcamp.com