Disen Gage Relinquish Orthodox Control On ‘Nature’, A Complex Adventure Of Psychedelic Infused Dark Ambience

For those of you that keep up with my blog must know by now that I have a particular formula for writing reviews and I rarely stray from that. I try my best to come up with a captivating headline that will grab the attention of the audience. Additionally, I write an introduction that relates the album (being reviewed) to a particular topic based on the imagination and emotions that are felt from the music, provide a detail of each track, and then close it with a final statement that summarizes all of the above. In most cases, my headlines come pretty naturally, but on Disen Gage’s tripped-out, experimental dark ambient outing called ‘Nature’, that wasn’t the case. Although this is quite the compelling album, I was almost at a loss for words when giving a quick synopsis of how to describe it. Then, after repeated listens, it hit me. This Russian duo goes above and beyond to eliminate the conventional means of producing dark ambient music by providing theme-based samples and soundscapes. The result is three tracks of nearly forty nine minutes of impulsive and experimental greatness.

“Planets” suddenly blazes through like a space craft coming out of warp speed, only to find itself in a harmful situation. As the space craft starts taking devastating hits from surrounding shrapnel, system alarms begin pulsating with anxious volumes as this song restlessly generates abrupt noises that match the situation. As this emergency condition draws to an end, the track eases into a hollow, deep space anthem that breeches the lines of industrial and black ambience. Horrifying sounds and effects throughout signify that danger isn’t over for this mission and the onboard systems aren’t under human control. Finally, toward the end, the madness winds down and deeps space ambience prevails. A strange song sample plays cautiously in the background as if it’s a long lost transmission that’s been accidentally intercepted. “Trains” is a dark and perplexing tune that features various train sound samples, arranged perfectly to create a particular despondency. The drones are creepy and sound as if they are long, drawn out screeches of locomotives trying to come to a sudden stop. As the train samples continue to make their presence felt in various ideas and speeds, one final pass of a lengthy caravan closes out this stunning and unique track. The final brilliant track is “Animals”, and if the bleak sounds of these oppressive drones don’t have you on edge, then how about the sixteen plus minutes of manipulated animal sounds. Twisted into bizarre tempos and speeds, this can seriously creep you out if not prepared for it. However, there is a massive amount of genius behind this idea and it works amazingly well for this track. The final few minutes include metal guitar riffs played with an echo effect and provides an off-the-wall psychedelic vibe to close out this extraordinary & unique song and album.

Disen Gage take musical experimentation to a whole new lever on ‘Nature’ by providing theme-based samples for each song that they go with. These three tracks travel through space, in rural city scapes and in natural habitats where animals are the alpha predators of the area. The substance of theses tracks is massive and the creativity is top notch. I will definitely be spending more time getting to know the music of Disen Gage. For those of you that are new to this artist and have a love for ambient and experimental music, don’t look past ‘Nature’, as this is an excellent starting point. I highly recommend checking out this album.

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Links:

https://disengage.bandcamp.com/album/nature

Cameraoscura Lay The Haunting Foundation For A Dystopian Future With ‘Quod Est Inferius’

When it comes to setting a scene for a dystopian future, I immediately think about movies such as “Blade Runner”, “The Running Man” or “Total Recall”, where overcrowding in a technology consumed society is ruled by government furnished law enforcement. The buildings seem to be built a mile high, with flying cars, gas masks and the skyline barely sees any sunlight. The music that portrays this era is dissonant, dark and ritualistic to surmount to the equivalence of misery and oppression in human culture. If there is one current artist that characterizes these exploits, it’s Cameraoscura, and their latest offering ‘Quod Est Inferius’ depicts a horrid scene of a bleak future with civilization on the brink of destruction. This album is like a day in the life of a citizen, fighting for survival while abandoning all hope.

Establishing the scenario that will cause uncivilized turmoil is “Atanor”. Creepy soundscapes and bludgeoning drones are introduced at a frightfully low tone and eerie spoken words counteract the disparity. Suddenly, at around the three and a half minute mark, rhythmic electronic beats cascade through the layers of sound and embed a cadenced pattern that is rarely heard in this form of music. The outcome is simply amazing! “Admixio” has the soothing but crisp sounds of retro synth wave with the occasional low growl. Mesmerizing soundscapes provide a wall of sound as this track represents the less chaotic form of dystopia, but at the same time, showcasing the horrifying extinction of existence. “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” Is another consoling arrangement, but as the track crescendos in volume, austere frequencies send a chilling reminder of dark times. Once again, a downtempo style beat comes into play and mixes well with the keyboards and drones of this track, putting the listener in a trance-like state until the very end. “Interitus” covers a broad range of low-end sounds in pure dark ambient fashion while at the halfway point of the song, an EDM style beat starts up at a ferocious pace (for this type of music at least), and takes us on an unhinged path of life at dawn, where the sun is never fully exposed, but the pain of survival continues. “Attera” is a short track full of deranged industrial sounds and euphoric samples, complimented by a harsh beat, as if the ultimate battle between citizens and government were suddenly taking place with hopes of setting a new outcome for the dystopian wasteland it has become. Following the harshness is “Solve”, a short melodic piece that introduces beauty amongst the chaos with its melodic keyboard tones. The final track on the album, “Ultima Necat” starts with serene synth tones and effects that bend from side to side. Abruptly, a distorted guitar riff begins playing slowly, over and over again, while layers of harmonious discord play compliment to the harsh noise. Whether it’s the end of mankind, or the dawn of a new beginning, this track sets the bar for climactic album endings, especially one that deal with a specific and relatable theme.

Cameraoscura are on to something new and exciting within the dark ambient community. While still maintaining the complexity of sequencing drones and soundscapes, danceable beats are added to several tracks to breath new life in the genre. I must say it works very well. It may not be for everyone, but I certainly love this style and hope that Cameraoscura will continue down this path of musical innovation. I highly recommend checking this out and I’m quite certain you’ll not be disappointed.

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Links:

https://totenschwan.bandcamp.com/album/tsr-100-quod-est-inferius

Infinexhuma Assembles Dismal Drones And Manic Soundscapes On ‘Unasan’ That Resonate Into Eternal Obliteration

The subtleties of darkness are all around and coagulate into many forms. As the adversaries of evil try to expose the inherent workings of malevolent entities, the bleak becomes gloomier and dreary, causing a longing for inner peace. This longing turns into a desolate energy in the form of ‘Unasan’, the near two hour master work from Infinexhuma that is saturated with ritualistic drones, resounding dark ambience and industrial-strength soundscapes. Comprising of some of the most well thought out arrangement I’ve ever heard on a dark ambient recording, these tracks have a trance-like quality that will captivate you from beginning to end. Also, for the most part, it is a very minimalistic recording, but the nuances that are mixed in is what makes this stand out amongst its peers.

The aptly titled album opener, “The Warning”, starts with spoken word intro, as if the devil himself is conveying a cautionary message. The sizzles of a crackling fire and forceful winds in the background set a scene of spiteful terror. “Asahskar” has a very deep and cold drone that is oddly soothing, while the sounds that resemble the random strums of a distorted guitar provide a chilling ensemble of dreariness. The fourteen minute long “Suffocation” is a horrific sounding drone with terrifying audio and voice samples that will make your skin crawl. As the deep tones smother your intrinsic senses, mind-altering harmonies can be heard, creating a layer of beautiful eeriness. “Feel Their Eyes” is like waking up in the middle of nowhere, as this industrial ambient nightmare grows louder and stronger, reeking havoc on the state of mind. “Fighting Back” features some beautiful keyboard sounds, wind chimes and various other field recordings to go with the very relaxing ambient texture that flows ever so smoothly in the background. “Dreaming In Nightmares” continues the winning combination of sparse, yet eclectic vocal patterns, futuristic soundscapes and field recording. If this is the sound of true nightmares, then you better fight to stay awake. “Freedom Window” is a nice change of pace as it begins with an alluring piano arrangement before fading into a minimalistic drone. The detail in this track is immaculate and it’s one of the most creative efforts on the album. “Past Taker Oni” begins with a wall of static-like sound followed by a horrifying narration, as if evil has spoken yet again. Although barely audible, you can tell that the message being conveyed is meant to terrorize it’s listeners. “The’u Rang Pit (feat. Neraterræ)” contains inhuman sounds and deep grumbling as if the lifeless bodies of purgatory are being processed for an afterlife of eternal damnation. The soundscapes are so heinous sounding, listening to this at night through headphones are bound to give you nightmares. The clean piano arrangement at the end of this track is incredible and fits perfectly with this song. It’s almost meditative in nature and I don’t want it to end. “Violent Tara” begins with the creepy sounds of Tibetan bells played randomly. Spoken word augments the usual drone space in this bizarre track, as other demonic vocalizations can be heard a well. Is this song doesn’t mess with your mind, then I don’t know what will. “Peace Beyond Death” is another fantastic drone that proves that it’s always possible to do more with less. Through minimal droning, the exquisitely places soundscapes create such a monstrous atmosphere on this track, that I consider it one of my favorites on the album. “The Edge Of Resistance” is another track that pushes the fourteen minute mark. Starting with what sounds to be digital water drops, it soon turns to a frigid drone with malevolent textures and soundscapes. The final track on the album is “Goodbye Host”. Starting with church organs and a spoken word narration in the form of a prayer, it morphs into a very unique drone/rock song, with a nice drum beat and bass line, as if it were being used as an “ending credits” song for a movie. Even those this track is different from the rest of the album, dynamically it fits right in and I think it is the perfect ending to the masterful album.

It’s no wonder why Neraterræ chose Infinexhuma for a guest spot on his 2019 album, ‘The Substance Of Perception’. With his keen sense for detail, audial imaging and dynamic approach to these types of arrangements, Infinexhuma is a champion of the dark ambient genre. ‘Unasan’ is just an example of exactly how good he is at crafting dark ambient and drone music while keeping it interesting and challenging to the listener. From calm piano arrangements to harsh industrial ambient sounds, ‘Unasan’ has it all and you won’t be disappointed in this near two hour long recording. Please support Infinexhuma and download this excellent album from the link below.

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Links:

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com/album/unasan

R0[nought] Transmit Caustic Drone Sequences On Dismal Dark Ambient Album, ‘Pestis’

Take a moment to imagine an abandoned, industrialized city in a not so distant future, where a heavy leakage of pollutants has caused chaos amongst its civilization. As toxicity fills the air, anarchy quickly turns into desertion as the physical elements of the city start to deteriorate. However, this desolate environment does have life after all, as the seemingly rapid infestation of diseased rodents and bugs manifest at the heart of the contamination and feed on the remains of whatever is left from the catastrophic occurrence. This is a new dark world and with no hope of a possible human return. With that, I present to you ‘Pestis’ by R0[nought], a turbulent, dark ambient adventure that portrays this vivid narrative with its morose drones and potent soundscapes. These six ghoulish tracks provide the textures of endless nightmares through the essence of addictive, yet bleak noises that grip you like a straight jacket.

Blighted album opener, “Xenopsylla Cheopis” accelerates with volume like an early warning alarm, alerting everyone that imminent danger is on the horizon. The bleak soundscapes create an audial distress vessel as the anxiety-filled drones never let up from start to finish. “Miseria” should be called horror ambient, as the dismal sounds in this track, are downright disturbing at times. Brief synth pads add a cinematic quality, but it doesn’t take away from the near ten minutes of terror that this composition provides. The claustrophobic drone sounds on “The Forsaken Dead I” will provide a feeling of consternation as you continue you battle with anxious thoughts while listening to this recording. You’ll find yourself drifting off to a dark place, hoping that you’ll be able to return once the song is over. “The Forsaken Dead II” continues the same unrelenting experience as the previous track, however, elements of industrial ambient are thrown in to increase the mental suffering. “A Blackening Of The Flesh” has components of space ambient but various malevolent sounds create an unpleasant sense of doom, like a flesh-eating virus manifesting its way throughout the spacecraft to claim the lives of all onboard. The albums final arrangement, “Carrion IV” is eleven and a half minutes of maelstrom induced ambient that shifts through dark colors and gray’s, setting an apocalyptic tone for the cold, dark ending. As the song slowly winds down, it fades into a deep, black drone that represents total annihilation.

R0[nought] has gone above and beyond in conceiving a terrifying dark ambient album that empowers the listener to open their imagination (and fears) to conceive a story that conceptualizes the music. Although there are many forms of dark ambient, ‘Pestis’ is extremely bleak and frightful and is slightly more dismal than your typical ambient recording. Additionally, I appreciate how elements of other types of musical disciplines are added, showing a keen versatility of the artist. This is one album you don’t want to pass on so please support this brilliant artist by downloading the album from the link below, or by purchasing the cassette release.

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Links:

https://r0nought.bandcamp.com/album/pestis-2

https://mystictimbre.bandcamp.com/merch?filter_band=2406501586

Destructive Forces Are Strong At Work On Latest Nordvargr Outing, ‘Daath’

Evil comes in many forms, and although a certain mode of malevolence can be hidden in plain site in order to entice a following, some forms are in-your-face, with nothing to hide, and are ready to test your limits of dealing with the powers of it’s unpleasantries. A good example of this – especially when it comes to music – is the pioneering black ambient artist, Nordvargr. Always seemingly pushing the boundaries of dark ambient, black & industrial ambient as well as other hateful, unorthodox sounds, Nordvargr has just released the punishing new album, ‘Daath’, and it’s here to cultivate a particular madness amongst the masses. From pounding percussion, heinous vocals and thick sounding tribal instrumentation – as if they’ve been dredged from the abyss – Nordvargr has conceived a soundtrack set to obliterate all that is good, and cover the wasteful ruins in a layer of audial soot.

“Inner Monarch Awakened” is like the calm before the storm, as heavy sirens awaken the dark forces to begin its destructive plot. Immediately we hear the influence of sickening, death metal style vocals and it’s outcome is simply massive. In the background, the music has a harsh industrial influence but is maintained at a sludgy pace. “The Horsemen Ride Out On Foaming Steeds” continues without pause from the first track. The vocals continue to be the main attraction but an underlying guitar riff adds another layer of intelligence to this song. Various vocal effects are used throughout making it the primary instrument of focus, as well as constantly increasing the creepiness factor until the end. “Tabernakelvisa – The Redeemer And The Secret” begins with a deep, tribal percussion pattern and sounds as if it could be taken from a fantasy film soundtrack during a scene where a great, fanatical battle was taking place. Thumping bass lines, more calamitous vocals and ghostly synthesized arrangements help provide a chilling vibe for this track. “Death Closes The Gate Of Time And Opens Those Of Eternity” features gristly, rhythmic patterns and more stellar vocals that tell a horrifying story in the most hateful tone. “Invocation Of The Unseen” features more of a dark/black ambient atmosphere and is like an interlude from the destruction set forth by the first half of the album. In addition, this track also serves as a preparation piece for that remainder of the album that will set a relentless pace. “As King, As Queen – When Kingdom Collide” sets an industrial-like sound with some inaudible vocal samples, while the main pernicious vocals scream out in pain. “The Light Of The Lord And The Black Sun Behind The Sun” slowly fades into some chaotic chanting and tribal percussion beats, with a lot of thrilling vocal effects going on. Droning, dissonant sounds can be heard in the background as this turns out to be one of the most eerie songs on the album. The final dirge on the album, “Where There Is Word, There Is Enlightenment” is a return to the superior sounds of dark ambient, as disorder and chaos have finally given way to desolation and ruin. Frightening sound effects and field recording can be heard throughout but ultimately, evil has prevailed this time around.

Nordvargr has created one of the most evil and punishing sounding albums I’ve heard in quite some time and what better label to release ‘Daath’ than Cyclic Law – home to some of the most viscous black ambient recordings around. Not only is this album unique, it is certain to have longevity in your playlist as well, as these tunes are fascinating to listen to and are just so well written. Please support this fascinating artist and download ‘Daath’ from the link below.

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Links:

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

Neraterræ Summons An All-Star Cast Of Artist For Blistering Debut Album, ‘The Substance Of Perception’

This year has been an amazing year for the dark ambient community. Not only have we heard incredible releases by both independent and well known artists, but there has been an overwhelming dynamic of collaboration releases as well. Some of my favorite collaboration albums thus far have been the terrifying, polar ambient release by Ugasanie & Dronny Darko called ‘Arctic Gate’, the futuristic sonic assault by Dronny Darko & RNGMNN called ‘Sector Hydra’, the dark chamber sounds of Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast on ‘Black Stage Of Night’ and the claustrophobic droning sounds of ‘Symphony Of Dying’ by SÁDON & Treha Sektori. However, when an artist releases an album and assembles a renowned & talented group of dark ambient artists to collaborate on each track, it’s sure to garner some immediate attention. That’s exactly what Italian dark ambient artist Alessio Antoni has done with his project, Neraterræ. On his debut album, ‘The Substance Of Perception’, artists such as Xerxes The Dark, Ugasanie, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, and Alexey Tegin from Phurpa (just to name a few), lend their talents to take this recording to extreme heights and fill all the voids that are left open in the confined drones of each track. This results in not only a prodigious collaboration album, but one of the best dark ambient recordings of the year.

The albums spectacular lead off track, “Shadows Of Regret (feat. Northaunt)” begins with a soothing rain shower field recording layered with dreamy key arrangements. Spoken word narrations and deep droning soon takes over to alter the dynamics of the song while it consistently puts the listener in a hypnotic state. The sound level increases as each drone pad migrated to the next and then they wind down to an ending narration. “To Reveal The Unseen (feat. Alexey Tegin from Phurpa)” is one of my favorite songs on the album. There is something about combining dark ambient and meditative BON chanting that magnifies and intensified the listening experience for me. Although the droning elements are simple, yet effective on this track, it’s the terrifying chanting of Alexey Tegin that solidifies the evil sounds of this recording. I could seriously listen to a whole album of this! “Becoming The Nightmare (feat. New Risen Throne & Treha Sektori)” continues with some of the elements of the previous track but in a more dark industrial way. Instead of chanting, there are some malevolent whispering vocals that are spine chilling! The terrifying soundscapes are enough to put the listener in a state of madness, as if they are enclosed in an industrial wasteland with no way of escape. This is also the longest track on the album, so there is plenty of time to submerge into the realm of this massive recording. “The Wicked Pulse Of Conscience (feat. Taphephobia & Infinexhuma)” is a depressive dive into gloomy soundscapes and impulsive field recordings. As the pads drone on and take the listener to a deeper state of relaxation and abjection, melodious keys infiltrate the airwaves as if light is trying to pierce through the abundant cloud coverage. However, it is apparent by the end of the song that the clouds are impenetrable by any light sources or emotions that match them. “That Which Shall Not Be Witnessed (feat. Xerxes The Dark & Treha Sektori)” is my other favorite track on the album. The minimalist drones and bizarre pad arrangements combined with industrial-like soundscapes and more haunting whispering, gives a frightening sensation when digesting this one in a dark setting. These are all of the elements that make for a perfect dark ambient track and they are arranged immaculately. “Beyond (feat. Ugasanie)” is everything I expected it to be, especially since Ugasanie is providing his unique polar ambient input. Very minimalistic and creepy, just the way dark ambient was meant to sound. The final track on the album is “Echoing Scars (feat. Flowers For Bodysnatchers)”. What a stunning way to end such a dark and adventurous album. Although there are some disturbing droning sounds inhabiting the whole song, it’s the exhilarating acoustic piano work of Flowers For Bodysnatchers that makes this track gnaw at your senses. Although it’s gloomy and disturbing, it’s also beautiful and peaceful as well.

Alessio Antoni has created a near flawless dark ambient recording with his Neraterræ project. With the various collaboration efforts on each track, there is enough contrasting material to manipulate your senses in many directions, yet Alessio does an impressive job keeping everything composed in a way that it progresses without hesitation. From the production, musical arrangements, field recordings and soundscapes to the well represented album cover, ‘The Substance Of Perception’ has everything you need in a single dark ambient album. With this definitely being in my top five favorite dark ambient recordings of 2019, I highly recommend checking this album out right away. Please support Neraterræ by downloading the album at the link below.

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Links:

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

https://www.facebook.com/neraterrae

CLAVICVLA Ceremoniously Bring The Upheaval Of Evil With ‘Sepulchral Blessing’

As one descends into darkness, I can only imagine what the soundtrack that accompanies them may sound like. For those lost souls that have committed horrible atrocities, the deafening sounds of decaying industrial noise may forever haunt their every move as it guides them to the pits of hell. For those that have brought shame upon themselves in one way or another may experience a past-lifetime of excruciating gothic undertones. For the rest of the blasphemous descendants, they may experience the diabolical, black ambient sounds of the latest CLAVICVLA album, ‘Sepulchral Blessing’. Horrifying drones, despondent bass frequencies and haunting spoken words bring this terrifying album to life and singes the ear drums of those brave enough to listen. The six ritualistic drones presented on this release combine the dreadful soundscapes that will fill your every wakening moment, with intense anxiety and traumatic noise bliss as the great James Plotkin (O.L.D., Khanate, Phantomsmasher) masters the album to a daunting quality like no other.

The ultra-low bass frequencies of “Demonic Integration”, sets a steady droning pace, as distorted spoken words provide a sermon of evil. Agonizing soundscapes add a layer of discomfort as the listener is treated to an audio assault equivalent to a medieval exorcism. “Insorcist Will” begins with a low-end keyboard arrangement that begrudgingly provides an auditory nail straight to the brain through the ear. The monotone droning creates an eerie vibe and is reminiscent of an early Sunn O))) recording. “Tiamat Skin” ignites a profound soundscape with evil, droning textures and simple, acoustic bass sounds. The frighting spoken words – although barely audible – probably tells a disturbing story of grotesque crimes that have gone unsolved, with bodies unfound. The monk-like chanting at the beginning of “Angra Mainyu” sounds like a demonic summoning gone wrong. As the isolated pads and distorted spoken words join in, it’s clear that corrupt forces are at work here. Ominous soundscapes throughout provide another layer of agonizing excitement as endless torment is imminent. “Apocryphal Truth” starts quietly – compared to the rest of the tracks – but soon gathers alarming momentum, as creepy sounds penetrate the ears. This tracks relies heavily on long, droning sounds to contribute to the misery. The albums final track, “Sepulchral Blessing” furnishes with a climactic ending to the hate and discontent by creating an infernal mix of depressive drones and twisted, synthesized pads. The spoken words are at their most evil and sound abhorrent compared to the previous tracks.

CLAVICVLA have succeeded in creating one of the most disturbing black ambient albums in recent years. The ghoulish spoken word parts and the constant use of distorted low-end bass frequencies are the primary factors that make ‘Sepulchral Blessing” one of the best in the genre. It also helps that the album cover is equally bothersome. This not only surpasses their 2018 debut album, ‘Sermons’, but is May quickly become a defining moment in the genre as a whole. Show your support for this twisted, but brilliant artist (as well as Cyclic Law and/or Sentinent Ruin Laboratories) and download this sinister album as soon as possible!

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Link:

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/sepulchral-blessing

https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/sepulchral-blessing