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

Chaos And Torture Prevail On Industrial-Heavy ‘Døds-Hymner’ By Destruktionsanstalt

The feeling of being trapped in an industrial wasteland brings the sense of claustrophobia, terror, and chaos and surround your every intention. It’s hard to separate reality from a vicious nightmare in the ghastly ordeal that you’ve been forced to deal with. All around are the agonizing voices of those who weren’t fortunate enough to escape the brutality of this living hell. This is the scene painted by the latest effort by Destruktionsanstalt called ‘Døds-Hymner’. Pairing hate filled death-industrial with dreadful dark ambient has culminated into a release that will give you horrific nightmares and send chills down your spine.

Album opener “Morbidus Atractio”, waste no time originating the onset of inner destruction with its deafening noise inclusion and barely-audible voice samples. It’s almost as if a demon is reeking havoc on a small community and we’re all forced to listen to the barbarous outcome. “Contangiosis” continues down the same destructive path and gives the listener a sense of confinement and dread. News samples about a deadly, contagious virus can be heard in the background, adding an extra layer of fright, as the listening pleasure becomes more intense. “Infectio” changes the pace of the album but in sound only. Although this track is more in lines of a dark ambient piece with eerie field recordings, it still provides a gruesome picture of chaos & torture that is happening all around. “Pax En Morte” is another dark ambient track that yields some heinous monotone soundscapes that can easily describe the aftermath of a diabolical killing spree. Following in the footsteps of this savage event comes the ominous track, “Psychopomp”. More cruel intentions are at play here, as ghastly voices can barely be heard throughout this calm, but gloomy track. “Nigrum Caelum” is another solid ambient track with bleak undertones and field recordings throughout. This signifies there are no survivors in the aftermath of the torturous events that have brought us to this point and a full-on apocalyptic outcome is imminent. The final track on the album, “Vale Patri Meo”, brings back the industrial edge as if the vicious cycle is starting all over again. The low-end reverberating tone is counterbalanced by a futuristic keyboard arrangement – which fits perfectly in the song – and signifies the start of somber times. As the track winds down to an end, more voice samples can be heard. It almost sounds like an end-of-days sermon but is barely audible, fitting perfectly in the mix.

Destruktionsanstalt have found a happy medium between death-industrial and dark ambient. Even though these two genres have similarities and intertwine quite often, rarely are they done in a fashion where it stands the test of time and remains relevant to both genres. ‘Døds-Hymner’ is the album that breaks those barriers and remains entertaining throughout. As a listener, I really enjoy an album when I can sit back and play the whole thing through, and visualize a story based on the music alone. This album easily contributes to all of those senses and then some. Please support this incredible artist and download this album from the link below!

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Link:

https://destruktionsanstalt.bandcamp.com/album/d-ds-hymner