dark ambient

Dawn & Dusk Entwined * Forever War (cd 2000 world serpent)

“Forever War” is the second cd of this French act and I have never heard “A Leftover Of Gaia”. Inspite of the warlike booklet, the music is very tranquil and serene. Mostly atmospheric music, sometimes with a spoken voice and as the cd continues there is also some dark ambient and industrial and one track reminding of the contribution to the “Lucifer Rising” (99 athanor). Quite alright, but not groundbreaking. <15/7/01><3>

Coph Nia / Mindspawn * Erotomechaniks (cd 2005 punch records)

I found out about this cd when the great American band Luftwaffe released a cd on the Italian Punch Records. “Erotomechaniks” is great cooperation between the famous Coph Nia and the (to me) unknown Mindspawn. Don’t expect too much Coph Nia influences, there are no vocals or pianos. What you do get is very dark industrial ambient, compare it to Megaptera or Têhom if you like. Normally I use the term “monotous” with a slightly negative undertone, in this case the music may be monotous, but not boring. A very nice split cd! <24/8/05><4>

Coph Nia * Shape Shifter (cd 2003 cold meat industry)

The brilliant debut of this project came to us in early 2000 and almost two years later an also very good mcd (late 2001) was made available. It was a long wait for the new cd of this project which I currently consider the most interesting industrial act on CMI. “Shape Shifter” may not be quite as good as “That Which Remains”, but is still pretty damn good. Again fairly dark and evil, but with more vocals (spoken, sung and samples). Also a nice amount of deep drones. No bombastic “Holy War” unfortunately, but definately a cd that will find it’s way to my cd-player quite often, like the debut of 3 years ago still does.

Coph Nia * That Which Remains (cd 2000 cold meat industry)

A new star on the CMI horizon. As we are used from CMI not a bad star either. The typical CMI sound (atmosperhic dark ambient), the typical CMI level (very good) and what also seems to become typical for CMI a not too smashing lay-out. I wonder why the latest CMI releases look so simple. But it is about the music after all, eh?
What makes Coph Nia different from other CMI bands is the use of vocals (spoken) which are used quite a lot. Further you will hear the usual drones, gregorian (?) samples, and a few beats here and there. Also female vocals and a ‘folky’/atmospheric sixth track that is rather out of style. But… eight tracks of which most long making a cd of over an hour which is very enjoyable.

Combative Alignment * …And Outside Glows The Red Dawn (cd 2005 malignant records)

Many years ago I got the 12″ “Ritez Of Higher Communication”. The review of it seems to have gotten lost with me messing around with the new reviews and the archive (…). When I heard about this cd I noticed that I have missed a 7″ and another 12″. Also there seems to be another version of this cd with a bonus cdr. Anyway, Combative Alignment makes very dark ritualistic ambient. The 12″ that I have is very enjoyable, this cd is too. Not brilliant or very original, but descent dark and haunting soundscapes going on for about 45 minutes.

Clophill * Salve Vio (demo 2000)

This is the first demo to be reviewed in these pages. For some reason I don’t run into many demos in the gothic scene. “Salve Vio” isn’t the first demo of the Belgian Clophill, but the first one I have.
The tape starts with some dark industrial with ritual and triballic influences and this sounds pretty nice. After a while it’s time for a more tranquil track, which is a lot less interesting. After some more more or less atmospheric tunes, we go to face B. More atmospheric music here and again not really good. Fortunately, somewhere halfway face B, the tunes darken again and we can listen to some descent ritualistic industrial.
The cover is simple and doesn’t look too good. The tape should best be played without dolby noise-repression, otherwise the sound is too flat.
All in all actually just a mediocre demo with some good moments.

Catharsis & Drape Excrement * Homo Homini Lupus (cd 1999 black plagve)

Here we have two quite known industrial names, but outside the industrial scene they don’t have all that much acknowledgement. So for everyone who doesn’t know them yet, this 76 minute cd is a pretty good introduction. Catharsis makes dark industrial which is alright, but now always fantastic. It is more rhythmical than Drape Excrement. This second act makes extremely dark industrial-ambient which will shake your walls (if you have the right equipment of course). Deep drones, heavy beats and weird samples to frighten your neighbours. The Drape Excrement tracks are the better on this cd, but Catharsis isn’t boring either. All in all this makes a good industrial cd, especially interesting because bands like these have a habit of releasing only vinyl in limited quantities.

Blood Axis / Les Joyaux De La Princesse * Absintha Teatra (cd 2004 athanor)

If my memory doesn’t fail me there was a special recording sold only at the 2001 Portugal show. Later this special recording was released together with live-recordings in a very expensive box. I have neither of these two releases. The normal “Absinthe” split cd is from the same year and now it seems that the box has been rereleased on a normal cd for a normal price. The first 11 tracks seem to be older versions of the “Absinthe” tracks and then you get live recordings from the Portugal show. The music isn’t better than on the normal cd, but different versions make this cd a nice archival release.

Bleiburg * Pieces Of A Broken Dream (2cd 2006 cold spring)

I knew this band only by name and from a few mp3 snippets that I heard. I think that they are part of the ‘new generation’ artists in the scene, but apparently they have been around long enough to have a double cd compilation with almost only tracks for which they coorperated with other bands from the scene. Bleiburg itself makes neofolk and industrial (ambient) and so do the bands on this cd, from The Soil Bleeds Black to Thorn-Agram and from Harvest Rain to Vidna Obmana. The first cd is relatively tranquil with ambient and folky pieces, the second cd is a bit harder with more industrial and noisy tracks, but still ambient. Most tracks are actually pretty good and especially with of the variety of cooperators and styles, the cds are still structered well enough to form some kind of unity. A nice release of a band that I didn’t know well enough.

Blackhouse * Dreams Like These (cd 2000 blacklight records)

I was quite excited when I heard that I was going to get this cd as promo. I knew Blackhouse from their contribution to the dark industrial/noise compilation 2mc “Baited Breath” and as far as I remember, this is a pretty good track. Unfortunately there isn’t too much dark industrial or noise on “Dreams Like These”. There is some pretty dark rumbling and a few noisy interludes, but most of the ‘music’ contains of a collection of sounds. It is very minimal and often I wonder if the cd still plays. I’m no fond of such soundscapes, and to me there are only a few good moments with some dark noise or rhythm, but these are rare on this 70 minute cd.