dark ambient

Ēv Of Isis‎ * Dark Ambition (mc 2013)

This is probably the strangest Beläten tape that I bought (that is to say: the download, the tape is sold out). A dark ambient sound, but a bit weird with even weirder vocals: highly distorted female vocals. There is ambient with drumming on the background, then there are these weird vocals and stretched sounds. The sound is quite ‘ritualistic’. Perhaps thinking of something between Aghast and these dark ritual projects of The Fossil Dungeon such as Hexentanz or Akhkharu gives you an idea.
Not brilliant, but neither the kind of music that comes to me frequently these days.
Link: Beläten

Nature Morte / Douleurfantome‎ * When Trees Fall Down (mc 2011)

Again two projects that I never heard of. Both projects present a few tracks of their own and there are two tracks recorded together. The sound is more dark ambient where Douleurfantome is a little darker and Nature Morte more soundscapish. Not too bad.
Only now when I review it, I see that the tape is a couple of years old, but I got mine from Tesco, so copies still seem to be available. There are 151 of them in total.
Links: Nature Morte, Douleurfantome, Reue Um Reue

Inade * Audio Mythology Two (cd 2014)

Regular readers of these pages will know that I am not too keen on dark ambient. Inade might not be the exception, but I do listen to them every once in a while. I have known them since the 1993 “Burning Flesh” tape, but obviously I do not follow them closely enough. Deezer (a Spotify competitor) ‘informed’ me about this new album. I had no idea that Inade is still active, so I listened to “Audio Mytholgy Two” (more about that later. When I checked Discogs before I started to write this review, I noticed that this is actually one of six 2014 releases! There are four “seasons” of “Colliding Dimensions” with live and rehearsal material (two of these albums are available on Deezer), available as mp3 downloads (in 2005 this was released as a 4cd box celebrating a world tour); also an mp3 album called “Delineation. Metamorphosis. Permanence” which title rings a bell, so this material might have been available before too.
In any case, “Audio Mythology One” was released in 2012 and it seems that I missed it. Number two has the typical Inade sound. Dark, droning ambient with ‘ritual rhythms’ (to call it that), deep spoken vocals. Other tracks are very dark soundscapes with no rhythm or vocals. Great music to read books to!
Nothing surprising when you know this German project, but since the music is always qualitativelly good, you can just get your hands on this latest release when you like Inade.
Links: Inade, Loki Found

Land:Fire * Incandescent Sonic Lodge (cd 2014)

I have seen Land:Fire live a couple of years ago in Wuppertal, but I was eager to see them again at the 2014 Wave Gotik Treffen. When on walking out before the show for something to eat, my eye fell on a “new album” on the merchandise stand which I of course bought since I am very curious if this duo can top their excellent “Shortwave Transmission” album of 2009. The show was wonderfull, but the “new album” proves to contain old material, more specifically the 2007 “Incandescent” and the 2006 “Live At Sonic Lodge 13./14.05.2006” both self-released. You can guess that I had neither album otherwise I would have recognised the title of this “new album”.
In any case, the material is again pretty damn good. Very dark ‘cinematographic’ ambient with noisy elements. A good album to get if you, like me, missed the originals but like the sound of this German duo. Still it is high time for some real new material gentlemen!
Links: Land:Fire, Loki Found

Post Scriptvm‎ * Benommenheit (cd 2014)

I had no idea that Post Scriptvm had a new album coming until it showed up in the Tesco newsletter. It is even released by Tesco. Well, the previous two albums were too, so this is not too strange.
I love “Marginal Existence” (2005), from then on Post Scriptvm seemed to become less dark and more experimental. The following albums were all interesting, but I mostly like this project for the older material. When I put on “Benommenheit”, I was pleased to hear some pretty dark material, somewhat noisy even, great! A bit furtheron this album reminds more of the previous album “Grey Emminence” (2010) which is alright, but less interesting to my ears.
All in all certainly one of the more interesting releases in the style that I will for convenience sake call “dark ambient” and especially the first tracks are great.
Links: Post Scriptvm, Tesco

v/a * Hour Of The Wolf (cd 2013)

Four long tracks of four artists under their given names. Kristian Olsson opens. I know Olsson best from Survival Unit and I also know his projects Blood ov thee Christ and Heid, but Discogs also has projects listed that I never heard of. Olsson presents something that is best described as “ambient noise”, but with most stress on the ambient part. His track is a bit monotous, but moody and quite alright.
Next up is Martin Bladh of IRM and Skin Area. I love the music of both projects and Bladh also contributed the most interesting track of the four. The style we are familiar with: ambient noise with highly distorted vocals. This is only in a part of his track though. The rest is more ritualistic so to way. The outburst is the only really noisy part on what I thought would be a total noise release.
More ambient things get with Kevin Tompson who is active in Sutcliffe Jugend and used by be a part of Whitehouse. He has more active projects according to Discogs. Also here the sound is quite soft, experimental and mostly ambient.
On Joel Danielsson Discogs has no further information and a Google search makes him see more of a visual artist. In any case, following most of the rest of the music, his track is weird ambient with a noisy touch.
I expected more extreme sounds so perhaps I should recommend this to people who like dark ambient. You should not be afraid of some dirty, noisy touches though.
Link: Freak Animal Records

Shrine * Nihil (cd 2014)

This is the second album of Shrine that I review. The other album was not totally convincing to me, the second is neither.
Shrine makes alright dark ambient, with many long tones which make the music it more “soundscapes”. The sound is somewhat dark, which is good in my opinion, but not really varried or moody enough to keep my attention.
Links: Shrine, Cyclic Law

Vestigial ‎* Solar / Aeon (cd 2013)

In 2007 I received the debut 3″ mcd to review. It made me have to reconsider my ideas about dark ambient. A magnificent and extraordinary dark piece of ambient was presented by Vestigial. After a great debut cd on CMI (2008) I somehow missed the “Solar” mcdr (2009), but now both minis are made available on one disc by Cyclic Law. Dark ambient like even in the best days of CMI it was not made. Great material!
Links: Vestigial, Cyclic Law

Trepaneringsritualen ‎* The Totality Of Death (cd 2013)

You have got to love a project with such a name, right? So why did it take until I heard that Peter Johan Nijland (Distel, Hadewych) cooperated to this release before I actually listened to them? The release is somewhat confusing. There is a tape, apparently released by the band themselves and there are two cd versions, one from a label that was unknown to me (Silken Tofu) and another from Malignant. These are not two versions though, but two parts of the same compilation. Roughly said, the first part (Silken Tofu) contains more industrial sounds, the second more ambient. Industrialwise the project goes from somewhat chaotic industrial, reminding a bit of Objekt/Urian, to darker, but also to more noisy sounds. The second cd is pretty dark with, like I said, more ambient sounds but also with industrial and noise influences.

Trepaneringsritualen may not be brilliant, but they certainly released some interesting material, especially for people who enjoy the good old industrial sound.

Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Silken Tofu, Malignant Records

Funerary Call * The Mirror Reversed – Part 1 (cd 2013)

Next year it will be 20 years ago since I got myself the debut tape of this Canadian project. Where did time go? The sound went from eerie ritual to dark industrial to the more dark ambient soundscapes of today. Many releases have been made available. Sometimes shortly after eachother, sometimes after such a lap that we all wondered if the project would still raise again from the ashes. In recent years the other project Sistrenatus seems to have been laid to rest in favour of Funerary Call. It took many years before the countrymates of FC and Cyclic Law found eachother, but here is the first collaboration.
This 45 minutes soundscape does not sound as ritualistic to me as other releases of FC, but I can asure you that it is as damn dark as previous offerings. The music could be the soundtrack for a horror movie to give you an idea of the atmosphere. This sound may not be my favourite FC sound, but this album surely is another good release of mr. MacFarlane.
Links: Funerary Call, Cyclic Law