dark ambient

Funerary Call * Fragments From The Aethyr (cd 2012)

And suddenly there are two new releases by Funerary Call from Canada. They somehow seem ‘twin-products’ with very dark, ritualistic, and most of all, more minimalistic sounds than I am used to. “Fragments From The Aethyr” opens with dark and eerie sounds with a violin, reminding of the masterly “Equestrian Seals” from “Dark Waters Stirred” with Troy Southgate’s voice, but then without Southgate. Pretty soon the track goes over in noisy havoc, dark, like it is supposed to sound. Furtheron things get more minimalistic, strange and dark soundscapes created with ‘droning guitars’, human bones drumming, soundbowls and other ritualistic equipment, tortured voices and dark electronics. Three long tracks that come on a cd packed in a nice digipack for those who think that dark ambient is not dark enough.
Links: Funerary Call, Crucial Blast

Funerary Call ‎* Nightside Emanations (cd 2012)

The hottest days of the year are no good time to review the dark and bleak sounds of Funerary Call. “Nightside Emanations” opens with a very dark piece of ritualistic ambient, the style of Funerary Call, strange soundscapes, deep beats and an unsettling atmosphere. The album continues with dark sounds, but lateron the tracks get more minimalistic and soundscapish, a ritualistic sound reminding of current releases of the Polish Zoharum label. Funerary Call is a lot darker though. I have mixed feelings about the more minimalistic tracks. Sometimes they are too minimalistic for my liking, but at other moments the screams and weird sounds in the background raise an impressive atmosphere. Like I said, this music may be better on cold winter nights and not so much on sunny days with 35ºC / 95F. For people living in another climate than the Dutch or simply those who like the really dark stuff all year long, you want to get your hands on this album that comes in a nice DVD-size digipack.
Links: Funerary Call, Malignant

X-NAVI:ET * Brain Overloaded (cd 2012)

Zoharum found yet another strange electronic project, but the good news is: this one is dark, dirty and somewhat noisy. “Ambient noise” is a perfect description for this album, even though most releases that I put in this category are harscher. “Noisescapes”, perhaps I should add the category some time. Weird soundcollages or an entire track filled with the sounds of feedback, X-NAVI:ET makes short tracks (3 minutes) to very long ones (20 minutes) with interesting combinations of sounds, a descent atmosphere, a soft wall-of-sound type of noise, erm, ambient kind of stuff.
Links: X-Navi:Et, Zoharum

Shrine * Somnia (cd 2012)

Shrine is a new name to me. This project comes from Bulgaria, has been around for a decade and “Somnia” is the third album. The album contains dark ambient. Stretched sounds, deep drones, eerie melodies, you know the deal. Some tracks are darker than others, but mostly what “Somnia” concerns is the more monotous kind of not too dark ambient. If that is what you like, you might want to listen to this album.
Links: Shrine, Cyclic Law

Rapoon * Disappeared Redux (2012)

Rapoon is a classic industrial project from Poland, but I almost only knew them by name. It seems that this is the first cooperation with their country-mates from Zoharum (after a compilation contribution). “Disappeared Redux” opens with a piano tune and continues with a very nice dark ambient track with a soft rhythm and a female spoken voice. After this there are a couple of very minimalistic soundscapes with a ritualistic tone, but not really my cup of tea. Only in dark tracks such as “Breath Of Ages” (track 7) Rapoon catches my attention. Unfortunately while the good tracks are very good, the other tracks not really, to my ears, but since there are more of the latter, I do not think that I will put on this album very often.
Links: Rapoon, Zoharum

The Floating World * The Apparition (cd 2012)

The Floating World is a new name to me. A girl making dark ambient, that is not too common, but it works in the case of Allseits. So far Amanda Votta released three cdr’s under this name and she has or used to have a project with Gustaf Hildebrand. “The Apparation” contains very soft and monotous soundscapes, sometimes with a flute or vocals, a sample or a deep drone on the background. I am not too fond of the ‘lighter’ tracks, the darker tracks in the beginning are more of my taste. Overall the stretched-sounds soundscapes are too monotous for me. The cd has it moments though.
Links: The Floating World, Cyclic Law

Peter Bjärgö & Gustaf Hildebrand * Out Of The Darkling Light, Into The Bright Shadow (cd 2012)

I do not think that I ever heard the music of Gustaf Hildebrand. For some reason I had the idea that he was a contemporary composer, such as Vladimír Hirsch. Not that this would be a reason to not listen to his music, but I guess I just never got to it. “Out Of The Darkling Light…” is nothing like a neoclassical cd, rather it contains soft dark ambient soundscapes with rhythms, ‘trance ambient’ perhaps, but more industrial in sound. The music is not particularly dark most of the time, more relaxing, but a few tracks remind of Bjärgö’s darker approach and these tracks have no rhythm either. “Out Of The Darkling Light…” is at least something else for a change. Not brilliant, but very interesting at times.
Links: Peter Bjärgö, Gustaf Hildebrand, Cyclic Law

Hoarfrost * Puppets Of The Divine Coroner (cd 2011)

This is already the third album of Hoarfrost, all are released on Zoharum. It is the first time that I hear this project. “Puppets…” opens with an experimental dark ambient sound, quite dark and quite interesting. As the album continues the sound becomes more minimalistic, soundscapish and less interesting. A promising start, but overall a not too good album in my opinion.
Links: Hoarfrost, Zoharum