dark ambient

Therradaemon * Den Mørke Munnens Språk (cd 2011)

I am not a big follower of the style of dark ambient. Most of it is too monotous for me and not dark enough. I do not think I have anything of Northaunt, but I have seen the man live a few times. Therradaemon is a new project of Hærleif Langas of Northaunt. There is one word to describe this album: drone. “Language of the dark mouth” lasts about an hour, but has only four tracks. In these tracks you will not hear much more than drones, deep and long-stretched sounds. Certainly it is a challenge to work with such a concept, because how can you make an interesting release with a sound even more minimalistic than dark ambient? Coph Nia and Mindspawn managed to make the very interesting “Erotomechaniks” and I must say that Therradaemon also creates a very dark atmosphere. This album is certainly more interesting than many of the dark ambient releases that I heard recently.
Links: Therradaemon, Cyclic Law

Inner Vision Laboratory * Future Chaos (cd 2011)

IVL has released quite a few things. I think I have not heard any of them. “Future Chaos” is a varried album. It goes from dark and droney dark ambient to more industrial outbursts, a combination that we know from Sephiroth. “Future Chaos” reminds of Sephiroth frequently, but in a more updated version. There is more variety in the tracks, the industrial parts are longer and not just a blasting rhythm. I do not always like what IVL produces, but this album is quite interesting.
Links: Inner Vision Laboratory, Zoharum

Vortex * Rockdrill (cd 2011)

“Rockdrill” opens with a quite typical ‘droney’ dark ambient track, but halfway goes over in triballic drumming. Then we have a track which is somewhat of spoken word over soundscapes and then dark ambient again. Yep, Vortex is not your typical dark ambient project, it sounds more interesting than that. The ambient is nicely dark, but there are also more ritualistic and experimental elements and the artist certainly knows how to set an atmosphere. This is one of the more interesting dark ambient releases of late, tagging it for the larger part of the music. Recommended!
Links: VortexCyclic Law

STROM.ec * Divine Legions Beyond Psyche (cd 2008)

I find this Finnish project a difficult one. STROM.ec can make a sublime ‘wall of sound’ kind of noise and they have great parts of very dark ambient, but also parts of noise that are too extreme for me. On “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” the music itself sounds good to great, but there are tracks with almost constantly extremely brutal vocals in a way that apparently do not appeal to me. More interesting use of a vocal effects is in tracks with some kind of ‘doubled voice’ and a dramatic sounding effect. STROM.ec makes an industrial kind of noise with continuing walls of sound on the background which can be nicely dark. The vocals make the sound quite extreme and there are also moments in which the noise goes in directions that I am not very fond of. Like with other releases that I heard of this project “Divine Legions Beyond Psyche” contains great moments and parts that I would rather ‘fast forward through’. They have the potential to become a second Ex.Order in my opinion, but a few rough edges have to be polished. Yes, I am a noise-wimp!
Link: Malignant

Isomer * Zero Lounge (cd 2005)

While ordering “Nil By Mouth” anyway, I decided to get this older (pre-last) album released by Tesco as well. However the “Nil By Mouth” special mcd release is a dark piece of noise, “Zero Lounge” is more in the style that I expect of Isomer: ambient noise with dark ambient and some soundscapes. This is more a Propergol kind of style with a dark atmosphere, many samples and here and there some noise eruptions to set the tone. There are a couple of impressive tracks on “Zero Lounge”, but also a few that are a bit too soundscapish for me. An interesting album to play as background music. I am glad that summer goes to its end, during fall and winter my musical taste shifts towards this kind of material again!
Links: Isomer, Tesco

v/a * From Earth To Sirius (2cd 2011)

This compilation has an interesting line-up, going from well-known projects such as Hybryds, Ah Cama-Sotz, Nordvargr and Atomine Elektrine to names that I never heard of, such as Kia Karma, Unknown Caller and Electric Uranus. The line-up also suggests a variety of music. The latter is not really true though. All tracks were recorded exclusively for this compilation and apparently the label requested soundscapes inspired by Aleister Crowley or something (strange that Coph Nia is not present therefor). All tracks are (relatively) tranquil and not all are all that interesting. Some are nice, others less so. One reason to buy this compilation was that I am interested to hear something of Ouroboros (a Zoharum project), but since the projects that I did know, do not necessarily sound ‘like themselves’, I do not know how representative the Ouroboros track really is.
Link: Zoharum

v/a * Incendium III (cd 2011)

This is the third of of cheap label compilations of Loki-Found / Power & Steel (I got mine for 3 euros at the label’s WGT stand). Loki mostly releases dark ambient in a slightly distinctive, ritual style. I like much of the material that the label releases, but I do not listen to dark ambient all that much these days, so I do not buy their every release. There are 13 projects on this compilation, with each one or two tracks of a recent release. I did not have the tracks yet of Bad Sector, Fjernlys, Penjaja Insaf, Herbst9, Blood Box, Inade (apparently they have a new album that I did not get yet), First Law, Circular, Phelios, Kammerheit and S.E.T.I. Tracks that I did have are of Land:Fire, Ex.Order and Inade (of the previous cd). The compilation is again a nice one. I like the darker sounds of Inade and especially the more noisy sounds of Land:Fire and Ex.Order best, but that is nothing new.
Link: Loki Found

Psychomanteum * Oneironaut (cd 2011)

Cyclic Law seems to focus on rereleases and dark ambient. Just as Triangular Ascension, Parhelion and AUN, Psychomanteum recorded dark ambient soundscapes. Initially it sounds promising. Nicely dark, nice deep beats, but after a while I found myself thinking of Raison d’Être cds. Psychomanteum sounds similar in several tracks, even with the sounds of metal objects of the later Raison d’Être releases. It is not that “Oneironaut” is a bad or boring album, but it is but another dark ambient cd reminding too much of what is already there.
Links: Psychomanteum, Cyclic Law

v/a * Zu Neuen Ufern In Alter Frische! (cd 2002)

This was already HR!35. I am not sure why I did not buy it when it came out, but I suppose I thought that I would have most of the music on it. Before HR!35, Hau Ruck! had only released two Of The Wand 7″s, the Dernière debut, the Tribe of Circle debut, some Novy Svet, Sal Solaris, Lucisferrato, Changes, I-C-K, that sort of stuff. Yet to come was the better Dernière material, Foresta di Ferro, Bain Wolfkind, Varunna, etc. Just to place this release a bit in time. Of course, I have much of the material present and of Dernière there is an obviously old-sound track, but the compilation has some nice tracks and taken as a whole, it is a nice compilation and I got it for only 4 euros at the Tesco sale.
Link: Hau Ruck!

Galerie Schallschutz * HAARP (cd 2002)

I did not really know Galerie Schallschutz before I saw them in Antwerpen in 2007. Later I bought the “Montauk Project” album, but not the cd/dvd of the Antwerpen show. The other cd has the same theme as this one. A secret US government project using sound to manipulate man and nature. This older cd is more ambient and less noisy than the later album. “Montauk Project” is better, but “HAARP” is still an interesting piece of story-telling dark ambient.

Links: Galerie Schallschutz, Tesco