Ultraspießer * Tight Fisted Bastard (2011)

A rather ‘mysterious’ Dark Matters release. However this project seems to have more material available, I cannot find it on Discogs. The Dark Matters list on Discogs seems rather complete, but no Ultraspießer. “Tight Fisted Bastard” is a weird release. Weird soundscapes, slightly noisy, sometimes a bit ritualistic, hard to describe actually. There are guitars in it, drumming, distorted sounds, so in a way it is one kind of drone (contrary to the low frequency dark ambient explanation of that term). The release is somewhat interesting, but not really my thing. It is nice to hear what weird music there is out there though.
Link: Radical Matters

Silent Love Of Death * Donde Habite El Olvido (cd 2011)

I am convinced that I also have the debut of six years ago that was released on Palace Of Worms. Did I get rid of it at some point? It looks like nothing but two compilation contributions have been released since by Silent Love Of Death. “Where Oblivion Dwells” is a cd that reminds of bit of bands such as Dawn & Dusk Entwined or Golgatha. Ritualistic dark ambient with sometimes a neofolk track. The ambient tracks sound alright to very good. They are fairly to very dark and contain some nice ideas. What I am a lot less satisfied with is the almost constant talking vocals. The texts are in Spanish and the voice sounds like the talker is extremely bored. Only with the effects in “Cuerpo En Pena” the vocals are somewhat bearable. Also the neofolk songs are not my taste. Overall I can say that some of the music is quite alright, but the vocals make me not very fond of the album…

Links: Silent Love Of Death, Gradual Hate Records

Z’ev & Hati * Heart Of A Wolf (2cd 2011)

I have known Z’ev for many years, but only by name. Zoharum released a cooperation with Hati (who are new to me) which you can get as a single cd, as a double cd (limited to 423 copies) and as a double cd with shirt (limited to 23 copies). The album contains a live recording from Torún, the second cd a live show from Gdansk, both from March 2011. My idea about Z’ev is (unfortunately) confirmed by this release. The music is monotous, ambient and ritualistic in the sense of using singing bowls and the like. There are a few parts with deep drones which are alright, but the more minimalistic parts are not my cup of tea. A reason to buy the 2cd version, by the way, is that they did not give the same show twice, so if you do like this kind of music…
Links: Z’ev, Hati, 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

Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule * 156=Musick=Babalon=Kaos | The HermAphroditic ChAOrder of the SILVER DUSK (cd 2011)

I do not get many promos. Now I got two from Zoharum. One I already got, the other one is really not my cup of tea. This Musick Babalon Kaos cd consists of ritualistic experimentations with voices and sounds, very monotone and pretty uninteresting. Things get slightly better when there are some elements of psychedelic folk, but for the most part, I really cannot get around with this album. Perhaps it is one for people who like the weirder Current 93 stuff.
Links: Orryelle, Zoharum

Emme Ya * Beyond The Secret Flame (cd 2010)

I got an email of this Colombian project about the debut release on a label that is new to me. Emme Ya created three long soundscapes over readings from Crowley’s Book Of Law. The first track is the most interesting. It is a bit droney dark ambient with tribal drumming. The other two tracks are too minimalistic for me. The readings sound like they were recorded in a toilet and are hardly comprehensible. It is nice to hear that there is also this kind of material from South America and the label has all unknown projects (for me), but the packages look very nice (too bad that I got only a download link). Emme Ya is not entirely my kind of music, but not too bad and something to look into when you are looking for new projects.
Links: Emme Ya, The Mercurius Collective

Wardruna * Runaljod – Gap Var Ginnunga (cd 2009)

Runaljod - Gap Var GinnungaI know, I know, I am a prejudiced music buyer. I heard about this band with a band name and album title that are obviously pagan, but I also heard that these are (ex-)black metal musicians, so I no longer felt the need to hear “Runaljod”. Wardruna happen to play at a festival in Tilburg where also Der Blutharsch and a couple of other bands that I want to see play (but not on the same day…), so I figured I might just try what this band is all about. Wardruna is nothing like neofolk like pagan music, but has a more traditional and also a more ritual or sjamanistic sound. Perhaps a tiny little bit like the early releases of Hagalaz’ Runedance, but more sedate. There is a nice mix between traditional and electronic sounds, variety in the use of vocals (from chanting to speech), soft drumming, but also some darker experiments. “Runaljod” might not be a masterpiece, but this is actually quite a nice album.
Links: Wardruna, Fimbuljóð Productions

Inade * Incarnation Of The Solar Architects (cd 2009)

Incarnation Of The Solar ArchitectsAt this year’s WGT I bought the shirt of this album (since it wasn’t black) and I figured I might buy the album with the shirt! As you all know, Inade makes dark but meditative dark ambient soundscapes and their latest album is no exception. “Incarnation…” is not a masterpiece, but has some very good tracks and some nice experimentation with sounds and voice. For some reason also this album has arguments with my cd-player, just like that other Inade cd that I have and contrary to all my other cds. Anyway, much better dark ambient than the recent CMI releases and also for lovers of the more ‘ritualistic’ side of the genre.
Links: Inade, Loki Found

Golgatha / Dawn & Dusk Entwined * Sang Graal (cd 2008 cold meat industry)

Sang GraalTwo bands that I find allright, but not great. I do not think I would have bought this cd if it was just a split album, but because this is actually the result of a joint recording, I was interested enough to give this album a try. “Sang Graal” turned out to be a nice album, going from moody ambient soundscapes to more bombastic and martial pieces, folky and orchestral tones and of course ‘ritual’ sounds, because that is an element in both the projects’ sounds. The sounds of the bands go well together and they made a good balance resulting in an album sounding between both of them.
Links: :Golgatha:, Dawn & Dusk Entwined, Cold Meat Industry.

v/a * …Where Tattered Clouds Are Stranding (2cd 2008 the eastern front)

The Eastern Front has released a very nice double cd compilation with a whole range of famous bands on the first cd, most of them not from their own label. Cd 1 (“Grief”) has bands such as the resurrected Belborn, Cold Fusion, Cawatana, Kammer Sieben and Horologium and includes a cooperation between H.E.R.R. and Von Tronstahl. Most tracks are bombastic and militant, sometimes more orchestral, sometimes more neofolky and in most cases quite enjoyable. The second cd (“Birth of Psyche”) has mostly more minimalistic and ambient tracks from Artefactum, Rose Rovine, Shining Vril, Bisclaveret and a range of projects that are new to me. This cd surely isn’t bad, but less interesting than the first cd, but the projects Wach and Sitra Ahra offer a nice surprise. Both cds have a running time of well over an hour, so you get what you pay for! The simple but very nice booklet looks good, like we get used to from this label and also the limited amount of 1000 copies goes for this compilation. I noticed that it is available from about every descent mailorder, so it shouldn’t be too hard to lay your hands on a copy.
Link: The Eastern Front