ritual

Funerary Call * “promo winter 2002”

Many years ago I hunted the black metal scene for ‘alternative’ electronic demos in a style that we refered to as “ritual”. Funerary Call from Canada has always been one of my favourite projects in the vein and for many years I wrote with the guy. Somehow we lost contact for too many years and recently I not only found out that “Impius Erga Deum” is still around, but also still making music as Funerary Call and even found his way to the internet. So here I have a cdr with material that I didn’t have yet (that means after 1999) and the inserted cover says “promo winter 2002”, but I don’t know if there is more recent material here as well. Anyway, FC used to make tranquil threatening music with occult texts, later went to more dark ambient/industrial and dark industrial and on this cdr I hear very dark ambient with industrial influences in a style that I don’t hear too often anymore. This is a pitty, so I am glad that FC is still around, still has material available and (still) has plans for a cd. So far over 10 years of existence has brought a few demos, two 7″s and a contribution to the wonderfull “On The Brink Of Infinity” sampler. Check out the FC website and order everything that is still available if you are into dark ritualistic ambient/industrial music!

Equimanthorn * Lectionum Antiquarum (cd 1999 unisounds records)

Equimanthorn is one of the early so-called “ritual” projects from the black metal scene, releasing their music since 1992. Yet not much of their work has been unleashed upon the masses. Only in 1994 a cd/picture lp called “Nindinugga Nimshimshargal Enlillara” was released by the Greek label Unisound, but further I knew of nothing.
According to the booklet (which is the most ugly I have ever seen by the way) this was supposed to be the debut cd of Equimanthorn, but it took five years of negotiating before it was finally ready to be released. Also the follow up of “Nindinugga…” is said to have been finished for years.
Anyway, “Lectionum Antiquarum” contains recordings datum from 1992 and 1997. The first three tracks will please anyone who enjoys projects like Profane Grace, Valor and Valefor with their dark ambient/ritual sound with evil distorted voices and blasphemous lyrics. The next two tracks are somewhat similar, but end up in metal with highly distorted vocals. The newest last five tracks are very short and dark ambient tracks with (almost) no vocals.
Conclusion: not too good. I’m more curious about recent recordings.
Unisound Records * 84 Acadimias Ave. * 106 78 Athens * Greece

Endura * Great Pan Is Dead (7” 2003 :alu:)

A 7” with the artwork of the “never released cd” and two tracks. One is another version for a track that is already on “Great God Pan” and the other is more ambient. A nice 7”, strange design. At least not in the line of the more ambient direction that Endura was heading on the last releases.

Endura * Elder Signs (2cd 1999 red stream)

A double cd for those who haven’t been able to keep of with the flood of releases of this English industrial band. Disc one contains the magistral debut “Dreams Of Dark Waters” that has been deleted for two times already. Disc two contains the second album “The Dark Light Is Enough”. Then both discs are filled with 4 extra tracks. This might appeal to the real Endura fans, but I’m afraid they will not (like me) find much new. The tracks also appear on the “Biomechenical Soul Journey” 10″ of last year; the 1996 tape “Ard Inn Arr” (which already contains songs from old compilations) and two contributions to more recent compilations; the very last track is one I didn’t know yet, but it’s a boring piece of atmospheric music.
Like I said, this cd is for those who can’t keep up with other releases of Endura. I will not give a rating to this cd, because however I really like the first two albums, I’m still displeased with this 2cd.

Darkness Enshroud * Totentanz (mcdr 2001 the fossil dungeon)

The second release of The Fossil Dungeon is of an old acquaintance. I have the 1993 demo “Winter Of Sorrow” in my collection and I used to order obscure material from Michael Ford’s “Abyss Productions” around that time. Since then Darkness Enshroud has released two cds which I don’t have, but I have heard at least one of them. On this cd the line-up of DE is not the same as on the demo. Beside Michael Ford (who appears to be the one lasting person in this project), we see Shanna LeJeun who also makes music under the name “Nythra” (one of the few Dark Age releases that I don’t have…). According to the bio, this duo has also split and the recordings here are a little older. Also DE has been dorment for a while.
The music that you can expect is black ambient, with industrial, atmospheric and ritualistic touches. The music was mastered by Barry Galvin (Mephisto Walz / Christian Death) and now that I am naming names anyway, I might just as well add a few other music projects of Michael Ford that may ring a bell for some of you: Black Funeral (black metal), Valefor (black industrial on Cold Meat Industry) and Psychonaut (I have never heard it, but Dark Vinyl released a few things I believe).
Also here an 5×7″ plastic sleeve with professionally printed colour covers. Musically I think this 30 minute mcd is alright.
Keep an eye open for upcoming Fossil Dungeons, there are plans for an Arcana Art cdr, Dark Muse cdr, Hexentanz 7″ and a 2lp compilation “As She Was Crowned, So Crowned Were They” with Ataraxia, GOR, In Gowan Ring, The Soil Bleeds Black and many more.

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.

Archon Satani * Mind Of Flesh & Bones (cd 2006 cold spring)

Cold Spring released the famous 1993 Staalplaat cd of the extinct Swedish duo Archon Satani (after the split we got Inanna and Ordo (Rosarius) Equilibrio). Industrial ambient with a few noisy touches and unfortunately on this album no vocals. I think most of the Archon Satani material has been rereleased now. Would this make them less of a cult act? Anyway, if you like the old CMI-sound or industrial dark ambient in general, you will have to get some of that Archon Satani material like this one.

Archon Satani * Of Gospels Lost And Forsaken (2cd 2002 cold meat industry)

I used to own a record of this defunct cult-formation, but I didn’t like it enough to keep it. For some reason I did want to get a copy of this cd with old and unreleased material. Still not exactly what I hoped for. Quite monotous dark ambient, with here and there some industrial sounds, but nowhere vocals… The first disc contains material from “Beyond All Thee Sickness”, “2×6 Dimensions Of A Coffin” and one track from “Andromeda” the second disc 10 unreleased tracks. Some nice tracks, many not too great. The double digipack with ‘leather’ and golden letters is great though!