I thought Belzebez was Michael Idehall‘s publication outlet with an occasional music release. That does not prove to be entirely true. The latest book is a couple of years old and the label’s Bandcamp has a long list of releases. Now Michael comes with an online compilation.
The line-up has known and (to me) unknown artists. Trepaneringsritualen presents a soundscape. There is Æther who once did a split with TxRxP. Hadewych. Of course there is Idehall himself with a nice slightly industrial ritual track. There is even ᚾᛟᚢ ᛁᛁ // ᚦᛟᚦ. Somewhat surprisingly, a project that I located more in the so-called “witch house” scene: V▲LH▲LL. The biggest surprise is perhaps Carl Abrahamsson whose “Occulture” book I am reading right now. Then there are the new projects of which Slow.Slither (about whom I cannot find anything) presented the most interesting track of the compilation (it opens a bit noisey industrial).
As expected on such a ‘magical label’ the music is mostly ritualistic soundscape with a few hints of dark ambient and here and there a bit of industrial. As you probably know by now, not entirely my cup of tea. “Dyer’s Plegde” does contain a couple of good tracks and it is always good to find some new discoveries. Besides, it is easy to get through Bandcamp, so why just not try it? Also check out Belzebez’ other releases on Bandcamp of course.
Links: Belzebez, Belzebez @ Bandcamp
However this project is from my own country, I do not remember having heard of Arpatle. Judging Discogs, this is Arpatle’s fourth release in a seven year period (the website also lists a free download album).
Arpatle makes dark ambient which is sometimes fairly typical. Sometimes the music is more “soundscapes”. Here and there the music is a bit darker or even a little bit noisy and the sixth track “Sheithu” even sounds a bit industrial in a few moments.
I am not too crazy about the soundscape-parts, but in the more ‘lively’ parts are more of my liking.
Links: Arpatle, Offshoot Records
Over 20 years ago my first introduction to the Canadian project Funerary Call was a tape, “A Comselh De Ors” (1994). In that time it was a normal thing to do, to release your demos on tapes. These tapes could be copied (“dubbed”) by the person who released it, but more professional was to use blank tapes (rather than preprinted by the manufacturer such as TDK), print stickers to put on the tape (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or have the tape printed (which was expensive, so rare). The sleeves were often photocopied, printed a bit more professionally (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or very professional with two-sided print on glossy paper. Small demos of beginning bands and projects could be easily recognised. See here to see some of those covers of these days.
Nowadays tapes seem to be hip again. Labels like Beläten, Aufnahme und Wiedergabe and Fall of Nature throw tapes on the market again. The first two labels offers download links (from Bandcamp) for the people who cannot play tapes anymore. Fall of Nature just releases tapes. The sleeve and the tape are nicely printed and the tape is one of those black “normal” (contrary to “chrome” or “metal”) tapes that were only made available by more professional labels in times past.
The music then. Funerary Call created two very dark, noisy ambient tracks. They are too noisy to be called “soundscapes” or “dark ambient”, but not noisy enough to be “noise” or even “ambient noise”. The tracks are good, but not the best material that Harlow MacFarlane released during his career.
The Funerary Call tracks are a lot better than the tracks on side B from Crown Of Bone. This active noise outfit created two tracks of noise mayhem, unstructured, chaotic; not my kind of noise.
Also I got myself a few other Fall of Nature tapes, but all are so far behind Funerary Call in quality, that I decided to not write reviews, but just to mention them in the ‘blog‘ part.
Links: Funerary Call, Fall of Nature Records
The rating is 3 for FC, 1 for CoB
Not the most obvious combination, do you think? When I noticed this release I got very curious what this would be like. Theologian’s wall-of-sound type noise with Wolfkind’s vocals or bluesy guitar perhaps, or more Wolfkind’s Novo Homo sound? Well, none of these actually. “Noir” is a four track, 37 minutes, album with soundscapes; stretched sounds, samples, soft rhythm, that sort of stuff. Not really recognisable as Theologian, however there are softer sides to this project too, not as Bain Wolfkind. The sound is fairly dark and ‘cinematographic’. Perhaps a bit like the softer side of Propergol with a little bit of noise towards the end.
A nice piece of background music.
Links: Theologian / Annihilvs, Bain Wolfkind
Otavan Veret is a new project from Finland that (when I write this) is not even listed on Discogs yet. On their debut cd on Cyclic Law Otavan Veret presents soundscapes. “A calm, epic, massive and monotonously rich curtain of ritualistic sonorities escalates as radiant timbres morphs like an aurora borealis amongst stellar luster”, according to Cyclic Law, but to be honest, I think that the description sounds more interesting than the music. The selling line does give you enough information about the music to know what we are talking about though, so that is very convenient for me as a reviewer.
Link: Cyclic Law
However this project has been around for seven years, the name does not ring a bell. There have been many releases on labels that also do not ring bells. Now there is a release on Zoharum, so the project can pierce ‘our scene’.
“Urban Blues” is quite a typical Zoharum release; minimalistic ambient, soundscapes, a bit of drone (guitar drones actually). It is all a bit monotonous and not entirely my cup of tea, but if you are up for a ‘new’ project you might want to get your hands on this “ecopack”.
Links: Strom Noir, Zoharum
With the band Vultures Quartet Will Connor released an album on Zoharum. However I hear many Zoharum releases, the name does not ring a bell. Connor is active in more musical projects and as Seesar he makes: “dark ambient Lovecraftian soundscapes”.
Since Will mentioned the name Zoharum before I read the bio, I already thought about ‘soundscapes’ (prejudice right?). Indeed, “Flight Of Raphtontis” is a collection of sounds and noises, sometimes slightly ritualistic, sometimes less so. Here and there the sound is a bit darker with lower frequencies. These are the parts I prefer. In general I am not a big lover of soundscapes. This is not such a bad soundscape though.
For more information about the artist, his projects and how to get this Bandcamp album, visit Connor’s website (see below), rather than the Discogs link that I put under the cover. Neither the release nor the project are listed on Discogs yet.
Links: Will Connor, Sombre Soniks
This is a very cool album! “Grey” opens with some pretty dark ambient and immediately goes over into something rhythmical (no, no ‘trance ambient’) and gradually grows into a weird sound collage (with ‘trance ambient’ elements), not as minimalistic as Zenial, but “musique concrete” also applies to parts of this album.
I had never heard of Aquavoice, but there have been three previous releases in the past decade. My first encounter is a positive surprise for sure. The album goes from dark to atmospheric and from minimalistic soundscapes to trance ambient, it is all well executed and sounds interesting.
Links: Aquavoice, Zoharum
That is funny. Just like the previous album of Zenial that I reviewed, I was going to say that Zenial makes music that I would normally not like, but yet I do. “Chimera” has very experimental soundscapes, is minimalistic and has little structure. Normally that would annoy me, but in this case I again like this album. There are ‘industrialistic’ rhythms (to not give you the idea that this sounds like industrial music like we know it today), soft noise and enough happens to keep drawing my attention. The music sounds like it is made with some stoneage electronic equipment and on Discogs I noticed that the release was tagged “musique concrete”. Should you know what this term (used to) refer(s) to, you might have a good idea of what this album is like. Like the previous album: interesting.
Links: Zenial, Zoharum
Two hard-to-get releases of Hati on one cd. Both releases were made available in very limited editions in 2005. Hati has that ‘Zoharum sound’; weird ritualistic soundscapes with (mostly) real instruments (or ‘instruments’).
There is nothing much for me here, but if you like things like Z’ev, Soviet France or Nocturnal Emissions, this might be something to try. Or of course, when you love Hati (beware that there are more artists with the same name) and have been looking for these limited releases, know that you can finally get them.
Links: Hati, Zoharum