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Cyclic Law

Shrine * Nihil (cd 2014)

This is the second album of Shrine that I review. The other album was not totally convincing to me, the second is neither.
Shrine makes alright dark ambient, with many long tones which make the music it more “soundscapes”. The sound is somewhat dark, which is good in my opinion, but not really varried or moody enough to keep my attention.
Links: Shrine, Cyclic Law

Vestigial ‎* Solar / Aeon (cd 2013)

In 2007 I received the debut 3″ mcd to review. It made me have to reconsider my ideas about dark ambient. A magnificent and extraordinary dark piece of ambient was presented by Vestigial. After a great debut cd on CMI (2008) I somehow missed the “Solar” mcdr (2009), but now both minis are made available on one disc by Cyclic Law. Dark ambient like even in the best days of CMI it was not made. Great material!
Links: Vestigial, Cyclic Law

Funerary Call * The Mirror Reversed – Part 1 (cd 2013)

Next year it will be 20 years ago since I got myself the debut tape of this Canadian project. Where did time go? The sound went from eerie ritual to dark industrial to the more dark ambient soundscapes of today. Many releases have been made available. Sometimes shortly after eachother, sometimes after such a lap that we all wondered if the project would still raise again from the ashes. In recent years the other project Sistrenatus seems to have been laid to rest in favour of Funerary Call. It took many years before the countrymates of FC and Cyclic Law found eachother, but here is the first collaboration.
This 45 minutes soundscape does not sound as ritualistic to me as other releases of FC, but I can asure you that it is as damn dark as previous offerings. The music could be the soundtrack for a horror movie to give you an idea of the atmosphere. This sound may not be my favourite FC sound, but this album surely is another good release of mr. MacFarlane.
Links: Funerary Call, Cyclic Law

Parhelion & Zac Keiller * Farthest North (cd 2013)

Of Parhelion I reviewed an album before. Zac Keiller does not ring a bell, but he also seems to have some material available. When reading back my review of Parhelion’s “Midnight Sun” (2010) I could write about the same again. “Farthest North” is an album with dark ambient soundscapes with often very low frequencies or drones and on a few occasions a flinch of noise. This time the atmosphere remains that of a dark ambient album, gloomy, so however the sound is a bit too monotous or ‘soundscapish’ for my taste, I kind of enjoy this album. “Dark ambient” is a very fitting way to describe this album, but do not expect the Cold Meat sound.
Links: Parhelion, Zac Keiller, Cyclic Law

Vortex * Kali Yuga (cd 2013)

This is certainly the most interesting of the three recent Cyclic Law releases. The previous album of Vortex contained an interesting blend of dark ambient and tribal drummings and other experimentations, “Kali Yuga” is a nice and somewhat dirty industrial ambient release. Industrial rhythms, a little bit of noise, yep, like the previous album something somewhat out of the ordinary. Well done.
Links: Vortex, Cyclic Law

Taphephobia * Escape From The Mundane Self (cd 2013)

The name does not ring a bell. This could be because Ketil Søraker also plays in Mulm and used to play in Northaunt both projects are too ambient for me. Taphephobia is also quite a monotous dark ambient / soundscapes project, at least, on this album. The label describes the sound as “drone ambient” which is a way of describing the sound. There are indeed the low frequencies (drones) which makes this album more interesting than the album of The Floating World, but I guess I like my ambient darker and with a little more variation.
Should you enjoy the Cyclic Law roster, I suppose that Taphephobia is an album to try.
Links: Taphephobia, Cyclic Law

The Floating World * The Wood Beyond The World (cd 2013)

This new album of The Floating World is even softer than the previous album that I reviewed. I decided to ‘tag’ this “ambient” rather than “dark ambient”. What you get are very soft soundscapes with flutes and sometimes vocals. It all comes to me a bit ‘new agey’, “meditation music” like. Not really my kind of ambient. It is not terribly boring though, so perhaps if you do like your ambient less dark, you might be interested in Amanda Votta’s latest release.
Links: The Floating World, Cyclic Law

Triangular Ascension * The Chronos Anomaly (cd 2013)

Just as the 2011 debut “Leviathan Device”, “The Chronos Anomaly” is quite a typical dark ambient album. The sound is often soundscapish as contemporary dark ambient seems to sound. Also like the debut there is variety in the music though. Some tracks just babble forth, while others are pretty dark. There is less rhythm on this new album, but the deep drones are still present. This is good, because however there does not seem to be much novelty in the sound, especially the darker compositions are interesting, particularly because Triangular Ascension seems to have given his sound more depth. There are more details, much things happening in the background and even the monotous parts keep my attention trying to keep up with everything that is going on. Yep, this is a nice example of well thought-through and well-executed dark ambient. If you like the genre and you liked the debut, you should certainly get your hands on the second album of this Venuzualian project.
Links: Triangular Ascension, Cyclic Law

Lamia Vox * Sigillum Diaboli (cd 2013)

“Sigullum Diaboli” is not a very original album. The title is weary, the sound reminds of early CMI releases and the samples that are used have been used countless times. That is not to say that this is a bad album. Dark ambient tends to become more soundscapish recently and here we have something that might appeal to people who loved the CMI-craze a decade ago. There are slow dark ambient tracks with the typical vocal samples and tracks with drumming and vocals bringing memories of Coph Nia. Nice are the whispered female vocals. Often the sound becomes slightly pompous, not as much as Sephiroth in his days, but to give you an idea. Lamia Vox seems to be doing well and she is touring too.
Links: Lamia Vox, Cyclic Law