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

Havan * Yajna (cd 2013)

Havan is a new project of Fredrik Arbour (of Cyclic Law) and for this first release he collaborated with Harlow MacFarlane (Sistrenatus/Funerary Call) and Sarah Rosalina Brady (Amber Asylum). This half hour soundscape has been recorded live. It is slow, minimalistic, dark and alright.
Link: Cyclic Law

v/a * Cyclic Law’s 10th Year Anniversary Label Sampler (2cd 2012)

Cyclic Law has also been around for ten years and to celebrate they looked up unreleased material of their projects. Knowing the “roster” of Cyclic Law, you will not be surprised that the larger part of this compilation is formed by dark ambient soundscapes. There are but a few exceptions and they are Karjalan Sissit, the surprisingly noisy track of Therradaemon and a great track of Sophia. Bringing 2,5 hours of music, this is a must-buy for people who like the ambient sound of Cyclic Law.
Link: Cyclic Law

Beyond Sensory Experience * Modern Day Diabolists (cd 2012)

I did not really know B.S.E., but I have known them by name a long time. This is their seventh album, so that is not so strange. “Modern Day Diabolists” opens with a trance-ambient track, but that is not how the entire album sounds, “soundscapes” is a good description of the sound of the larger part of this album. Stretched sounds, vocal samples and here and there a more industrial-like rhythm (the very nice title track is even somewhat noisy) makes “Modern Day Diabolists” a varried ambient album. Unfortunately much of the music are somewhat soft ambient and not entirely my thing.
Links: Beyond Sensory Experience, Cyclic Law

Shrine * Somnia (cd 2012)

Shrine is a new name to me. This project comes from Bulgaria, has been around for a decade and “Somnia” is the third album. The album contains dark ambient. Stretched sounds, deep drones, eerie melodies, you know the deal. Some tracks are darker than others, but mostly what “Somnia” concerns is the more monotous kind of not too dark ambient. If that is what you like, you might want to listen to this album.
Links: Shrine, Cyclic Law

Desiderii Marginis * Procession (cd 2012)

Desiderii Marginis joined the ranks of Cold Meat when the label had already become a hype. To me, they have never been able to catch up with the projects of old when dark ambient was still new and exiting. The 2001 album “Deadbeat” was somewhat interesting since Desiderii Marginis experimented a bit with beats. I have lost sight of the project for the most part since. Apparently they still released a couple of things and ended up on Cyclic Law together with other former label mates. “Procession” does not bring much new. The dark ambient is a bit softer and certainly more minimalistic, perhaps even soundscapish and somewhat monotone for my ears. A new element are soft melodies that may come from real instruments such as flutes and violins and these are the things that makes this album more interesting. When you like your ambient not too dark and with some melody as well, “Procession” may be an album you want to try.
Links: Desiderii Marginis, Cyclic Law