Monday, January 30, 2012

Echancrure/Paysage.Octobre/2012 CD Review

Echancrure are a band from France that started out as more post black metal but evolved more into dark ambient/drone with influences from industrial, experimental, doom and black metal with this recording and this is a review of their self released 2012 album "Paysage.Octobre".

Noise effects bring a very dark avant garde industrial feeling to the music, while the synths have a very dark ambient sound to them mixed in with some depressing sounding keys that have the feeling of some classical music being played on a piano, as well as some evil sounding violins.

Guitars are all noisy sounding leads with some noisy distortion that gives the music a black metal/drone feeling while the spoken word parts bring a depressive feeling to the music with a brief use of clean singing vocals and there are no lyrics present, as for the production it has a very dark, raw and primitive sound to it.

In my opinion Echancrure are a very good with their experimental dark ambient/drone band with a doom and black metal edge and while this might not appeal to the close minded fans of their early stuff you should enjoy this if you are more into experimental dark ambient. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Sans titre 4 " "Sans titre 8" and "Sans titre 9". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Forgotten Backyard/Waahn/2012 EP Review

Forgotten Backyard are a band from France that has their previopus album reviewed as well as being interviewed by this zine before that plays experimental dark ambient mixed with industrial and noise and this is a review of their self released 2012 EP "Waahn".

Noise effects are very dark and mimimilist sounding with alot of experimetal parts as well as a great amount of avant garde ambient darkness mixed in with alot of dark underground industrial, while the synths bring a very dark avant garde ambient noise to the music.

Drum programming sounds very raw and primitive with all of the beats being slow, while the music is all instrumental with the main theme being darkness, as for the production it has a very dark, raw and primitive sound to it.

In my opinion this is another great release from Forgotten Backyard and if you enjoyed their previous release, you should enjoy this one as well. RECOMMENDED BUY.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Montresor Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Well we're a four piece instrumental prog band from Melbourne, Australia. Montresor started as I had all this music written over the years that was a little too odd or complex for the shoegazey/alt rock band I was currently in. I basically just spammed everyone I knew in person and on facebook, and Anthony who I've known for a while said hewas keen and knew this rather proggy drummer (Nick). I met up with him at Anthony's 21st and we set up a jam. We actually had another bassist, Sam Crouch, up until our first gig but he left due to uni and work commitments. I've known Dan forever and originally offered him the spot anyway, so that was an easy choice.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Proggy, I guess. Everyone in the band likes their old-school 70s prog. I'm a huge King Crimson and Frank Zappa fan, Nick for example is a huge Rush fan. But we all listen to a lot of music, and that kinda rubs off onto our sound. For example, the latter half of Helios/Flight To The Moon is a homage to blackened shoegazers Alcest. The title is kind of an obscure reference to their second album, Écailles de Lune. In a hopefully non-rip-off kind of way. But overall it's just a big melting pot of stuff. There's odd time signatures, funky bits, flamenco bits, metal bits, reverb-laden bits...we're whatever the genre is that encompasses all of that.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Lyrical topics? None. Subjects though? A few. The titles of the songs are mainly descriptive in a literal sense; Medusa was named after the way the song snaked it's way through all these different rhythms and time signatures. 9/8, 6/4, 4/4, 7/8, it's all there. Bertrand Russell and Samuel Beckett were attempts at musically describing the respective person's work and their literary tropes.

One thing I think nearly all of the songs explore is the permutation of rhythm. It's something I'm quite obsessed with. The same chord progression, applied to different rhythms. The end of Medusa features the same progression, once in 6/4 and then again in when it speeds up it changes to 7. The last few minutes of Samuel Beckett and the recurring chord progression in Bertrand Russell are the same. Each time they come back they are in a different form.


4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Well I guess that comes down to the fact that I'm quite the nerd and like Poe. Montresor is the 'bad guy' of Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", but throughout the story you never find out what it is that Fortunato has done to offend him. There's a lot of ambiguity there, which I like. There's a sense of power and foreboding, but there's a lot more under the surface. It's a name that gives us a lot of room to grow and do the things we like.

5. Has the band had any oppurtunities to do any live shows of so what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We've done a few shows now and the best (i.e. most fun) would most likely be The Zappa Gig. It was a free show at The East Brunswick Hotel where we did two sets, the first being the album and the second being a set of Zappa songs we liked. We did Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Nanook Rubs It, Cosmik Debris, My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, Trouble Every Day and a rather excessively long Willie the Pimp. It was awesome and a chance to fuck around a lot more than we usually do.

Apart from that, I'd say our album launch at The Tote in December. Firstly, it was our album launch! Secondly, there was just a good sized and fun crowd and the fact that nearly everyone there was there to support us - as opposed to other gigs where people are kinda just checking out how you sound for the first time - was really awesome.

6. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for the music?
I'm not going out of my way looking for a label as I think I would be looking for a very long time, but I think that any label that appreciates music that doesn't stick to a verse-chorus-verse mentality would be fine by me.


7. I have noticed there was a couple of songs about philosophers, what is it that interests you about these writers and what other philosophers do you have a interest in?
Before the band had actually started, I was in the middle of writing a song suite about analytic philosophers...and Beckett. It was tentatively titled "On Language". There was Bertrand Russell, (Later) Ludwig Wittgenstein, Willard Van Ormand Quine and Samuel Beckett. The idea was to describe some of their theories or writing styles through music. "Bertrand Russell" (the song) focused on the concept of logical atomism and the idea of "building up" language from simpler building blocks. Hence the recurring riff that begins as short, sharp stabs and finishes the song in a very different way. Beckett was more broad and focused on his writing style in general. Repetition, silence and dark themes that generally end up hopeful. His brand of existentialism is something I can get behind. As Daybreak was basically me sorting through the best songs I had written up until then, I chose what I thought were the two best for the album.

As for who else I have an interest in, I've read and enjoyed Camus, Dostoyevsky, Cormac McCarthy...I seem to like heavy doses of existentialism and nihilism. I promise I'm actually fun at parties though.

8. On a worldwide level how has your music been recieved by music fans?
Well it's early days yet so I've not been invited to play Wembley, but I'll leave my schedule open. However I've sent copies to Quebec and Norway, and even a few prog artists have told me they liked it. Phideaux of Phideaux and Lars of Wobbler both enjoyed listening, and I can only hope that places like this zine expose us even further.

9. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Typical boring things: video games, reading, listening to other people's music.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on futre releases?
Well I'm actually working on a weird concept albumy thing at the moment. I've got about 7 or 8 songs written so far. It's a lot more complex, but also maybe even a bit more jammy as well. Currently it's a lot less heavy than I expected, apart from this fast 9/8 metal riffy song about Newton...but that's all I can say until I actually teach the band the songs.

11. Are there any side projects besides this band or is this a full time line-up?
Nick is in like 5 bands including Montresor: Unknown Addiction, Bogan Nation and...I suck and can't remember the names of the rest. Anthony also occasionally has a crazy music collective called Cyanide Hell that can consist of anyone and can involve any sort of music, but that's pretty off and on. For me though, this is a full time thing. Whenever I play guitar, I'm working on the next song for the band.

12. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I kinda talked about this before but 70s prog, Zappa, Alcest. Nick is also an *enormous* Maiden fan. He's got two Eddie tats. I also really enjoy Miles Davis, particularly his fusion period, although the influence is a lot harder to detect. These days I'm listening to The Flaming Lips, the latest Alcest (of course)...I've started to get back into Led Zep for some reason. Oh, and in a few weeks I'm seeing Roger Waters play The Wall which should fucking devastate.

13. Does Paganism Or Occultism play any role in your music?
Nope. I just like Greek mythology, analytic philosophers and reading gothic fiction.

14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Just that I hope you guys enjoy our album and come see us some time if we're in town!

Hollow Branches Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have
never heard of you before?

Robert: When I first started working on music as Hollow Branches, I
was creating something more in line with doom metal. Honestly, it
sounded derivative. At the time I also had my experimental noise
project, Conversations about the Light, and I had asked Marius to
collaborate on some tracks. There is a lot of terrible material from
this period that I'm happy was never released. A consequence of
working on this unreleased material together was that I found Marius
to be of like mind with similar goals. I scrapped nearly everything,
cancelled the Conversations about the Light albums and collaborations
that I was working on, and we started fresh on the three songs that
make up our first EP, "Words are Fire."

Marius: "Words are Fire" defined much of the aesthetics found and
developed on "Anchored in Sleep" and "Okanagana Waves". Robert's
earlier work on Conversations About The Light combined with our shared
interest in prog rock and darker rock music resulted in that EP which
defined future material.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Robert: Dark, progressive, acoustic, and atmospheric, with vocals
influenced by everyone from Neil Young to Garm and Jérôme Reuter. We
don't want to sterilize the music in the studio environment, but let
it be breath which includes leaving elements from impulsive recordings
and improvisational sessions. Describing music is difficult for me
because it's so subjective. Nearly all the reviews I've seen have
compared us to bands we don't listen to. But who am I to say that the
reviewers are wrong? We all have a different set of music from which
to draw our comparisons.
I'd like to take a moment to thank the bass players that have
contributed to our various releases, Jason Walton, and Mathew Kennedy.
They both have really unique styles that brought our compositions to a
whole new level.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores
with the music?
Robert: My lyrics cover a lot of ground, but have some red threads
holding them all together. "Rumor the Past" and "Afterward" which
bookend the new album are about nostalgia and the fallibility of
memory. "Habitual" is about the emptiness of spending five days a week
in the same stale environment with the same people. I think everyone
can relate, be they student or CEO. "Okanagana Waves" the title track
of our first full length is about anxiety and panic attacks, something
I have first hand experience with. Many of the tracks on both EPs and
the new full length have been about or contain references to the sun,
stars, moon, and the grandeur of the universe and nature. Perhaps the
idea that I come back to the most is the absurdity of the universe.
None of us matters in the grand scheme. Perhaps this is dogmatic
thinking on my part, but I see no reason to believe anything about
death except that once the neurons stop firing, we cease to exist. Our
music, this interview, my words will all someday not matter. One could
argue that they don't matter now, but I occupy my time with the things
I enjoy.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Robert: I had some pretty grand ideas behind the band name when I
first picked it. The first album was going to be an assault on hollow
ideas: religion (not just the Abrahamic religions), superstition, and
all the peddlers of unreality touting homeopathic cures and fuzzy
logic. I've calmed down in the years since and think the name fits
quite well regardless.

5. Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows, if so what
are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how
would you describe your stage performance?
Robert: At this time, playing live isn't feasible. Marius lives in
Norway, I'm living in the US, and we don't have a drummer. It's
something we would do if our situation were different, but not at this
time.

6. Currently the band is unsigned. Are you looking for a label and if
so what kind of label do you think would be a perfect for the band?
Robert: We're fairly content releasing albums on our own imprint,
Strix Records, but we're terrible at promoting new releases. Working
with another label would allow us to focus more on music and less on
the business aspects. I guess the most important thing a label could
offer is a contract that let us maintain our autonomy. We write the
music we want to hear, and the artwork/packaging is just as important
to us. We don't want someone else meddling in our aesthetic choices
because these are not their creations.

7. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by music fans?
Robert: There are not a lot of reviews out there, but I know that our
music has reached people in Iraq, Japan, Russia, all across Europe and
the United States. We don't sell many albums (but our free EPs have
been downloaded in the thousands), but nothing means more than
receiving a compliment from someone who was touched by our music.

8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full
time line up?
Robert: Marius and I are both active in several other projects.
Together we also create music as Indelible, a project where we put all
our ideas that don't fit elsewhere. So far we have released a dark
prog rock concept album, as well as an electro rock EP. Our next
release features mostly piano, ambience and choir-like vocals. Marius
has an ambient/experimental project called Sjøli, and also his longest
running band, Formloff, which plays black metal. Their second album,
"Spyhorelandet" will be released on Eisenwald in March.
On top of all that, we are both contributing members of Self Spiller,
the experimental black metal project of Jason Walton (Agalloch). Our
first album is out soon on Vendlus Records.


9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Robert: I don't think we're done exploring this sound. We will
probably continue in this vein but incorporate new influences as time
goes by. Tastes evolve, and hopefully the music will follow suit.

Marius: Hard to tell. While writing and producing things often take
unexpected turns, and it's often those events that makes each album
evolve into something new. Still, the core elements will remain mostly
the same, and there's plenty of musical territories for us to explore
within the style we defined for our previous releases. We've just
started writing for the next Hollow Branches album and it seems like
there will be more electric guitars present this time.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your
music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Robert: As I type this, I'm listening to "In the Last Waking Moments"
by Edison's Children. Recently I've been listening to a lot of
Arch/Matheos, Rome, Vektor, Elbow, Absu, Blotted Science, and Pain of
Salvation. For my part, bands/musicians that have been influential to
Hollow Branches include Thomas Feiner, Talk Talk, Marillion, David
Sylvian, King Crimson, Ulver, Neil Young, and Van der Graaf Generator.
I listen to a lot of jazz as well. Some favorites are pianists like
Brad Mehldau & Aaron Parks, and the compositions of Coleman,
Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane, and Davis.

Marius: While writing for "Okanagana Waves" much of the inspiration
came from various Neofolk acts. I was also listening a lot to
Änglagård and other prog bands at the time which can explain why the
album at times mix up the two genres. Besides that I was also
listening a lot to David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto at that time.
Recently I've been listening to Thomas Feiner's new single "Many
Names", Rome and Toshimaru Nakamura among many others.


11. What role does Paganism and Occultism play in your music and how
would you describe your views on these topics?
Robert: I think my comments above cover my thoughts on Paganism, the
Occult, or any religious doctrine that does not lead one to the truth.
I went to a Peter Boghossian lecture last night where he talked about
faith and this very thing. His main thesis was: unreliable processes
lead to unreliable conclusions. In my view, Occultism is an unreliable
process for discerning the truth about how the universe or even the
world works. Similarly, a literal interpretation of the bible tells us
that the earth is flat and has us living in a geocentric universe. How
humble.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Robert: Camping, travel, craft beer, reading, attending lectures,
classical, jazz and rock/metal concerts.
Marius: Besides working on music I do graphic design. I enjoy being
outside, forest walks, traveling, hiking, camping, reading etc...

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Robert: Thank you for the kind words in your review and giving us a
chance to answer your questions. Readers interested in hearing our
music can head to www.strixrecords.com or hollowbranches.bandcamp.com
where we have free downloads of some releases as well as all our music
streaming. You can also find Hollow Branches shirts, and CDs from a
variety of bands we have been involved in through the years. Be sure
to check out Indelible, Formloff and Self Spiller as we all have new
releases coming soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Montresor/Daybreak/2012 CD Review

Montresor are a band from Australia that plays a mixture of ambient and progressive rock with a black metal influence and this is a review of their self released 2012 album "Daybreak".

Drums range from slow to mid paced playing with no fast drumming or blast beats, while the bass playing has a very strong and powerful tone with riffing and bass leads that dominates throughout the guitar.

Rhythm guitars range from s low to mid paced riffs that are mostly heavy progressive rock that utilizes some black metal and dark ambient influences mixed in with a great amount of clean and soft playing while the lead guitars are very distorted sounding progressive rock guitar solos and leads.

Vocals are absent from this recording with the music being all instrumental, while the music themes cover darkness, mythology and philosophy, as for the production it has a very strong and powerful sound to it.

In my opinion Montresor are a very great sounding progressive rock/ambient/metal hybrid and if you are a fan of this s tyle, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Helios/Flight To the Moon" "Bertrand Russell" and "To The Cosmos". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hollow Branches/Okanaganga Waves/2012 CD Review

Hollow Branches are a band from Portland, Oregon that has a member from Agallach with a music style that mixes dark ambient, neo folk and progressive rock together with a slight metal influence and this is a review of their self released 2012 album "Okanaganga Waves".

There are no drums presented on the recording, while the sound design, piano, organ and synths combine dark ambient, folk and progressive rock together that brings a 70's psychedelic feeling to the music, as for the bass playing it has a very strong and powerful tone with progressive riffs that dominate throughout the recording.

Rhythm guitars are all acoustic with some neo folk and progressive rick riffs that utilize alot of full chords and dark sounding melodies and there are little to no guitar solos or leads present on this recording except for a couple of songs and they are very dark and melodic sounding.

Vocals are all clean singing, while the lyrics cover dark and depressive themes, as for the production it has a very powerful and dark sound to it.

In my opinion Hollow Branches are a very great sounding dark ambient, neo folk, progressive rock hybrid band and if you are a fan of this style, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Rumor The Past" "Weave The Architect" and "Okanaganga Waves". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Syven Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about this project for those that have never heard of you before?

Syven came about when I moved to Finland 4 years ago and A.T., whom I had known for many years prior to moving to Finland, suggested we create some music together. He had a couple of rough demos and I listened to them and put some vocals ideas together. When we started recording in our studio it worked so positively and fluidly that the ideas for the first album came spontaneously. We found that we both compose together very naturally and have very similar compositional ideas.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

It's a bit hard to describe, because our intention is to try creating a sound that at least we haven't encountered before. There are elements of ambient, acoustic and metal. We emphasize shamanistic, the ritualistic and such – one could even call it spiritualistic.

3. What are some of the concepts the band explores with the music?

The initial concept grew from our wish to create soundscapes that explored Finland’s natural landscapes and its natural elements, forests, lakes, rivers, seasons and animal life. The human voice is present as a “story-teller”. We also wanted to explore themes of ancient and prehistoric times, times before humans, when the world was shaped by natural forces and what the power of these forces were.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?

Well the name came from A.T. and it essentially means, “Depth” in Finnish. I guess the name itself describes the direction of our compositions. It is not a word found in any dictionary. It is more of a poetic term that has been used in the spoken tongue of A.T.'s family.

5. I have noticed that you use a variety of different musical instruments how do you feel it adds to the originality of the music?

We like using a lot of different instruments and sounds. For eaxmple, A.T. Is very fond of the kantele, a traditional string instrument, that is used as the core of Syven's compositions. It is used both acoustically and distorted (while many people mistake it for a guitar). We also like creating synthetic sounds ourselves, so our songs will naturally have a wide variety of those.

6. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by underground music fans?

Well it is difficult to say really, but we have received some good reviews from a variety of countries and have had some positive feedback around our releases for many people. We are aware however that what we produce is firmly placed in the underground and as such takes a long time to filter through to people. Saying that, our record label, Vendlus Records have employed the services of Earsplit PR who have been busy promoting the worldwide release of our debut, Aikaintaite.

7. What is going on with the other projects these days?

A.K-S.: Syven is my only current project at present as Ereipia, with Kostas Panagiotou of Pantheist, has been on a hiatus since the last release in 2007.

A.T.: I have several other projects, and I work on them whenever I feel like it, and have time. We haven't done much with Nest in a couple of years. I have recorded, mixed, and played bass on Tevana 3 whose second album is just now being recorded. Some time ago I also released an hours worth of ambient stuff intended for a game soundtrack for free. You can find these on my personal homepage: < http://atolonen.cjb.net >.

8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Well we have another composition close to being finished which will find a release at the end of 2012. This piece, entitled “Corpus Christi” is a 35 minute composition in 4 movements. It is certainly conceptually very different from Aikaintaite and has a much darker feel to it. When it comes to where Syven's music will go, we don't like to plan anything too precisely. We just go where inspiration takes us. We feel this generally produces the most interesting result.

9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your musical sound and also what are you listening to nowadays?

A.K-S.: Many composers and musicians have influenced me and hence my vocal and compositional style. The genres I listen to mainly are classical, sacred and choral music, opera, folk (neofolk), ambient, dark metal and doom metal.

A.T.: I'm inspired by a lot of things. Naturally my favorite genres: metal, ambient, game music, etc. has some influence, but I also get much inspiration from non-musical sources – like trying to imagine what a glacier would sound like, what it's characteristics could be conveyed in sound form. This might sound a bit ridiculous, but it works for me.

10. What role does Paganism and Shamanism play in your music and how would you describe your views on these topics?

Shamanism and animism are certainly the main influences within the Aikaintaite compositions. The track that appeared on the Prophecy Productions compilation, “How fare the Gods?” was influenced by the Norse poem, Völuspá. The new piece “Corpus Christi” takes its name from the Corpus Christi Carol a Middle or Early Modern English hymn discovered around 1504. So we have many different influences within our work.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

A.K-S.: To be honest all of my spare time outside of work and family life revolves around music, composing, vocal training and I sing in a choir also.

A.T.: Visual artwork – I've created all the artwork for Syven, by the way. I also enjoy traveling in nature very much, mostly with a bike. Other than that I enjoy all kinds of things that take me to other places metaphorically too – fantasy, fiction, etc.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

A.K-S. Thanks for the interview.

A.T. Thank ye very much for this interview. All the best to ye and yer readers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Rodeo Idiot Engine/Fools Will Crush The Crown/Throatruiner Records/2011 CD Review

The Rodeo Idiot Engine are a band from France that plays a mixture of harcore, noise rock and black metal and this is a review of their 2011 album "Fools Will Crush The Crown" which was released by Throatruiner Records.

Drums range from slow, mid paced to fast drumming with a good amount of blast beats being thrown into the music, while the bass playing has a very dark tone with riffs that follow the riffing that is coming out of the guitars.

Rhythm guitars range from slow, mid paced to fast riffs that combine hardcore, noise rock and black metal together to create their own sound mixed in with a good amount of noisy distortion and there are little to no guitar solos or leads present on this recording.

Vocals are mostly screamo style screams that have a slight black metal influence to t hem, while the lyrics cover hateful themes, as for the production it has a very strong and powerful sound to it.

In my opinion The Rodeo Idiot Engine are a very good sound hardcore/noise rock/black metal hybrid and if you are a fan of these style, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Aorta" "King Of Nowhere" "My Prozac World" and "Discours De La Méthode". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monarch/Omens/At A Loss Recordings/2012 CD Review

Monarch are a band from France that plays a funeral dirge style of sludge/drone/doom metal and this is a review of their 2012 album "Omens" which was released by At A Loss Recordings.

Drums are all slow playing with no fast drumming or blast beats, while the bass playing has a very strong and powerful tone with sludge/drone riffs that dominate throughout the recording, as for the synths sound effects they bring a dark feeling to the music with an experimental ambient feel.

Rhythm guitars are all sludge/drone/funeral/doom metal riffs that are very dark and heavy sounding with a good amount of distortion and dark sounding melodies and there are no guitar solos or leads present on this recording.

Vocals are all high pitched female screams with some clean singing, while the lyrics cover dark themes, as for the production it has a very dark and heavy sound to it.

In my opiniom Monarch are a very great sounding drone/sludge/funeral doom metal band and if you are a fan of this style, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACK "Black Becomes The Sun". RECOMMENDED BUY.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Syven/Aikainaite/Vendlus Records/2012 CD Review

Syven are a duo from Finland that plays a mixture of dark ambient and Finnish folk music and this is a review of their 2012 album "Aikainaite" which will be released by Vendlus Records.

Lapland drums are all slow beats that sound very tribal and shamanistic, while the synthetic soundscapes bring a very dark ambient and atmospheric sound to the music while adding an esoteric feeling to it.

The Kantele is the lead instrument on this recording and it brings a very medievel, tribal, shamanistic and pagan feeling to the music which would make this album perfect for rituals, as for the guitars when they are utlized they use a good amount of distortion of leads mixed in with some doomy rhythms.

Vocals are a mixture of tribal pagan chanting and clean singing with a brief use of deep doom/death metal growls and whispers, while the whole concept of this recording covers nature themes and the brutality of survival , as for the production it has a very strong and powerful sound to it.

In my opinion Syven are a very good and original sounding dark ambient/neo folk/metal hybrid and if you are a fan of those styles, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Jaljet" and "Ne Jotka Selviavat Talvestamme". RECEMMENDED BUY.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Munruthel/The Dark Saga/Blazing Productions/2011 CD Review

Munruthel are a 1 man band from Ukraine whose member is a well known musician in the black metal scene there that has over the years with his project has recorded black metal albums and dark ambient albums under the name Munthrel and with this recording goes for more of an epic dark ambient soundtrack movies for video games and this is a review of their 2011 album "The Dark Saga" which was released by Blazing Productions.

Drum programming is all slow and militant beats, while the synths bring a very dark ambient, classical and epic sound to the music, as for the flutes they bring a very dark and medievel as well as shamanistic feeling to the music and you can hear sounds of animals anf nature.

Classical guitars use finger picking to enhance the darkness of the music and there is no singing or vocals on this recording except for maybe a few chants with most of the music being instrumental.

The concept of the music revolves around the "Gothic II: Dark Saga Addon" video game, as for the production it has a very strong, powerful and professional sound to it.

In my opinion while the more close minded black metal fans of their previous album might not enjoy this I still feel that this is a very great epic sounding dark ambient/classical album and if you are a fan of this style, you should check out this recording. RECEMMONDED TRACKS INCLUDE "The Thick Wood" "The Huntsmen Camp" "The Ork's Lair" and "The Ancients Ruin". RECEMMONDED BUY.