Thursday, December 13, 2018

Otavan Veret/Syvys/Cyclic Law/2018 CD Review


  Otavan  Veret  are  a  duo  from  Finland  that  plays  space  ambient  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Syvys"  which  will  be  released  on  December  21st  by  Cyclic  Law.

  Atmospheric  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  while  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  the  synths  bring  in  elements  of  ambient  music  as  well  as the  music  also  bringing in  a  decent  amount  of  programmed  beats  and  all  of  the  music  is  done  in  an  instrumental  direction.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  atmospheric  and  ethereal  sounding  while  the  music  also  captures  a  good  mixture  of  electric  and  acoustic  sounds  along  with  all  of  the  tracks  sounding  very  different  from  each  other  and  the  synths  also  bring  in  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys.

  Otavan  Veret  plays  a  style  of  space  ambient  music  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  dreamlike  sounding  while  keeping  everything  in  an  instrumental  direction  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  Otavan  Veret  are  a  very  great  sounding  space  ambient  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "II"  and  "IV".  8  out  of  10. 

   

 

  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Undantagsfolk/Den ondes fingrar/Nordvis/2019 EP Review


  Undantagsfolk  are  a  duo  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  barren  form  of  folk  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  ep  "Den  ondes  fingrar"which  will  be  released  in  2019  by  Nordvis.

  Harmoniums  start  off  the  ep  while  the  music  also  brings  in  elements  of  ambient  while  female  vocals  are  also  a  huge  part  of  the  recording  along  with  the  nylon  string  guitars  bringing  in  elements  of  folk  music  as  well  as  using  a  good  mixture  of  both  finger  picking  and  full  chords  and  percussion's  are  added  on  the  second  track.

  Undantagsfolk  plays  a  style  of  folk  music  that  is  very  barren  and  melancholic  sounding  along  with  some  elements  of  ambient,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Swedish  and  cover  arcane  tales  originating  from  rural  Sweden.

  In  my  opinion  Undantagsfolk  are  a  very  great  sounding  barren  folk  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Da  All  Tid  Forsvinner".  8  out of  10.      

Ornstorpet/Hymmer fran snockulla/Nordvis/2019 CD Review


  Ornstorpet  are  a  solo  project  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture of  dungeon  synth  and  dark  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  album  "Hymmer  fran  Snockulla"  which  will  be  released  in 2019  by  Nordvis.

  Field  recordings  and  nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  ambient  style  synths  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  also mixes  in  elements  of  dungeon  synth  as  well  as  all  of  the  tracks  being  instrumental  and  the  music  also  captures  the  atmosphere  of  a  fantasy  movie  soundtrack.

  A  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  synths  also  add  in  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  along  with  the  music  also  going  back  to  the  90's  era  of  dungeon  synth  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  songs  start  getting  more  diverse  and  synths  are  the  only  musical  instrument  that  are  present  on  the  recording.

  Ornatorpet  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  dungeon  synth  and  dark  ambient  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own  while  also  keeping  everything  instrumental  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  Ornatorpet  is  a  very  great  sounding  mixture of  dark  ambient  and  dungeon  synth  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Over  Frusen  Mark  - I"  "Manen  Vandrar  Sin  Tysta  Ban"  "I  Glandsande  Skare  Kring  Knottriga  Enar"  and  "Postludium  -  Midnatt  Rader".  8  out  of  10.    

Monday, December 10, 2018

Of Spire & Throne Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Since Penance was completed we played some live gigs and we recently started recording our third album. We are currently working on promotion for Penance and completing the album to follow it.

2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Penance is our rawest release so far. Our first album, Sanctum in the Light, was produced and precise in comparison. We wanted to react to that and create something that had a live, first take kind of feel, and we wanted to incorporate improvisations within the main song structures. There’s a running contrast of chaos and clarity throughout, and songs shift from riffs and melody into noise and drone. This was our first main recording with our bass player Joe who uses a lot of electronics and effects, while we included some cleaner vocal styles. The vocals were all mostly taken from demo takes because we liked the rawness.  A big part of the album’s sound is the mix and ideas incorporated by Andrew Oswald at Secret Bathroom studio. Andrew did a lot of creative things with the vocals and balance to bring out different tones and atmospheres.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new music?

Penance is about failure, regret, atonement, and our relationship to time. It’s a reckoning and a coming to terms. What’s done, what’s to come, and what’s happening now. The lyrics explore themes of shame, guilt, and fear, and they ask questions about vision, fate, the self, and our ability to effect change. Everything I’ve ever written about in Of Spire & Throne has been very personal, but with Penance I really tried to get to the true heart of what I was feeling and thinking, and I tried to remove some of my usual veils and barriers. It’s the first time my lyrics have made me feel so exposed and uncomfortable, and that was very much the intention.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Of Spire & Throne'?

The name is meant to harness its associations with the personal while also presenting an opposition. My feeling has always been that the name conjures the idea of our personal beliefs and goals, vision and opposition, struggle and conflict, a dedication to something greater than the self – whatever it may be, and the sense of constant striving to reach or serve it.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

The artwork was painted by a friend of ours, Sarah Green. Sarah is an amazing artist who captures a special human vulnerability in her work. I see a delicate beauty among chaos in what she produces, and I’m very grateful that she agreed to let us use her work and that she created some original pieces for us. The theme of eyes and the suggestion of wounds in the images along with her unique style really matches with Penance: beauty and clarity among chaos and pain.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I’d say our best shows have been more recent: supporting Godflesh in Edinburgh, playing Byker Grave in Newcastle, and playing with King Witch in Aberdeen, but we’ve had lots of great gigs across the UK, often in smaller venues and places that don’t get so many live gigs.

Our stage performance is brooding and brutal, but not aggressive or confrontational. It’s changed over the years. Since Joe joined we started to make specific decisions around lighting and stage set up, and we started to put on a more physical show and get more into it, but I think we tend to back off and put the music forward. We don’t want it to be about us on stage, we want the music to envelop the room.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Not right now. I recently moved to Canada to be with my wife, so live activities are on hold. We’re currently focusing on our next album, working long distance, but we will return to playing live in the future.

8.In 2017 you had also done a 'My Dying Bride' cover, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of their songs?

We were approached by Doom-metal.com to take part in a tribute to My Dying Bride, A Lake of Ghosts. They wanted the tribute to have an unconventional approach, and they purposefully asked bands who didn’t necessarily match up with My Dying Bride’s style. I’d always felt that I didn’t want to do covers in Of Spire & Throne, but I was open to the idea because My Dying Bride aren’t a major influence on us or our sound, but they’re a band I respect, and I really like their Songs Of Darkness, Words of Light album. It gave us a chance to try some new territory, and it was our first time recording with Joe. I chose My Wine In Silence because I love the song, but I asked to change the lyrics because I felt I needed to find my own expression to do it justice.

9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?

We’ve found our own small following within that fanbase across the world, but we’ve never really fit either grouping very comfortably. A lot of fans want things to be more conventional, which is fine of course, but we’re often a bit too much outside of expected styles and people don’t take to what we do. We have a lot of fans from outside of recognizable doom, sludge, or metal communities, and that’s always been surprising but very welcome.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We’re getting more progressive, although not what I would call “prog”. It feels like unchartered territory to me, although I’m sure someone somewhere has done something like it before. We’ve already recorded most of our new album, and I would describe it as us trying to do an album in the style of King Crimson’s Discipline in one take. That’s a very loose interpretation.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Thou’s Heathen was a big influence on Penance and I still find myself writing parts which remind me of its atmosphere. There’s also some obvious Bohren & Der Club of Gore in there, as well as some ideas taken from listening to Deicide and Ahab. I tend to be influenced by  whole albums, so King Crimson’s Discipline has been a big influence on what we’ve been writing recently, so has Magazine’s Secondhand Daylight, while I’ve been finding more of my death metal tastes creeping into things.

I’ve been listening to a lot of death metal recently: Disma, Dead Congregation, Morbid Angel, while I’m a sucker for all of the synthwave stuff that’s all the rage right now. Also a lot of Sumerlands, Speedwolf, Weedeater, and Scott Walker. I always listen to a lot of Judas Priest.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Music takes up most of my spare time, but I also like film (especially horror) and reading, while I keep meaning to start making board games and writing. I end up with long lists of creative projects that I don’t get round to starting or finishing.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I’d just like to say thanks for the interview and for the thoughtful questions, and we’d just like to say a sincere thanks to everyone who has been listening and supporting us.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Gandalf's Owl/Who's The Dreamer/Club Inferno Ent./2019 Full Length Review


  Gandalf's  Owl  are  a  solo  project  from  Italy  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  very  progressive  and  psychedelic  form  of  ambient  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  album  "Who's  the  Dreamer"  which  will  be  released  in  2019  by  Club  Inferno  Ent..

  Atmospheric  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  while  guitar  leads  are  also  utilized  at  times  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  synths  and  ambient  elements  as  well  as  the  music  also  adding  in  programmed  beats  into  some  parts  of  the  songs  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  long  and  epic  in  length.

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  instrumentals  while  the  music  also  gets  very  progressive  at  times  along  with  a  great  amount  of  psychedelic  elements  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  clean  vocals,  as  the  album  progresses  spoke  word  parts,  water  and  nature  sounds  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  the  album  closes  with  a  cover  of  Le  Orme's  "II  Vento,  La  Notte,  II  Ciele".

  On  this  recording  Grandalf's  Owl  creates  more  of  a  progressive  and  psychedelic  style  of  ambient  rock  as  expanding  on  the  sound  he  introduced  on  the  ep  and  the  production  sounds  very  professional.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Gandalf's  Owl  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  progressive  and  psychedelic  ambient  rock,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Winterfell"  "Garmobozia"  and  "Coming  Home".  8  out  of  10.

   

O Saaka Sakraal/Etmaal/Cyclic Law/2018 CD Review


  O  Saakra  Sakraal  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  an  improv  and  percussion  orientated  form  of  experimental  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Etmaal"  which  will  be  released  on  December 21st  by  Cyclic  Law.

  Atmospheric  sounding  drones  start  off  the  album  while  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  some  ambient  style  synths  also  being  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  the  music  also  having  its  avant  garde  moments  and  all  of  the  music  is  done  in  an  instrumental  direction.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  experimental  along  with  the  use of  5  different  percussion  players  which  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  an  improved  ritualistic  and  tribal  atmosphere  along  with  some  chants  also  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  power electronics  and  industrial  elements  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  the  closing  track.

  O  Saakra  Sakraal  plays  a  musical style  that  takes  experimental,  ambient,  improv  and  percussion  music  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  O  Saakra  Sakraal  are  a  very  great  sounding  improv  and  percussion  orientated  experimental  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Lilit".  8  out  of  10.

Shrine/Celestial Fire/Cyclic Law/2018 CD Review


  Shrine  is  a  solo  project  from  Belgium that  plays  a  mixture  of  dark  ambient  and  atmospheric  soundscapes  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Celestial  Fire"  will  be  released  on  December  21st  by  Cyclic Law.

  Dark  ambient  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  sounding  drones  while  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  the  music  also  mixing  in  elements  of  a  more  underground  industrial  style  and  sci-fi  style  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly.

  Field  recordings  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  synths  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  music  along  with  most  of  the  songs  being  instrumental  as  well  as  all  of  the  tracks  sounding  very  different  from  each  other.  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  nature  and  water  sounds  can  be  heard.

  Shrine  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  dark  ambient,  drone,  soundscapes  and  filed  recordings  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  song  themes  focus  on  a  historical  fiction   story  based  in  Antarctica  and  some  discoveries  made  by  the  Polynesians  and  Charles  Darwin  mixing  in  some  non  fiction  elements.

  In  my  opinion  Shrine  is  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  dark  ambient  and  atmospheric  soundscapes  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Infada  Stone"  and  "Celestial  Fire'.  8 out  of  10.  

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Picture Ann/Unison/Floodgate Moods Productions/2018 Single Review


  Norway's  Picture  Ann  have  returned  with  a  new  song  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  an  isntrumental  ambient  direction  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  single  "Unison"  which  was  released  by  Floodgate  Moods  Productions.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  song  along  with  some  programmed  beats  a  few  seconds  later  while  all  of  the  music  is  instrumental  and  the  song  is  only  3 and  a  half  minutes  in  length  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  track  from Picture  Ann  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  experimental  and  ambient,  you  should  check  out  this  single.  8 out  of 10.

 https://floodgatemoodsproductions.bandcamp.com/album/unison-free-download   

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Shibalba/Stars Al-Med Hum/Agonia Records/2018 CD Review


  Shibalba  are  a  musical  project  with  members  from  Greece  and  Sweden  that  has  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  mixture  of  meditative,  ritual,  Shamanic  music,  ambient  and  dark  trance  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "Stars  Al-Med  Hum"  which  was  released  by  Agonia  Records.

  Ambient  style  drones  start  off  the  album  while  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  programmed  beats  are  also  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  the  music  serving  as  a  soundtrack  for  a  sexual  Tantric  Magick  meditation  and  ritualistic  chants  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  Synths  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  while  spoken  word  parts  and  whispers  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  some  songs  also  bringing  in  elements  of  dark  trance  while  guitars  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  and  as  the  album  progresses  more  more  ethnic  instruments  and  shamanistic  and  Tibetan  music  touches  are  added  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  all  of  the  songs  sounding  very  different  from  each  other.

  On  this  recording  Shibalba  takes  meditative,  ritual,  Shamanic  music,  ambient  and  dark  trance  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  another  ritualistic  occult  album,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  while  the  song  themes  focus  on  Tibetan,  Shamanism,  Tantra  and  Eastern  Occultism.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Shibalba  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  meditative,  ritual,  Shamanic  music,  ambient  and  dark  trance,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Alignment  I  Fa  Ra  On" and  "Alignment  V  Egi  Pto".  8  out  of  10.   

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Martin Dumais/Ferrochrome/Liberation Through Hearing/2018 Full Length Review


  Martin  Dumais  is  a  solo  project  from  Montreal.  Quebec,  Canada  that  plays  a  mixture  of  dark  ambient  and  techno  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2018  album  "Ferrochrome"  which  was  released  by  Liberation  Through  Hearing.

  Ambient  style  soundscapes  start  off  the album  along  with  some  programmed  beats  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  gets  very  experimental  and  avant  garde  at  times  as  well  as  synths  also  being  utilized  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  and  on  some  tracks  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  techno.

  Most  of  the  music  is  instrumental  while  most  of  the  songs  sound  very  different  from  each  other  along  with  some  post  rock  elements  also  being  used  briefly  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  vocals  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  atmospheric  sounding  drones.

  Martin  Dumais  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  ambient  and  techno  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own  while  keeping  most  of  the  music  instrumental  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my  opinion  Martin  Dumais  is  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  dark  ambient  and  techno  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Hissed" "Spark  Up"  "Wintered"  and  "Chrome  Tape".  8  out  of  10.