Category Archives: Ambient

Hammerstorm – The Lonely Wanderer

Hammerstorm - The Lonely Wanderer
The Lonely Wanderer is the debut release from international Atmospheric / Black Metal duo Hammerstorm. Featuring Immortal Frost Productions’ very own Surtur on vocals and Slikver (Astral Winter’s Josh Young) handling all instruments this long running relationship has had a hand in some of the genres best work and this is a strong first release that deserves to be heard and indeed successful. Opening with ‘Mystics Of His Soul’ where Surtur screams over some medieval keyboard. It essentially acts as an intro to second track ‘The Lonely Wanderer’, which carries the same melody on keyboards but it soon takes a back seat to some traditional Black Metal guitars and frenzied drumming. ‘Along The Shades Of Darkness’ is a battle hymn that opens with combative percussion, speared with classic Black metal shredding from Slikver. Unfortunately, the momentum gained from previous songs is lost somewhat by long intros to most of the tracks. ‘Whispers From The Depths Of The Forest’ is a personal favourite due to the varied musicianship on it. The quickly executed guitar riffs are comparable to classic Iron Maiden. The only downside is that the lyrics seem slightly lost in the mix. Elsewhere ‘When Darkness Falls Upon Me’ leads the second half of the album. The opening drum track sounds misplaced though and lets the track down. However, after a minute and a half this is no longer the case and business is resumed. Well worth checking this one out.

Hammerstorm is:
Slikver (All instruments), Surtur (Vocals).

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Orbis – Cosmic Dust Particles Of Earth Reforming

Orbis - Cosmic Dust Particles Of Earth Reforming
The second offering from enigmatic UK drone act Orbis is yet another dark and depressing affair. This is extremely intense dark music, quite possibly the darkest music I have come across since I started this webzine. Orbis is the sound of post apocalyptic barren landscapes, with devastated wastelands that are perpetually extinct of life. ‘The Awakening Of Planet Earth’ has a devilish, menacing pulse-like rhythm and a blood-curdling static weighted, wave like drawl. ‘Mass Apocalypse Of Planet Earth’, smoulders and prowls forth at a tortoise pace, similar to a demonic mist, engulfing everything strewn in its misty path. Every now and then a frightening buzz pierces the obscure calm. If interested, then pick up this on cassette as it features three extra tracks on side B (Cosmic Dust Particles Of Earth Reforming #1, Have Mercy As The Stars Meet In The Darkened Sky, Cosmic Dust Particles Of Earth Reforming #2). These three tracks are regarded as bonus tracks by the artist, and are well worth checking out.

Cosmic Dust Particles Of Earth Reforming is available to buy direct from Darkness Shade Records.

Orbis is:
Shade (All Instruments, Compositions, Arrangement).

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Lebensnacht – Syksyn Kuoleminen

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Syksyn Kuoleminen (Dying of Autumn) is the new album from German Black metal one man band Lebensnacht. The overriding theme of the album is Autumn and dying and that it eventually leads to death and Winter. It opens with ‘Herbsttag’ a brooding narration with the sound of rain in the background that leads into ‘Welkes Leben’ a track that opens with some slow bass that’s joined by Robert Brockman’s solemn vocals that gradually builds into anguished cries. He’s backed up by some impressive guitar work in this track lending to the theme of autumn and dying. Next up is ‘Herbststerben’ that begins at a gentle pace that then turns into an awesome anthem with angry vocals raging at the inevitability of Winter and death. ‘Weiße Einsamkeit’ follows as an acoustic instrumental piece accompanied by the sounds of Autumn winds and it works well as a break in the aggression before ‘Lebenswinter’ returns to the anger with a fast paced track with wailing vocals. ‘Kuolema’ begins with a bass line that instantly reminded me of some of the bass work in Metallica’s Black album that continues the theme of despair against the onset of Winter with mournful yet aggressive vocals. ‘Päättyminen’ is the final track and is surprisingly peaceful considering the aggression and despair that came before it. It adds a serene sound and is a good way to finish the album. Syksyn Kuoleminen is a highly impressive work that encapsulates the forboding nature of Autumn and what it heralds and its recommended to fans of Ambient Black Metal. Syksyn Kuoleminen has the same grim message as Game of Thrones’ infamous saying “Winter Is Coming”

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Astral Winter – Perdition

Astral Winter - Perdition

Astral Winter is the solo project of Atra Vetosus front-man Josh Young.  Perdition is his follow up to well-received 2011 debut Winter Enthroned and is more experimental than its predecessor.  Opening track ‘The Rain Falls Upon This Distant Land’ is a beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental track that precedes ‘An Endless And Vast Horizon’ which again has the overdubbing of sounds of nature and wind set against ethereal keyboards.  Listeners who are familiar with Young’s previous album Winter Enthroned may be surprised to learn that there are no heavy tracks on Perdition. I for one was taken aback at first and kept expecting the eruption of classic black metal blast beats, however it never came.  Don’t be put off by this though as there is some very good music on offer.  This album is perfect music to kick back and relax to after a long day.  A refreshing and welcome piece of work that deserves to be heard.  Stand out track has to be ‘Disappearing into Nights Embrace’, which is a sombre acoustic lament from Young.  ‘Pillars of Creation Descend into Ashen Ruin’ brings the record full-circle to an eerie conclusion, with the sound of barren wastelands in the grip of a storm.

Astral Winter is:
Josh Young (All instruments).

Perdition is available now via Immortal Frost Productions.


Eryn Non Dae – Meliora

eryn_non_dae-cover

Meliora is the second album from Toulouse based band Eryn Non Dae. The album begins with ‘Chrysalis’ that opens with an atmospheric almost post-apocalyptic sound that then launches into an aggressive riff led song backed up by some impressive guitar work. ‘The Great Downfall’ continues the trend of extended introductions and has a slower beat to it but retains the aggressive guitar work. ‘Scarlet Rising’ wastes no time with a fast paced sound and pounding drums and frontman Mathieu B. Nogues roaring out the lyrics passionately, his vocal style is one of the albums strong points evident in ‘Ignitus’ another quick angry number that has some sweeping moments that links with ‘Muto’. ‘Black Obsidian Pyre’ is a more reserved and slower song that at times turns into an oppressive hate filled song that has a sinister undertone running through its eleven minute run time. ‘Hidden Lotus’ finishes the album with an intriguing stop start style and heavy riffs. The album has a strong experimental feel to it as each song has their own distinct personality with only a few key things present in each number (the vocal style, the bass). Truthfully it’s difficult to properly describe Meliora, not that it’s a bad  album, far from it in fact it’s a very good one. The issue is that it is something that you need to listen to and experience for yourself like any good book or film, it’s one thing to listen to someone else talk about it and another to find out for yourself. Meliora is definitely something that you should try out so what are you waiting for?

Eryn Non Dae is:

Mathieu B. Nogues (Vocals), Franck Quintin (Guitar, Vocals), Yann Servanin (Guitar), Julien Rufié (Drums), Mickaël André (Bass).

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P.H.T.O. – Affliction

P.H.T.O - Affliction

P.H.T.O. are a four piece depressive / ambient / black metal act, who hail from Normandy, in northern France.  Always haunting and bleak, this is a record that emits pain and sorrow on each and every track.  This is a release which is in abundance of some excellent and creative ideas.  ‘L’enclave’ creeps in quietly threatening to explode at any point and it does just that at two and a half minutes into the track.  With wave after wave of sound washing over the listener relentlessly.  The vocals of Saddy are at times quite unsettling to hear, they are so unrefined and heart-breakingly raw, the pain in his voice is not something that can be taught and is also a very brave thing to have committed to tape.  If in doubt, then just listen to the garrotted shrieks of pain on final track ‘Dansant Pour La Lune’, it will stay with you for days.  The vocalist sounds almost demonic on the barren and startling tones of ‘Neurasthenique’.  The album beyond doubt benefits from this and calls to mind the works of Ukrainian ambient metal powerhouse Moloch on repeated listening.  It is not all about the vocals and the guitars are thick, heavy and choppy.  The aforementioned ‘Dansant Pour La Lune’ showcases the effulgent six stringed talents of Malkov.

This album is certainly worth checking out, you can order a copy from Immortal Frost Productions here, before it’s too late.

P.H.T.O. are:
Saddy (Vocals), Alrinack (Bass/backing vocals), Malkov’ (Guitars), Molasar (Drums).

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