Monday, February 13, 2012

Turn and face the change.

As you may have noticed we have slowed down significantly here at Kaliglimmer over the last six months. A variety of different reasons forced us to no longer accept submissions, and we have had little time to review the waiting list of music.

We're not ready to give up Kaliglimmer just yet, but we want to change the concept significantly. While reviewing music is great fun it can sometimes become a chore, and we don't need more chores.

Rather this is being changed into a communal blog for likeminded people (mostly the two of us) where we'll publish reviews, articles and interviews of general underground interest. We'll be inviting people to do articles and posts for us as time progresses. Stay chipped.

Gird_09 and Batcheeba

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Glowingpixie - Proxenus / Elipiedae : Drone

Reviewed by Gird_09

This CD was born from a form of musical collaboration made possible by the tenure of the world wide web. It's based on the idea that people can download a sound, in this case a drone, and then rework it into their own piece of music. Working on music this way is very rewarding, and it's something I welcome. Usually it means that different people's perspectives come into play and the result is unpredictable. Maybe not in this particular genre though. It's exceptionally hard to make drone music that sounds fresh or original.

Still, it's a good piece of drone music, and certainly very calming and soothing. The single drone basis is a good background to bounce other sounds off of. Rain, echoes, metallic noises and various other sounds drift in and out of the mix, and the music is surprisingly dynamic and melodic. It's a very pleasent listening experience, and if you're into drone this is one of the better releases I've heard. Surprisingly the sounds of rain is what gives it that extra bit of life it needs to actually be interesting.

The music doesn't lend itself to deep analysis or contemplation, but rather is an atmospheric recording well suited for dark september nights in the city. To me the music contains images of concrete high rises, contrasted with water running across the surfaces to create a spectacular display of organic patterns.

(Unfortunately the elipidae project no longer seems to be active, so you'll have to live without further information on that subject.)

2011, Dark meadow recordings, CD Album

1. Proxenus / Elipidae [28:48]

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rasalhague - Rage inside the Window : Dark Ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09
With its suggestive colors and imagery this cover is the perfect vessel for the music it hides. It folds out to tell a story about a young abused girl. A cliche maybe, but still a potent image, especially when it's allowed to be a subtle horror story like this. Also, if you look at the titles you can see that the story is carried over into the music. Whatever lives in the house with that window, I can tell you I'd rather not meet it any time soon.

The music is crystal clear, atmospheric and well arranged. At times I think it sounds a little plasticcy/soft synth, but not in a major way. The sounds are mostly organic and well balanced. I especially like the way Rasalhague manages to combine primitive industrial sounds and beats with clean dynamic strings and subtle drones. Like much of the genre it sounds like a soundtrack, but unlike a lot of the genre this could actually be one.

My pulse dials down a notch or two, and that is a good thing. That's the reason we listen to ambient music. Additionally the tracks follow each other in a way that makes sense, both to the progression of the story they tell, and the moods they conjure. It's very evocative and I find myself wanting to really delve into the soundscapes. I especially like the second track "Squalor Prison", both for the general mood, and for the lovely inhuman suggestive chewing sounds that suddenly pop out. When the whole track ends with a groan of pain after a short burst of talking, you know someone has been suffering in that prison.

As mentioned the album is intensely clean, crisp and pure, and it is in fact mastered by John Stillings, of Steel Hook-fame. That makes sense. It's a good thing too. Having heard quite a few dark ambient albums by now I can tell you that proper mastering is really important to stand out. So many albums and projects sound a bit too muddy and lack the clarity you really need to convey the subtle nuances this sort of music usually contains. This album however is spot on when it comes to production.

To sum it up: It's worth your money.

2011, Malignant Records, CD Album

1 Danielle's Dilemma (Her Birth)
2 Squalor Prison
3 Mother is the Disaster
4 Danielle's Dilemma (Her Removal)
5 Communication Depravity
6 Taming the Feral Child

Baalberith - Abortion of Religious Futility : Black Metal

Reviewed by Gird_09

Note: this is not the Baalberith you think it is.

Let's cut straight to the chase: the cover and name of this album is beyond infantile. However that is a genre trope, so I'm willing to overlook that. It looks like a cross between the aesthetics of the original Norwegian black metal bands, and something more modern. And that is what I'm expecting as I pop the album in the player. Old style lo fi, aggressive and dark as hell. If infantile track titles, covers and album names was a put off I'd never gotten into this genre in the first place. So that's fine. Though, as I grow older it becomes harder to look beyond this kind of stuff.

However what I'm getting is a different story alltogether. This album is piss. I don't mean that in a good way either. It's not disgustingly entertaining they way German piss-porn can be. It's just crap. The music is out of beat, poorly mixed, poorly arranged and completely unoriginal. It sounds like a one man band recorded live in studio - complete with guitars, drums, vocals and synth. It's bloody horrible.

The first three notes sound like there might be something here, but the rest is let down upon let down. Though the first track is the absolute apex of shit on this album. Thank the good lord it's only eight tracks. Cos nine tracks of this would make me reach for... anything...

There are upsides: The vocalist is good. The guitarist is mediocre, but the drummer should be shot. I don't think he manages to keep proper time for a whole bar through the entire album. Which of course makes everything else sound completely chaotic. (Again, in a bad way.)

If you ditch the drummer, or work in a genre where total imprecision can be a good thing I'll gladly give you another listen, but this is just beyond the pale. Form a crust-ambient band or a grind core outfit - or slip the drummer some cyanide.

This has got to be the worst review we've ever written here at Kaliglimmer. Thank you for that atleast.

2011, UK, Dark Meadow recordings, CD-album

1 Abortion of Religious Futility
2 Writhe in the Flesh
3 Battle for Blazing Dawn
4 Infernal Ruler
5 Encased in Blasphemy
6 Bearer of True Light (In Satan we Trust)
7 Bestial Creation
8 Consumed by Fire

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ghoul Detail – Medicated : Noise/power noise/industrial/dark ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09

I admit both the name of the band and the cover of the album puts me off a great deal. It makes me think of an Insane Clown Posse clone, and considering how fucking awful the original is, well... Luckily my prejudice is just that, and nothing more. The music is a blend of noise, industrial and drone with deep and dark roots.

The machine like sonic landscapes on the album are easily hypnotic, and I find my thoughts drifting. In many ways the music reminds me of projects like Imminent (Imminent Starvation) and Converter but with a softer sensibility. That is the range of sounds is much the same, but the content and presentation is quite different, and much more ambient.

The result is a piece of atmospheric rust, and I like that. The crystal clear production values makes the music effective in conveying a feeling of scattered debris and battered junk, everything illuminated by an unhealthy glow. The music is certainly something you should listen to in a dark room, and alone. It's not an album you pop in the player during a date.

There are drawbacks too. As with many other albums in this landscape it's too bloody long. It gets boring after about fifty minutes, and very few albums have much staying power beyond that point. Music of this sort is solitary mood music, and staying focussed for that long is hard – unless you're distracted by other activities and just not doing the music proper justice.

My favorite track on the album is Pathfinder. It stands out against the backdrop and works really well as a slightly up tempo track. The beats are also a great contrast to the bubbly electronic bog of moist darkness in the track. A very good track, on a very good album.

2010, Dark Meadow Recordings, CD album,

1 Intro [1:18]
2 Black spoon rising [6:57]
3 Psittacosis [6:23]
4 Valium Sanctuary [8:37]
5 Pathfinder [8:21]
6 Scabies [7:37]
7 City of the Living Dead [8:54]
8 Interferon [7:08]
9 Sceptic Spectre [8:18]
10 Medicate my way to enlightenment [7:28]

Monday, May 9, 2011

Odpörovät 1968 : Elend – Doom metal

Reviewed by Gird_09

Evidently inspired by the edgier bits of bands like My Dying Bride Elend starts off surprisingly soft and subtle. Once the music gets going however any lingering hopes of a sleeping pillow rapidly dissipate.

Elends cover is toned down and hauntingly dark, with touches of gothic imagery as well as more overt metal elements. It's good craftsmanship and conveys the message of the music deftly. Luckily it doesn't end up anywhere near the facile campyness of Cradle of Filth - and it would be an oversight to call this music "gothic metal". (Frankly, the cover alone should perhaps be enough to buy the album. It's really well done.)

The vocals are fitting, and reminds me a bit of Funeral, something I appreciate as it gives Odpörovät 1968 their own musical space to develop in. The guitars are edgy and distorted to the point where the result is a great deal heavier than most doom I have heard. Granted, that's not very much compared to the true followers of the genre, but enough that I know that much of it can get quite mushy. Still, the soft synth piano that provides melody in the background for certain parts leaves a lot to be desired. I know I have high demands, but this particular piano sounds even more artificial than usual. The least you should do is throw a bit of reverb in the mix to soften the sound.

The music is mostly deftly executed and consistent, but at times the music sounds a bit thrown together. This is especially true for Abkehr, which sounds a bit randomly arranged at times. Considering the length of the album it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut a little closer to the bone. Contrast this with its follow up Mother of Negation, and you know what I mean.

All in all it's a good album, and it deserves more attention. Odpörovät is a project I'd like to follow for the next years, as I think it will develop into something really exciting. It has direction, intention and edge – and I appreciate that. It still lacks that little something to push it that last inch, but it's getting there. Elend is a bleak slab of sound, and I'm glad I got to review it.

Germany, 2010, Ominous Silence, CD album (limited to 250 copies)

1 Mournau [14:13]
2 Nothing but Death Remains [6:52]
3 Kremation [4:57]
4 Abkehr [6:45]
5 Mother of Negation [5:53]
6 Zeitgeist Nokturne [5:49]
7 Mortal [7:30]
8 The Lowest Day [15:59]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Syrinx - Hunted: Without Tears in Their Eyes, Drone

Review by Batcheeba

Syrinx apparently has a crew in constant flux. For this spesific release crew members are Glowingpixie, Ghoul Detail and Pink Venom.
Syrinx, from greek mytology, is the tale of a nymph who in her desperate attempt to avoid Pan's constant wooing, got transformed into hollow water reeds by the water nymphs. Pan cut these reeds down and made his famous pan flute. What a fate. A rather tragic tale of  love lost and brutal last solutions to captivate your loved one. My thoughts wander off to Dennis Nielsen and his attempts to stop his lovers from leaving him. We all try our hardest to keep what we love, sometimes in a fashion that can be rather inhumane. The syringe gets it's name from this myth, and we all know that some syringes are used to kill the killer...

Syrinx's release is titled Without Tears In Their Eyes, and consists of two long tracks clocking in on 26:30 and 40:54. I don't mind long trakcs at all as long as the tracks either keep feeding me interesting breaks, or manage to create a meditative trancelike state in me. I'm hard to please that way. Syrinx somehow manages to do both.

Usually when I read up on a release and the first thing i see is "drone", I will feel a slight twitch in my right eyebrow. I am so sick of the whole drone genre by now. It takes a shitload to impress me. Bands are spewing out completely uninteresting material by the bagfull. I'm sick of it. But Syrinx actually impresses me with their distorted bass and guitars, noise elements and dirty scattered beats.
All this is wrapped up in what I would describe as sounding like a dirty, ambient Sun 0))). Syrinx certainly know how to keep things interesting. This is ultra organic soundscape, complimented with various stunning melodic patterns wrapped all around it. The tracks come across as very mature and intelligent. The mastering sounds a bit rough, but I like it rough. The only downside with the production is that alot of the more interesting elements drown out. Maybe that's the intention? I don't really mind, but maybe you will.

Out of the two tracks the first one, Corridor to Islandisation, is by far the most interesting listen. Maybe the second track, We Have no future,  fails to impress me equally due to it's somewhat repetetive nature. Not a good thing when the last track is 40 minutes long. This is where Syrinx fails. They proved to me in the first track that they are more than able to take their music into unexpected territory. More of that, please. I have to wait until app 30 minutes into the second track to find an interesting break and those creative melodic elements. From here on out this track is very good, but that does not forgive the initial 20 some minutes that got me rather pissed off.

The cover is a card board slip, with a rather trippy, psychedelic design on the front consisting of what seems to be a multitude of deers, rabbits, rats and bears in 3 circles. The cover is grand. Even though it gives the impression of a prog band rather than a drone band (despite the two genres being cousins and all). We like surprises.

All in all a very interesting release, but I would ask the Syrinx crew to think long and hard before venturing back into the studio. There is nothing wrong with drone, but you have to stand out and be unique, and Syrinx certainly has the musical talents to stand out. Work harder at what makes your sound unique. Those parts really impressed me.

Lable: Dark Medow Recordings
Band site:
Released 2010


Track one: Corridor to Islandisation
Track two: We Have No Future