Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wolfskin featuring Last Industrial Estate : Stonegate of Silence – Dark ambient

The first tones on this cd are unmistakably electronic, and they're not meant to be any different. I like that. The willingness to utilize the artificial nature of electronic music as a strength is something that sets this album apart from most other music in the genre. Despite this clearly electronic setting the music retains the organic basis of most dark ambient. The cover image says it all basically.

The press release lists the genre as cinematic isolationism, and that description is as good as any. The oppressive mood on this album makes me think of Shutter Island. Not the film so much as the setting, that is, a mental hospital on an island isolated by a storm, seemingly there is something terrible going on and noone is willing to address it. The drawn out melodies are intensely dark and frightening and would be a perfect score for a black and white Jan Swankmajer adaptation of any number of the stories Kafka didn't dare to write down for fear of losing touch with reality. That's a film I'd love to see, and this is the music that should accompany it.

While the album might end up drowning in the sheer amount of dark ambient that is released these days it certainly deserves any attention this review can muster up for it. This is an excellent collaboration, and it makes me want to delve into both of the projects behind it (or Projekt4, which is the most commonly used alias for the individual behind Last Industrial Estate). Sadly however, this is announced as the final Wolfskin album, after fifteen years of activity...

Each little sound is allowed its own space in order to carefully construct an atmosphere. There is no overuse of anything, and nothing is muffled in any way. The balance between the various frequencies is quite simply perfect. The various instruments and samples that have been chosen are all just right and nothing stands out or disturbs the whole at any point. I especially like the way the extremely deep bass drums are just right, and adds a feeling of somber anticipation to the music. This only serves to accentuate the melodies higher up in the sonic range.

Portugal/Sweden(?), CD album, 2010, Malignant records,

1 Arrival [6:01]
2 Metaphysical [8:41]
3 Stonegates of Silence [15:24]
4 Criogenic [8:31]
5 Amidst the infinite skies [12:49]

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    Great review, I think that you really understood the record and described it perfectly. Just a small remark: the project you refer is Objekt4 and not Projekt4. You can also check want to check A.P.'s current projects at

    Cheers, J. A.