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