Thursday, September 17, 2015



This is a three way collaboration between some of the most dedicated artists in
the Dark Ambient underground.Vivid and surreal music that takes you on a journey
to and through bleak regions and black nethers.We begin with "Immemorial" which
builds from the sounds of falling rain and cold atmospheres graced by a gorgeous,
yet gentle piano melody.Rich string ambiance falls slowly and remains like a fresh
blanket of snow.Distant thumps are heard like a slow heartbeat as it is flooded with
emotion to the point of awe and overflow.I am not exaggerating when I say that this
is the most beautiful Ambient piece I have heard in a long time.Reversed textures 
spiral to the center of the ear and disappear. Nostalgia, Loss, Heartbreak and hope
are invoked in unison.This track is the audio equivalent of walking among rain streaked
tombstones in a state of deep thought.Mourning not for a loved one, but rather, all that
could have been had you made better choices in the past.I don't know what the word is for
the emotion this captures...But it is on display, Naked and flourishing here.

Deep strings twist upwards as hazy clouds of sound rise.Semi-distorted, but by no means
harsh.Exhaling synths let out slow sighs as warm tones form semi-melodic patterns that
weave throughout empty atmospheres.This track creates a void that pushed air out of your
speakers as if filling the room with a gaseous substance like winter fog settling over
an icy lake.It seethes like a dwelling beast, forlorn and misunderstood.An entity with a
permanent expression of hurt and woe...Grief and sadness...And deep contemplation.Synth
saws are used at a minimum and to the best possible effect.Everything here has it's place
and doesn't overstep it's boundaries.The overall quality of the piece eventually becomes
like a mirrored pool.Reflective sheets of quicksilver.The swirling sounds being the circular
ripples that expand and search for a better existence, only to fade away and be forgotten.

Not only is this one of the coolest song titles I've heard in a while...It's also a really
great piece.Moody Dark Ambient that evokes Noir vibes and greyscale visions.Distant synth
choirs float within rich brass-like ambiance that moves with the motion of grey clouds
floating slowly by on their way to nowhere.Timed vibes vibrate at their predestined intervals.
Regretfully doing their jobs with gleaming eyes towards the horizon.Stirring strings cause the
heart to swell and drop.The feelings brought to the surface here are somewhere in between the
positive and negative.Love and loss, Hope and the dread of becoming stagnant and unfulfilled.
The vibrating chimes from before begin to break their routines and shoot for new moons in
melodic attempts to become something beautiful.Death comes before dreams are fully realized.
And a lonely strain soon fills the soul.

Close to ten minutes in length, "A Lonely Strain" builds on deep, resonating drones populated
by ghostly air choirs and shimmering tones that gleam like pale moonlight upon rain soaked
streets and sidewalks.Cavernous hums and yawning gulfs of expansive sound are filled with
brass synths that carry themselves like fleeting specters and cool reflective synths that
put a chill in the air.Frail as glass and yet powerful enough to cut deeper than the most
jagged shards.Angelic choirs sing with drooping wings.Songs of abandonment and loneliness.
Sorrow for the pitiful creatures that dwell and suffer in the forsaken world below.Every
sound chosen shines in it's own particular way and nothing is added without reason.Airy
voices hover above as we float away into the blissful ignorance of oblivion.The track
flows like a river of souls through the realm of the dead.Glowing and unchained.Brittle
as snow flakes falling to their demise and becoming a cold blanket upon the paths wear
the despondent take long walks at night.

Nocturnal ambiance builds.Inquisitive and restless winds rattle windchimes and settle
down in cyclic repetition.Synths behave in the manner of low tides long after sunset
when no one is watching.Spreading and snuffing any light that still persists from
nightly sources.Deep and subterranean soundscapes to drown in in the dead of the night.
Muffled pulses come like sonar devices looking for signs of life in a seemingly lifeless 
dimension. An underwater world where the predators are well hidden and they prey pray
at home.Minimal textures and tones that pool rather than expand.A riptide become an
endless void.Long stretched chimes expand into pitch black as sharp synths pierce the
murk like trenches exhaling earthen gas.An exploration into depths where the sun is
nothing more than a myth.

Low fires roar as twigs crackle in quiet agony.Windswept ambiance flows like wind
across the desert dunes.The track transports you to this place.The only human being
for countless miles.Like Abdul Alzahred's journeys that later became known as the 
stories and experiences that made up the dreaded and fabled tome of necromancy entitled 
"The Necronomicon".Humming ambiance mimics nocturnal stillness.All lower lifeforms watch
from a safe distance in curiosity, fear and hunger.Isolationist Ambiance that fills
you with a profound feeling of loneliness.A mirror that reflects our place in the
grand scheme of things.The chosen tones are low and come in rumbles and roars.The 
sounds of far off regions where death reaches for miles in each direction until
nightfall when predatory creatures gather and roam.Highly imaginative music that,
like good music should, transports you to another world.

The title track is quite unique here.Cold ambiance and crisp static make way for
rising strings and a truly awesome bassline that recalls the main theme from John
Carpenter's The Thing, Although here the sound is more ominous than malevolent.
A brooding piece that shambles on through haunting atmospheres that bring gloom
and a curious suspense...One that grows from distant stirring strings, Minimal
pianos in reverse and that seething bassline.After a while things drop off into
a pit of despair.A free fall from atop a waterfall that falls in slow motion.
Right before we hit the bottom the bass rhythm returns along with church organs
and chilling atmospheres.Like awakening from one strange dream and finding yourself
in another that is just as odd.

A lengthy piece at over thirteen minutes."A Pale Sign Revealed" begins with murky
atmospheres and distant cavernous static soon followed by turning, drill-like
rhythms and bleak ambiance that reminds me of GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! during
their calmer passages and interludes.Everything is bathed in a resonant hum that
only adds to the overall feeling of despair this track evokes.Much of this one have
an unmistakable similarity to the dreariest moments of the LURKER OF CHALICE album 
and even more so to the "Silhouette In Splinters" album by the same artist done under
the name of his main project, LEVIATHAN.Deep bass drones and sparse strings that echo
and fall away in endless repetition.The track momentum builds over long periods as well
as an odd feeling of tension, but one that is accepted rather than dreaded.Like accepting
the inevitability of death or disappointment.The percussive bass elements here are a great
addition and really do a lot to add a sense of movement to the song as a whole.Dark Ambient
that borrows tricks from Death Industrial and cinematic soundtracks.I could see this working
great as music for a darker film.Something with bleak lighting and obscure camera angles.Lars
Von Trier might wanna give this one a listen.

Flowing back to the start, "Avenoir" serves as a companion piece to the opening track.
Similar sounds are employed though many are played in reverse to honor the track title.
Tracks one and nice collectively form a brilliant concept that is executed perfectly here.
This album seems to be largely inspired by and themed around obscure sorrows, empty feelings
and hopeless regrets.I have never heard anything that was able to capture the feeling of
such strange aspects of the human condition this effectively.In closing, These recordings
form a masterpiece that will be hard to match.

Released by the stellar Cryo Chamber label, Onyx is a three way collaboration
between APOCRYPHOS (Robert Kozletsky of SHOCK FRONTIER), KAMMARHEIT and ATRIUM CARCERI. Though this is certainly not the first mass collaboration to be released
by the label, It's certainly a great addition to the roster.Stunning, evocative
and extremely well composed.Onyx is a stunning experience from start to finish:


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