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Ghost Actor - Unfold (2014) - Review

Band: Ghost Actor
Album title: Unfold
Release date: 31 October 2014
Label: [aufnahme + wiedergabe]

Tracklist:
01. Margin
02. Sparks
03. Forbidden
04. Lines
05. Unfold
06. Surrender

Sounds full of unhuman perversity and pure drainage of mind, just like being swept by a monotonity and horrors of existence, yet taken beyond all that can be provable, still transformed in the morbid ghostly ritualistic coldness that fills senses and lurks just like a scary image somewhere in the frightened mind. All that and even much more metaphors can be found out and told about the music of Austrian duo Ghost Actor. Featuring in its line-up Corina Nenuphar (Vile Oblique, Suicide Potion, Black Egg) and Mahk Rumbae (Konstruktivists, Oppenheimer MkII), the duo Ghost Actor is after a couple of EP's out with a stunning debut album. Featuring six tracks, each one named by just one word, that takes the listener subtletly in the depths of parallel world. And it's not a kind one, it's a cold place where shadows at every corner feed on fear of those who dare to enter.

It's with a great sense of creating the dense cold atmosphere that Ghost Actor invites us into oblivion with the opener "Margin". More than eight minutes long dreary slowly building ambiental killer with a refined melody, yet gentle, somehow fearfully erotic. While the minimalistic, yet very dense sounds penetrates your mind you'll be eager for more and that's the turning point where the echoing, hypnotic and otherworldly distant voice of Corina and ghostly electrified sounds grabs you and like of a sudden you'll remain frozen and chained with no option of turning back. "Sparks", "Forbiden" and "Lines" are kind of magnetic cold waving and minimalistic yet suffocating experiences. With some weird electro industrial samples and strong repetitive percussions the two creates more than a perfect perverted tenebrous ritualistic background ambiance. Some old-school analogue electronic samples even reminds me to The Sisterhood's ones from Gift and a couple of grips are not far away from what The Sisters Of Mercy used in the track "Driven Like The Snow".  

Very slowly evolving Unfold is superficialy one hell of a pure sonic monotony, but not in a bad way, actually this is the main and probably the strongest point in Ghost Actor's output. When the ambiance builds up like in a melancholic sonic turmoil of the title track it does get much more effect like it could otherwise and with ease drags listeners senses and stimulates imagination. "Unfold" serves with a strange dose of psychotic drums and other abstract samples and again the distant bewitching voice of Corina makes wonders by slowly penetrating your nerve system. Ghost Actor's music, although being minimalistic serves with a wide palette of sounds; from dark ambient, industrial, cold wave, some pure gothic sounds, dark wave, psychedelic vibes, cyber touches and even trip-hop like it's best heard in the closing one "Surrender". On some occasions I can't get past the feeling that I'm listening to the latest Lana Del Rey's album on a very very slow pace.

With perfectly balanced, yet simple song structures, always being on a thin line of becoming too long-windedly, the two Austrians are exceptional in what they do. Such an impressive dose of darkness done in this way that keeps the dramatic aspect always very high is rarely heard. Ghost Actor's Unfold is not a traditional musical release, not even near to that. Its concept deals with the immaterial perceptions and this is very well transformed into music. It's kind of a perfect soundscape for your walk with ghosts, it's a portal into paranormal, into dimensions unknown.

"I can feel them shouting at us
Yet no sound
Can get to us"

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Tertium Organum
Album title: Alud
Release date: 14 July 2016
Label: Kalpamantra

Tertium Organum is one of the three projects by the mysterious creator who is also responsible for Aegri Somnia, releasing the debut Monde Obscure last year through Cryo Chamber and contributing to the upcoming massive collaborative opus Nyarlathotep, the third project being Efil, having released the album Anti. Tertium Organum fits neatly within the realms of the classic style of dark ambient. On Alud, we will surely find a healthy portion of field recordings, but the focus has shifted to the presentation of drones, synths, and other instrumentation, with very little in the way of cinematic cues. Tertium Organum has produced a brilliant dark ambient album, which takes its style from some of the greats of the genre, without ever seeming to rip them off. This is dark ambient in its purest and finest form.

Read a full review HERE