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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Ulver -
The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
02. Au Champ Des Morts -
Dans La Joie
03. Isenordal -
Shores Of Mourning
04. Heretoir -
The Circle
05. Peter Bjärgö -
Animus Retinentia
06. Au-Dessus -
End Of Chapter
07. Northumbria -
Markland
08. Shibalba -
Psychostasis-Death Of Khat
09. Cult Of Erinyes -
Tiberivs
10. Saille -
Gnosis

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Random album

Monocube - Blue Dusk///Red Dawn (2014) - Review

Band: Monocube
Album title: Blue Dusk///Red Dawn
Release date: 15 December 2014
Label: Midira Records

Tracklist:
01. Blue Dusk
02. The Sun That Never Was
03. Red Dawn
04. Sea Salt

When it comes to dark ambient everything is different if compared with other stuff I usually review. Often you must be able to try entering the sick fantasy world of the artist behind the sound, often trying to decipher the vagueness of meditative soundscapes, to embrace the darkness itself, but only if the work permits it. Now, I'll close my eyes and hopefully this album with a very intriguing title will take me somewhere beyond the real world, into darkness.

Monocube is the first Ukrainian act producing this kind of art I've heard until now, the man who stands behind it and being the sole composer is Andrzej Gladuszewski and his compositions are not really something unique, we heard this kind or at least similar stuff many times before, but yet there's something exclusive lurking in this almost complete absence of light, there are shimmering flares in the distance trivially visible. The icy cold ambiance is similar to the one as we heard it on Northaunt's outcomes many times before, and the twisted sick dark minimalism reminds me of Taphephobia or Atrium Carceri, there's present also that particular ambient/drone segment that could be compared with something taken from In Slaughter Natives. Still, Monocube does provoke the listener with some kind of complexity, but most of the time with those vast horrific cinematic soundscapes sounds a bit too linear. Nevertheless, Blue Dusk///Red Dawn has enough density and subliminal noise in its core made by subtle bass vibrations and occasional strange sounds heard by an attentive ear.

The eleven minutes long opener "Blue Dusk" is a solid representative of glacial nordic ambiental music, but it doesn't let the listener explore vast lands, rather than that it encapsulates the one who dares to enter with its restrictions and throws you into the cellar of ice. The following one, "The Sun That Never Was", holds kind of a melancholy inside and is so terribly obscure, monothone and psychotic that you'll be begging for mercy. But "Red Dawn" doesn't come with it, yes, it's a bit more turbulent and diverse with all those endless moving sounds and noises, it has even kind of distant echoes of hope, a melody, but in the end is like being fooled by some perverse maniac whose intentions are... to throw you naked and wounded into the "Sea Salt". Now you are flying, pain is overwhelming, you can't feel it anymore... and the caressing melody that plays in your head is conjuring up the most beautiful images of light consumed by the darkness in the very end.

And so it goes, but after all we always wake up... for now... but look, what the heck is this artwork? The images in my head were something completely different, I haven't seen any half naked good looking ladies there, eh, I believe that this is just another one of those sick tricks by Andrzej who still leaves everything open to ones imagination. Monocube's Blue Dusk///Red Dawn is a good 39 minutes long effort, mostly done by manipulating guitar, field recordings, synths and alienated vocals conjuring up a twilight world. The artwork done by talented Ksenia Gladuszewska, together with music is meant to form kind of an artistical concept, even though I don't see any deeper connections, its intention is to illustrate human reflections in nature, architecture, music and art. Anyway, Blue Dusk///Red Dawn is a fine piece of dark ambient and it must be taken as one and those who are into the genre and like to be taken on such a grisly musical voyages across the darkest corners of human psyche will certainly know how to appreciate it.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ugasanie
Album title: The Dark Side
Release date: 19 September 2015
Label: Black Mara Records

Ugasanie takes a vacation from his often polar dark ambient style, to give us a truly eerie album! White Silence's “To The Lord Of The Polar Desert With Seven Faces” and “Arctic Hysteria” on Call Of The North gave us a hint of some of the creepier territory that Ugasanie was comfortable in. However these tracks were part of greater polar-themed albums. The Dark Side takes us to a whole new place with Ugasanie, down the deep dark corridors of the underworld itself. The Dark Side is an ode to death and eternity, where you will hear field recordings captured in places such as morgues and cemeteries. It is a prayer to Mara, the Slavic goddess associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of nature. She is associated with death, winter, and nightmares. A very fitting patroness for Ugasanie and a fitting name for the fledgling label Black Mara, which specializes in dark ambient. The darkness Ugasanie portrays here is as cinematic as it is unnerving, yet it is never too harsh or overwhelming for the listener. It holds us tightly in Mara’s embrace and keeps us there from beginning to end. Ugasanie has shown us the darkness of Mara, goddess of death, in a brilliant collection of tracks. This album is highly recommended for any fan of dark ambient with equal amounts of subtlety and aggression.

Read a full review HERE