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01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
Sun Of The Sleepless - To The Elements
05. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. End Of Green
- Void Estate
Anathema - The Optimist
09. Friends Of Alice Ivy
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10. Last Leaf Down
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Random album

Council Of Nine - Dakhma (2015) - Review

Band: Council Of Nine
Album title: Dakhma
Release date: 28 April 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. The Magi   
02. Tower Of Silence   
03. Sacrifice   
04. Nasu   
05. The Ossuary   
06. Circle Of The Sun

Lately I was exploring quite a lot the genre named dark ambient and while I was browsing through all those promos from a couple of labels releasing this specific kind of music I found this very gem, Dakhma, a debut album from the Californian artist Maximillian Olivier who hides behind the name Council Of Nine. A little is known about Council Of Nine, except that he was featured on a (higly appreciated inside the genre) split album named Tomb Of Empires, together with Foundation Hope, Alphaxone and Coph`antae Tryr. But on this debut album, Council Of Nine, presents much more of a creative freedom, a truly passionate work where Maximillian Olivier takes the listener on a journey into ancient history, exploring the darkest places where no sunlight ever shines, making a visit to the dead and carrying the listeners soul into the void. Dakhma is an esoteric, pitch black delivery of sounds, yet masterfully crafted in one hell of a compact structure, a cinematic soundscape, a dramatic delivery of the most intense sound of death and desolation.

Once you'll dare to enter those corridors of pure droneing reverberate bass frequencies that expanse into the mind for almost one hour, the incorporate hypnotic darkness will conjure up the most vivid images of unexplored universe and feeling of pure isolation, yet while letting it go through the album you'll often be challenged to explore what's coming next. It's like a story told through sounds, a strange melodic layer is a pillar that constantly gives enough dynamics and kind of a horrific suspense. Dakhma starts in a bit minimalistic manner with the absolute darkness of "The Magi", still if you listen very carefully you'll hear kind of oriental vibes making its way out of gloom. From there on the dramatic factor rises more and more with use of echoing piano touches, strange voices in the distance are just like hearing the dead souls whispering from another dimension, just listen to the magnificient and rich in texture "Tower Of Silence" or hypnotic "The Ossuary" where kind of an highly emotive melody goes beyond anything you'll expect. If you'll go through and survive the "Sacrifice", more than fifteen minutes long psychotic and deep haunting drone lines without any serious damage, you'll be then rewarded and overthrown with those simply beautiful dark desolate layers of "Nasu" put over those reverberate constant sub frequencies of the universe that are just like if Council Of Nine is toying with listeners mind, going into spheres of pure mistery, a strange kind of ecstasy that hides kind of a tribal undertone. Like if there's a light behind the corner, but be aware that "Circle Of The Sun" is far from there, the sun never shone and it never will, in the end the pitch-black light takes over everything.

Council Of Nine created a masterwork within dark-ambient genre, the sound can be put somewhere in between the two cult masters of the genre like are Desiderii Marginis and Atrium Carceri, but still I find in Council Of Nine's sound something unique, cosmic, something so vivid expressed through sound that I rarely had a chance to hear. I don't know if any field-recordings were utilized, but sometimes it feels like that, otherwise every element is so elegantly used that it's almost impossible to step out before it ends and consumes every hope. Dakhma is a horrific cinematic beauty, yet emotional, thus it pushes with ease the listener into a fantasy world with many unexpected twists. A fantastic and highly recommended release for any fan of dark ambient, but as well it can be a fine starting point for all those who want to explore the genre.

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

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ahab
Album title: The Boats Of The Glen Carrig
Release date: 28 August 2015
Label: Napalm Records

With The Boats Of The Glen Carrig, the band seems to leave their typical funeral doom metal style behind them. There's much more emphasis on the atmosphere, driving metal lines and let's say the band discovered its progressive side, which nicely complements with heavy slow crushing riffs, punishing drums, wretched bass and guttural death vocals, maybe one of the best in this genre. There's often present a certain dose of humour in Ahab's output, even though being well hidden behind the explicit use of psychedelic, sludge and horror elements, but yet you can sense it anyway. Ahab this time composed their boldest album to date, it's not the darkest one they ever made but still there are almost no light moments. The Boats Of The Glen Carrig is not an easy album to consume, it's a complex work, more than anything else these Germans ever did. They used a much larger palette of different elements and they put those together with perfection. Ahab's obsession with depths of the ocean and sea, with epic adventures, with anything drenched and salty, this time got a truly monolithic form and is the pitch perfect mood setting.

Read a full review HERE