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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018

01. Aeon Sable
- Aether
02. Amorphis
- Queen Of Time
03. Atrium Carceri
- Codex
04. Dimmu Borgir
- Eonian
05. Behemoth
- I Loved You At Your Darkest
06. The Eternal
- Waiting For The Endless Dawn
07. MGT
- Gemini Nyte
08. Primordial
- Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Khôrada
- Salt
10. Immortal
- Northern Chaos Gods


Random album

Alphaxone - Absence Of Motion (2015)

Band: Alphaxone
Album title: Absence Of Motion
Release date: 25 August 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. Intro
02. Appearance
03. Long Eternity
04. Space Continuum
05. Dark Geometry
06. Celestial
07. Inner Horizon
08. X-land
09. Close

Cryo Chamber has had a huge few years. Since the inception of the label, Simon Heath, the mastermind behind the CryoChamber label, Atrium Carceri, Sabled Sun, Krusseldorf, and who knows what else (we can only wait to see where he progresses), has been releasing albums by a number of artists, some newcomers to the scene and some veterans. Cryo Chamber is known for its consistency in high quality artists and production as well as its release of just about every album (except a few much older ones) in 24-Bit FLAC. You will find that Alphaxone's Absence Of Motion is perfect in this high quality format on a great set of headphones, but it still sounds fantastic in the car. For this album I recommend taking your headset and lying beneath the stars on a cool summer night.

Alphaxone is Mehdi Saleh, from Tehran, Iran. He is becoming a bit of a veteran in space/drone/dark ambient music. He has two previous full-length releases on Cryo Chamber Living In The Grayland and Altered Dimensions. Tomb Of Empires was a highly acclaimed release last year which featured him along side other dark ambient artists: Foundation Hope, Council Of Nine, and Coph'antae Tryr.  Not long after Absence Of Motion, we can be expecting the release of Azathoth the new Cryo Chamber mega collaboration featuring over a dozen artists, including Alphaxone, and two hours of music. Mehdi also works in other musical projects including Spuntic which showcases a lighter side of his musical taste.

Alphaxone reaches into a whole new dimension with this latest release, Absence Of Motion. Within seconds of listening it is apparent that he is stepping outside his comfort zone this time around. This album is significantly more cinematic than his previous releases. I would even go so far as to say it reminds me at times of Sabled Sun, which is a positive for me and not a comparison I make lightly. Alphaxone has always appealed to me for bringing his stellar use of space drone ambient into the dark ambient realm. Here on Absence Of Motion he is much heavier in use of field-recordings and they seem right at home in his style. 

From the beginning of "Intro" we hear life, in its most earthly form. There are birds, crickets, sounds of a beach even footsteps.  However as the album progresses, slowly in a pulsating fashion, an otherworldy presence begins to take hold. On "Appearance" we leave the state of wonder and begin to enter the realms of certainty, while this is clearly earth, there is something else here. "Space Continuum" and "Dark Geometry" seem to be a time where we the listeners and maybe our protagonist, are coming to terms with this other presence, we gaze upon it in wonder not fright.  "Celestial" and "Inner Horizon" are very lively yet meditative tracks they seem to be showing a sense of oneness between mankind and these "others".  "X-land" is a highly cinematic track. Mechanical and celestial noises combine to form a feeling of entering some sort of space bound vessel, as the track progresses this vessel seems to be speeding through our world, giving us short glimpses at all that has made mankind beautiful and terrible. "Close" takes us away, beginning with a thunderstorm the sounds get progressively harsher and more intense. The build up of "Close" reminds me of some of the most beautiful yet crushing Atrium Carceri tracks. This constant build gives me the sense of speeding further and further off from our land, our atmosphere, our galaxy. We leave Absence Of Motion in deep space in a state of true wonder.

This is a cinematic experience much like that of Sabled Sun, in that we seem to be following a protagonist through the album from first encounter with a new life form to the final ascent into deep space. Every second of this album is full of life: organic, synthetic, or a war between the two. Absence Of Motion is a thrilling ride.

Absence Of Motion may be portraying an alien abduction or the use of futuristic machinery we can only begin to phathom, the full interpretation is up to the individual. My interpretation will surely change after many more play-throughs, this is why I love a great dark ambient album, it is a feast for the ears, one with much left to return to later.

This is an easy listen compared to some other releases in the genre, with the intensity and bass levels only soaring at moments giving the listener time to relax and reflect upon all the otherworldly wonders this Absence Of Motion has to offer. A masterpiece by Alphaxone that is sure to resonate for some time!

Review written by: Michael
Rating: 9/10

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Album title: Hammer Of The Witches
Release date: 10 July 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Cradle Of Filth promised to go back to their roots with this opus and they were not kidding, ok, not entirely, but that scarry gothy feeling throughout the songs is back again. In a way that's the crucial point in Hammer Of The Witches which still mantains the technical factor heard on the previous album, The Manticore & Other Horrors, on a high level, but like it or not the song structures are much more flowing and ambiance is gloomier than on a couple of previous albums. The pace of the album is for most of the time very fast and explosive, with numerous thrash metal elements, combined with typical heavy metal tradition, blasphemous blackened lines, symphonic insertions and a couple of gothic metal structures, all well balanced together into one hellish dark entity. The sound of Hammer Of The Witches is energetic, rich, dense, very dynamic, groovy and most of all it's intense. The band continues with its tradition of infusing each album with conceptual elements that embolden the songs' dramatic execution, the album's title gleefully flips the historical script, turning the tables on the gruesome witch hunts of 16th and 17th century Europe and exacting some hard-earned vengeance on behalf of all of those who suffered persecution at the hands of religious zealots during that turbulent period in history. The hammer is coming down, hard, and revenge will be sweet indeed.

Read a full review HERE