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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
04. Anathema
- The Optimist
05. God Body Disconnect
- Sleeper's Fate
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
08. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning
09. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
10. Au-Dessus
- End Of Chapter

More HERE

Random album

Ionophore - Sinter Pools (2016) - Review

Band: Ionophore
Album title: Sinter Pools
Release date: 14 March 2016
Label: Malignant Antibody

Tracklist:
01. Sinter Pools
02. Infantman
03. Unchecked
04. Underground Man
05. Post
06. Sequester
07. 12 Minutes
08. Checked

Ionophore return for their sophomore release Sinter Pools on Malignant Records' off-shoot Malignant Antibodies. This album encompasses a vast array of musical genres and seems to bring influences from all over the place musically. Some genres this album touches on could be atmospheric, experimental, ambient, dark ambient, industrial, noise, post-rock, and neo-classical to name a few. All these sounds come together for a cohesive album which immediately grabs the listeners' attention and manages to hold it through to the last moment.

The three artists in this project Leila Abdul-Rauf, Jan Hendrich, and Ryan Honaker are all multi-instrumentalists with a lot of experience in various genres. Leila Abdul-Rauf is back after her critically acclaimed solo album, Insomnia on Malignant Records, which happened to have guest appearances by both Jan and Ryan. This time around the music has less of the dark ambient feel and takes a more natural and lively approach. With Leila Abdul-Rauf's vocals giving each track a highly ethereal feel, something almost similar to Portishead at times, we are able to look deeper into her mind and enjoy the beautiful and poetic vocals presented in Sinter Pools. Yet these vocals often have a very dark hazy dreamlike approach. Add to this haziness the warped trumpet, violin, and piano pieces and the album begins to take on a form that is similar to Bohren & Der Club of Gore or The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. I can almost imagine myself sitting in some dark club at midnight in the center of Dark City enjoying this performance. Other styles seem to emerge from these tracks at times, certain sections give me the same lo-fi sensations as tracks by Animal Collective and other psychedelic indie-rockers, while others seem to tap into that west coast gothic vibe which has recently been brought to the spotlight by Chelsea Wolfe.

From top to bottom Sinter Pools is bursting with creativity and a slightly obscured beauty. Its almost as if the album cover art has tapped into this idea, with what appears to be a gorgeously serene snowy mountain range, almost fully obscured by what may or may not be clouds. Tracks like "Underground Man" and "12 Minutes" tap into the distorted ambient soundscapes most often found in post-rock acts like This Will Destroy You or Explosions In The Sky. That ability to start off with a gently relaxing beat and ambience and then effortlessly progress into a distorted cacophony with a highly industrial edge is constantly simmering just below the surface of Sinter Pools.

As you can guess from my wildly broad spectrum of comparisons here, Sinter Pools really appears to be the sort of album that could appeal to a lot of different sorts of listeners. There is a little something here for almost everyone. My only gripe with Sinter Pools is that it is a bit short, coming in at only 38 minutes total, I would have liked to hear Ionophore linger in some of these soundscapes for a bit longer. It often seems while listening that just as I'm really sinking deep into the sounds, the album is reaching its close. This is only a small issue for me however, as each of the tracks presented here is meticulously crafted into perfection.

Review written by: Michael
Rating: 8/10

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