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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Random album

-SCH- - A Kanális Alatt (2016) - Review

Band: -SCH-
Album title: A Kanális Alatt
Release date: 1 September 2016
Label: City Forest Records

Tracklist:
01. Lépj Be
02. Knowing The Tunnels
03. A Kanális Alatt
04. Canorus
05. CC13
06. Keserű Átok
07. Inverse Beauty
08. Át és Vissz

The new album, A Kanális Alatt by -SCH- is a teleportation device back in time, or thematically, into the future. With their first release on City Forest Records, -SCH- reminds us of the early days of dark ambient. A Kanális Alatt takes on many of the elements that built up the genre in the late '90s and early '00s. To me, this album would have been a perfect fit on the Cold Meat Industry label, back in its heyday. Throughout A Kanális Alatt we are given a wide variety of musical styles and instrumentation. Crisp and beautiful piano arrangements collide with deep rumbling drones. Mechanical noises pepper an otherwise hollow sounding void. Serene vocals meet with celestial synth lines. There is a lot here to keep fans occupied, and a lot of reasons to come back for a second and third helping of this experience.

-SCH- kicks the album into gear with "Lépj Be", a very industrial ambient sounding track, which starts off with an astral sort of feel but then jumps right into a devastating metallic drum beat. "Knowing The Tunnels" features some distorted vocals over a brooding ambience that reminds me of something similar to New Risen Throne vocals. The track takes on a slightly haunting, yet dreamy feel with its piano section. As the track progresses sounds of some futuristic machinery take over the mix. All the while a deep hollow drone fills the void. "A Kanális Alatt" features thick pulsating drones and seems to be ripe with field recordings from some abandoned factory, which has been reanimated by an otherworldly aura. "Canorus" takes us to a much lighter and gentler place, a respite after the previously high intensity. The track features a dreamy synth line, something that sounds like heavily treated celestial vocals which take on a droning presence. Yet, throughout this calmer track, there is still the sense of pure darkness just beneath the surface. On "CC13" we are presented with that same sort of astral drone which is heavily prominent through the album. The track is rich in detail, strange sounds and phenomena command the senses. Some distorted voice creeps in and out of the mix, leaving its unintelligible presence for the listener to demystify. These almost demonic voices seem to be conjured from the black void, and as the track progresses we fall into a deeper and darker place, where the electronic noises almost mimic some great astral god. "Keserű Átok" is grounded in a hollow airy sounding drone. A Geiger counter can possibly be heard in the background, alluding to some apocalyptic disaster. Industrial drum beats blast through the wall of sound, demanding attention, before turning into a full force industrial dark ambient onslaught of sound. The synths add a sense of mystery and human involvement, but that recurring astral process never seems to fade. "Inverse Beauty" delivers a droning darkness that pulses, shaking the Earth. The indistinct vocal lines resurface here, reminding us of the bleak situation humanity seems to have found itself in. Then the bottom drops out and bassy synths take the lead, with field recordings returning to that abandoned factory type setting.

The astral presence throughout the album, at this point, leads me to believe that all the industrial and abandoned factory type sounds seem to be emanating from a space station which has undergone some terrible devastation. The voices that haunt us throughout the album could even be the ghosts of the lost crew. On these last two tracks the piano, even in its minimal usage, seems to be the key element directing our emotions. As the album reaches its close, we are left to quietly ponder this journey.

-SCH- has used many elements here that have been hallmarks of the dark ambient genre throughout the last 30 years. But, he approaches it with a style that is uniquely his own. This seems to be an early crowing achievement from a musician who shows plenty of potential for future endeavors. All the variations within the album give us a sense of the breadth of influences and talents of -SCH-. I would recommend A Kanális Alatt to fans of the older Cold Meat Industry and Loki Foundation type sounds. This album should also be a welcome addition to the collections of fans of an active form of space ambient, a sub-genre which often finds itself falling into repetition and subtle drone work, but comes fully to life on this project. I think we can safely expect to hear more great things from -SCH- in the future.

Review by: Michael
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