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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

Dronny Darko - Spira Igneus (2016) - Review

Band: Dronny Darko
Album title: Spira Igneus
Release date: 25 October 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

01. Scriptures
02. Rotten Orchestra
03. White Eyes
04. Three Rulers
05. Endless Cave
06. Forbidden Wisdom
07. Grey Echoes

Dronny Darko is quite the prolific artist. While still not nearly as active as artists like Rapoon, Dronny Darko always keeps fresh music coming out for his listeners. First joining the Cryo Chamber label in 2014 with Outer Tehom, he quickly solidified a fan-base with his deep drones beneath a ton of sinister sounds. Outer Tehom to this day is still one of the darkest albums on Cryo Chamber and indeed in dark ambient in general. Last year brought us Neuroplasticity, an album which was leagues away from the style and content of Outer Tehom. Now as 2016 is drawing to a close, we have the third effort on Cryo Chamber, entitled Spira Igneus.

Spira Igneus is, first and foremost, dark as hell. This may be an apt description of the album even more so because of the subject matter. We are given the album title Spira Igneus but not a lot else to go on as far as subject matter is concerned. The rest must be extracted from the music itself. Sprira Igneus could be roughly translated from Latin as 'The Fiery Spire'. Given the sound palette of this album, that seems close to the intended translation. The only part that gives pause for reconsideration is the album cover. The cover-art depicts a piece of rock with what I assume is the Spira Igneus erected from its base. While I like to think of this album as a trip through the underworld, it is also possible that it takes place in this space setting. Either way much of the content seems to be interchangeable between these ideas.

The opening track, "Scriptures", sets the mood in typical Dronny Darko fashion, with some deep bellowing drones. Upon this droning foundation we can make out the sounds of an unintelligible and muttering voice, which seems to drip with sinister undertones. Some crackling sound leaves us guessing from where it has arisen. The most unsettling element of this elaborate collage is the higher pitched drones, which seem to conjure a melancholic choir from the depths of the underworld. The next two tracks keep up a similar style of drone and take on an airy feel which gives rise to the sensation of being high in this spire which juts out of the igneous rock foundations. On the third track, "White Eyes", we seem to have come upon the mythical beast Cerberus, the three-headed canine guardian of the underworld. There are strange sounds which almost reveal some tortured souls screaming in agony, but the sounds have been distorted and muffled by the dimensional fabric which is barely separating them from our version of reality. "Three Rulers" takes us through the doorway, beyond the terrifying watchful eyes which have witnessed our travels thus far. "Three Rulers" seems to be a calmer track in general. The drones are lighter and less noticeable here. Its as if we have entered the throne room of these three rulers. There seem to only be two voices, the third does not appear to speak in a voice recognizable by the human ear. Instead the sounds are sinister noises of the aether, a wretched demon delivering his commands through his massive and impure-black aura. After the close of "Three Rulers", the rest of the album seems to take place on or beneath the surface, taking us deeper into the void as we tour this burning spire and the depths beneath it.

Dronny Darko has definitely found his footing on Spira Igneus. Seeming to bring  together the best elements of both his previous albums, Dronny Darko has crafted an album which has an incredibly sinister overtone. But, digging into the music, we hear all sorts of interesting sounds. This is where Dronny Darko puts his love of the lowercase ambient style to great use. Where Neuroplasticity came up a bit short in the emotional sector, Spira Igneus shines, breathing life and emotion into his field recordings and drones by the addition of a dark and sinister outer coating. I would highly recommend this album to fans of Outer Tehom especially, and anyone else who love their drones to be doused in darkness and under-worldly subject matter.

Written by: Michael
Rating: 8/10

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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