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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Amorphis -
Queen Of Time
02. Dimmu Borgir -
Eonian
03. Khôrada - Salt
04. Immortal -
Northern Chaos Gods
05. MGT -
Gemini Nyte
06. Summoning -
With Doom We Come
07. Crone -
Godspeed
08. Primordial -
Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Atrium Carceri & Herbst9 -
Ur Djupan Dal
10. Mournful Congregation -
The Incubus Of Karma

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Descendants Of Cain - Conversations With Mirrors (2017) - Review

Band: Descendants Of Cain
Album title: Conversations With Mirrors
Release date: 21 April 2017
Label: Echozone

Tracklist:
01. Shapes In The Mist
02. These Hands
03. Lost In The Woods
04. Unbreakable
05. Scaring Crows
06. Shallow
07. Let Go
08. A Thousand Years
09. The Echo And The Voice
10. Defiance
11. Lost To The Noise

The British band centered around the mastermind and main songwriter DM Kruger, Descendants Of Cain, are after four years of silence since their previous album, Hell Bar Blues, returning to the scene maybe stronger than ever. The band, almost a legendary one, was formed back in 1998 and released so far (including the new one) eight full-lenghts, with which they gained quite a reputation inside the scene. If they started out as a typical gothic rock band the things throughout the years changed very much and Conversations With Mirrors is an album that explores so very different angles of dark atmospheric rock music that is almost impossible to properly describe it. DM Kruger now really nailed it, this album, not only that is original, it also transcends the genre borders while keeping the primal atmosphere still very gothy and melancholic.

Conversations With Mirrors consists of 11 very emotional songs with a lot of character. Not only that Kruger's deep, strong and highly emotive raspy voice gets under your skin pretty soon, it also gives shivers down the spine. As well the instrumental side of the album is exceptional, yes, there are still evident gothic rock elements, but in this versatile output there are found also alternative rock, trip hop, neo-classical, electronic, ambient, even prog-rock, blues and old school new wave variations that certainly add a lot of charm and uniqueness to this music. All of the tracks are proper, lets say dark rock hymns, with highly coherent, eclectic and dynamic sound that even for a second doesn't cease to be very emotional and so very captivating. Every single song shows a bit different character, so there you'll find really impressive and emotive semi ballads, addictive thumping rock/electronic ones and some like is the beginning of the enthusing epic opener "Shapes In The Mist", songs with kind of neo-folkish supplement.

Constantly offering very soul melting melodies and intimate sound the songs can be so very addictive and in a way almost monumental. I find it pretty intriguing how Descendants Of Cain can build up the tension, for example in the before mentioned opener or in the sorrowful yet strong "These Hands", actually in almost every single song. How marvelously the band deepens the whole thing with unobtrusive yet sparkling electronic samples, for example in the haunting "Lost In The Woods", or how nicely here and there soothing piano, lush orchestrations or gothy synths lead the songs into magnificient ambiental crescendos that sometimes burst out like a pounding hammer on listeners soul. While goth rock and darkwave elements are keeping the sound constantly dark, there's present kind of nostalgia that so perfectly depincts kind of desperate feeling in for example "Shallow", or in one of the highlights here, the magnificient intimate semi-ballad with huge orchestrations, "Defiance". Pretty impressive is also the rather upbeat "Let Go", a song that nicely shatters the whole album with kind of a vibrance similar to the most rocking things that The Mission ever did, or how strong almost martial rhythm has the very next one "A Thousand Years".

Yes, Descendants Of Cain keeps the standards throughout the album very high, there's no single dull moment, but the best comes in the end, preceding the before mentioned highlight "Defiance", is the amazing soothing dark and so nicely building up in ambiance hymn that brings shivers, "The Echo And The Voice". The album then leaves the listener with kind of a bittersweet aftertaste of self-indulgent sadness when the outro "Lost To The Noise" closes up this journey. Conversations With Mirrors is an example of how to make so very developed sound that is crushing with kind of elegance all of the genre borders, it fights with stereotypes, succeeds time and is creating many surprises that the listener will explore once embarking on this so very emotional and melancholic journey. A very interesting addition, not really something new, but I find the pictures that substitute the lyrics really good, they say thousands words. This album is so very addictive, and while I believe that it will appeal mostly to open minded gothic rockers, I can easily recommend it to anybody who wants to immerse himself in a different world and let the music work its magic, away from monotonous charts and endless genre copies.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ugasanie
Album title: Eye Of Tunguska
Release date: 22 September 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Eye Of Tunguska is certainly Ugasanie’s most refined album to date. The drones, synths and field recordings of nature as well as other unearthly sounds, all flow together perfectly. Eye Of Tunguska is quite complex without ever feeling cluttered or noisy. We are told that Ugasanie was inspired to write this album by “A strange incident (which) took place in the 1990s in late autumn in the taiga. Not far from the epicenter of the Tunguska meteorite impact site. A group of students went hiking to see this legendary site. They lost their way after they decided to spend the night in one of the winter huts built by hunters of the land. Their mutilated bodies were later found near an old abandoned geological base with radiation burns.” Ugasanie paints a vivid picture here of the darkness and pure terror felt by these hikers as they experienced a potential alien or government abduction and their ensuing deaths. Ugasanie always amazes with his use of atmosphere coupled with a compelling plot. Eye Of Tunguska brings more of what we love of Ugasanie in a quite different manner than previous albums. While the sounds may be more subtle, the overarching story appears to better plotted than ever. Eye Of Tunguska is highly recommended for those who love dark ambient with sci-fi and/or polar isolation elements, not to mention a bit of horror-scape.

Read a full review HERE