At least for my taste, there’s not much better than hearing extremely deep, cavernous, and at some points, scary, black ambient. No, not dark ambient. This is black and bleak. Morego Dimmer (Xerxes The Dark himself) composes a lot of top-quality material, but I feel like he’s begun to hit the peak of his powers. I can say without hesitation that Iran is the place to watch for this strain of electronic music.
Some of the participants in this album include Alphaxone, Dødsmaskin, Leila Abdul-Rauf, Mount Shrine, Phelios, Phragments, Shrine, Xerxes The Dark, George Zafiriadis from Martyria and Yann Hagimont from Cober Ord. The variance of sounds and textures on this release corresponds well with the different paintings which inspired Alessio to produce this album. Such painters as Zdzisław Beksiński, Ilya Repin, Salvador Dalí, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Francisco Goya among others.
There is a ghostly quality that comes with the genre on each track, but they have more of a viscous feeling to them. They sound, and in a sense, feel, more substantial than others I’ve been hearing recently. There is no shortage of incredible ambient music going around today, but Alessio and his partners continue to impress and surprise.
As someone who appreciates Italian horror, giallo and other such film genres, receiving an email from this band made me excited to hear what they have to offer. They did not disappoint. From the band themselves:
Horror Italiani is a new project between swiss dronoise explorer BRTHRM and Brazilian dark ambienoise master Silvio Novelletto, their shared love towards classic giallo cvlt movies has brought them to start Horror Italiani with a goal in mind: rescoring their favourite movies with dark ambient tones, in between careful composition and free improvisational approaches, Torso is the first release and it’s brought to you by Antistandard Records, a label from Milan, Italy.
Torso is an erotic slasher movie directed by Sergio Martino, this tribute by Horror Italiani follows its full length with black ambient tones stained by glitchy noise and an overall feeling of unsettledness.
I am pleased to see someone referencing Italian horror movies and producing bleak, black ambient inspired by such things.
Our friend and compatriot Raffaele Pezzalla (the legend behind Sonologyst, Unexplained Sounds Group and Eighth Tower Records) has made yet another masterful compilation, bringing together such acts as Rapoon, Michael Bonaventure and Daniel Williams to pay tribute to one of England’s quirkier periods – that of witchcraft in the British Isles.
I see the history of witchcraft from both a Christian and historical point of view which differs from what the liner notes say, but be that as it may, the compilation is solid, and I only regret I didn’t review this about two weeks ago, as it makes for great Halloween / All Souls’ Day listening.
Alessio Antoni is a friend of the blog, having made a previous appearance with his disc The NHART Demo[n]s in March of 2018. His latest release surpasses even that dark masterpiece of a debut, partly because he continues to explore the depths of sound, and partly because he was a few guests adding a few jewels to his crown. Read on those guests who are participating in this recording. They are the best of modern dark ambient music. Alessio deserves to be held in the same esteem. We look forward to see what he has next for us.
From his Bandcamp site:
NERATERRÆ’s debut album “The Substance of Perception” (out on Cyclic Law records) is a daring collaborative work featuring some of the finest artists from the Dark Ambient, Drone, Cinematic and Ritual Music scene: Northaunt, Alexey Tegin from Phurpa, Treha Sektori, New Risen Throne, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, Taphephobia, Ugasanie, Xerxes The Dark and Infinexhuma.
The sound palette shifts between both stark atmospheres, melancholic ambiance and dense claustrophobic drones. Alternating between obscurity and light and oscillating between the ineffable detachment from the tangible and the relentless transmogrification of the self.
What is particularly remarkable is the fact that time stands still for a good portion of this album. One can feel like they fell into a bottomless pit and know that there is no place you’re going to crash at. You simply fall and fall into the music, and the coldness and terror emanating from the album never seems to cease.
This is dark ambient music that would have been stellar listening during the 1990’s. It’s incredibly well-done.
JOHN 3:16 are the braintrust of Philippe Gerber, whose dark, post-Industrial Music soundscapes are among a handful of releases I can comfortably read Holy Writ and Apologetics to. There is something, dare I say, holy, about the quality of his work. The label he runs, Alrealon Musique, are consistently putting out heavy material. My friend here is worth a follow on all projects.
This isn’t ambient music, at least not in the fluffy wallpaper sense. This is harsh, brutal, and reminiscent of something between early Industrial music and a radiophonic opera in the manner of Daphne Oram.
You can say that this is headphone music, but it’s the sort of headphone music which will leave you feeling quite disturbed and covered with goosebumps. After playing the album several times, I began to realize that this would be appropriate for a stop-motion masterpiece directed by Jan Švankmajer. Yes, it’s that brutal.
UPDATE: Per let me know that this release will be available on cassette from Splitting Sounds Records out of Serbia in either April or May of 2018!