But more about that later, now it's time to check out what Ashtoreth has been doing in the past few months or so. Among other activities, he recorded this sonic journey, along with Grey Malkin, of The Hare And The Moon fame. Simply and aptly titled 'Pilgrim', this album is a wonderful and immersive trip through ambient, funeral folk, drone and shamanism.
The whole thing opens with 'I Am The Story'. This rather short but enigmatic track slowly lures you in, driving on the typical Ashtoreth sounds. However, soon other sounds appear and before you realize it, you're being immersed in sonic visions from ancient European tribes. From then on, the music turns into narratives, into imaginative stories of darkness, catharsis and rituals. The overall atmosphere is obviously quite gloomy, and in 'The Stars Turn Towards Their Ending' things even tend to get rather scary, which in this case is a good thing.
If you want comparisons, I have to disappoint you. I could compare it to Ashtoreth and The Hare And The Moon played simultaneously and being surprisingly well adjusted to one-another. The whole thing digs deep into the world of dark folk, dark ambient and drone while occasionally showcasing elements from noise, post rock and musique concrete. All I can say with absolute certainty is that this is a remarkable album, one every fan of the genre(s) should add to his already massive collection.
I think both artists add the right elements to the other one's musical ideas and that is probably the absolute definition of cooperation. I'm not going to pick out a favorite track, although I seem to enjoy the title track the most. But if you want my advice, it will be this: if you have about forty minutes to spare and you want to roam through a completely different world, a whole new fantasy, this album is a perfect soundtrack. Press play, lay down, close your eyes and allow the mastercraft of these two talented artists guide you through your own imagination. It will be worth it...