Nothing new under those vast Scandinavian skies – yes! Nothing boring in the wide open spaces – yes! Nocturnalia are a good example that a mix of Rainbow, Deep Purple, the 69 Eyes combined with a singer who clearly likes Bruce Dickinson never gets boring. For we have heard those things so often before we can clearly identify the roots – always a great thing for every fan(atic) as he can display his knowledge. However, there is something else to that mix that lies beneath the obvious and that is some good and clever songwriting because we must remember – copying is one thing but taking lessons from idols is another. Nocturnalia definitely follow the second line and we can take singer Linus Ekermo as an example here: He knows his Bruce, he knows his Dio but he never dares to simply copy them, he adds little singular characteristics once in a while, for example in “Winter Hymn” when his (nearly) spoken word is a great atmospheric moment - “Frost be the sign of this lost ending year / Darkness embrace me for winter draws near” words and phrases heard before but combined with a sound reminiscent of the wind of uilleann pipes and a second (at the beginning nearly inaudible) vocal line we are still drawn to it and keep on spinning “III Winter”.
hard rock / classic rock
Wooden Earth (look at that band name – you already see the green smoke rising in the desert) are to release their new track “Fangs” on December 13th. The Dallas-based duo consisting of guitarist Devin Moreno and drummer/vocalist Griffin Thomas will release their debut full length next year and are currently touring their ….. off. No new witches’ brew in their mix of two similar genres, but their play with dynamics is definitely worth lending your ear if you like Red Fang’s ferociousness, QOTSA’s pop appeal and some scruffy vocals to accompany all of that. They throw in a riff that is really genre-like but their dynamics draws you in and the small kicks from the side in form of a sharp noisy lick keep you going just as much as the 60s style psychedelic organ in the background which keeps the atmosphere light and tight. Here you go, Stoner fans, you might have another band to follow! What a name anyway!
My media player sometimes plays a trick on me and doesn’t enlist the tracks in the right order but reverses them, so that the last track is played first. It did that when I started listening to Moonreich’s recent EP Wormgod, and thus the first thing I heard was “Broken” and the first vocals I heard were “If you want control without any pain / How long will you suffer? / How long will you reign?” My mind racing, where had I, what did they, whom had they…. and then memory retrieved the wanted information – it’s a cover of a Depeche Mode-song! No, nothing worrisome about that cover but well, the rest is solid work. A lot of grindy-metalcore, blastbeats, solid screaming gutturals, some quick and harsh turns, a few moments reminiscent of Slipknot (supposedly a major influence) and some posty-swirling guitar loops. A solid Metalcore band doing some solid Post-Metal songs but being unable to hide their roots. A good band to start your summer festival day with, but well …if it wasn’t for that Depeche Mode-cover!
Ever wondered what it would sound like if Godflesh emphasized the metal side a bit more and a bit dirtier? Less sterile and less dubby? With a bit less verve and some more doomy gloom? Then you might find yourself drawn to Blackwood, an electro-doom-metal-project headed by Italian artist and composer Eraldo Bernocchi who – via Subsound Records has just released his new EP “Of Flies” with the help of vocalist Emilia Moncayo and a lot of samples, for example the urgent screams “Conductor we have a problem! Press emergency!” taken from a YouTube-video filmed a few years ago, when a man ran around in an American subway screaming these words all the time. The songs are like a descent into the hell of the human psyche, one does not want to listen because of the grittiness of the songs but it it somehow impossible to stop because there might be another even more sensational sound or sample or scream just around the corner of this dirty wall of sound. And just before the finger hits the button he calms it down again and then surrounds the ears with some soothing parts and ethereal moments. But the dirt is always just one step away. A great introduction into a genre some people might never have imagined. Or never wanted to imagine.
dark ambient / edm / house
“Always on my mind”. Elvis. His late years. A classic. Always recognizable. Always? No, not as in always always, because as Ghostboy shows with his version, starting out like a desert slo-mo-acoustic guitar version then turning into slow ambient song, even a song we have all heard a trillion times can be hard to recognize even though he sticks to the original lyrics. This song was my reason to listen to the new EP by Ghostboy released on and for Halloween and thus aptly titled “Disgusting”. Four songs revolving around the themes lost love, death, loneliness and ghosts are presented here by the electronica artist, who combines burbling dream-pop with dark electronica parts or classical house elements and sometimes garners them with an interesting detail, like the aforementioned acoustic guitar. The only fault in the EP: The cover doesn’t totally fit in with the others, even though it is quite an original track, but its lyrical mood is so different and furthermore because of said western-intro. Maybe he should choose a real Halloween classic for such a themed release – my suggestion: “The Boy with the Arab Strap”. Otherwise, it becomes clear where Ghostboy comes from and where he’s headed as he stays immensely authentic.
experimental / electronic / dark ambient / ambient / noise
The world is all that is... is the most recent release by German electronic underground experimental noise artist Hans Castrup. With six tracks — The concept of sinking, Popular imagination, Full of used notes, Paradox difference, Clarification of geometry and Upon a hill —, on this work, like his previous albums, Hans continues to dive deep into a realm of lugubrious, melancholic and sinister sound experiences, where he clearly heads towards a stylistic direction of impious, responsive, nihilist and fatalist demise. Each and every album released by Hans Castrup seems to be the perfect soundtrack for a H.P. Lovecraft horror story.
Already in the first track, the dense, epic and monumental The concept of sinking, we clearly see that the artist — deliberately or not — establishes his creative efforts towards a prominently dark ambient musical cosmogony. With pulsating, almost afflictive sonorous reverberations, the sensitive pluralism that emanates from the expansive and digressive agonies that subtlety comes out of these tracks certainly makes this album one of the darkest in the artist's discography.
Nevertheless, there is also a lighter side in the music — albeit ostensibly dispersive —, that sounds as a more discreet, reasonable, proverbial uneasiness allocated in the background, that ocasionally flirts with our projective sensibilities, gracefully establishing an harmonious pattern that can be as decisively obscure as it is delightfully stimulating.
The music gradually reveals itself as it is: as complex — in the darker depths of its relentless and dissolute darkness —, as it is majestically simple and objective, in the way it calmly delivers its pungent and uneventful dimension of poingnant mortality smoothly to the listener. Just as impressive is Hans' remarkable ability to progressively reinvent his music with more diluted elements, while never losing his virtuous and graceful sonorous identity.
With the conception of an exceedingly dense, cohesive and robust musical atmosphere, it looks like Hans Castrup has crafted The world is all that is... as a pervasive parallel dimension destitute of acessible colorful sensibilities, whose mandatory elements are all indebted to a relentless and abrasive sonorous tissue, made entirely of an unforgiving, infinite and ruthless demise.
As the perfect sonorous background for a surreal hallucinatory black and white alternate reality — like the ones shown in old sixties television anthology series like The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond —, the music conceived on this marvelous album by Hans Castrup transports us to a whole different, more diluted, arbitrary and conspicuous diagram of existence, where the fugacious ephemeralities of life seems dormant, because they were never what they seemed to be, in the first place.
Your sensitivities will be all confused, before they would be entirely configured in a completely different sonorous perception, diametrically opposite to what you had expected. In the end, The world is all that is... is a fantastic descent into a world of gloom, solitude and demise, without any possibilities to return.
The Dutch Winter-Light label welcomes the mysterious Norwegian artist Sysselmann with a four track ep called Ritual Of The Aurora Noir. Of course Merchants Of Air are thrilled to review more illusionary creations Sysselmann (Thomas Narverud) delivers. His previous release The Northern Chronicles blew us away with fascinating waves of profound electronic music.
Sysselmann combines soundscapes with dark electronic vibes reflecting the vast rough nature of Northern Norway and proceeds further and deeper in this last enterprise, Ritual Of The Aurora Noir. The music he creates is embedded with the history and legends of his homeland. Viking-like horn blasts and war drums were added to the drones sounding like the haunted sea winds, eroding the majestic fjords. The music of Sysselmann is filled with darker atmospheres of mysticism and ritualism.
Again moniker Sysselmann doesn’t make it easy for the listener. These four organic tracks are filled with deep and multi-layered sound structures which tangle and invite the hearer to listen again and again. The true vision of this recording can only be felt and discovered while scratching of the tone plies bit by bit. Sysselmann’s secretive and meditative audio world is covered with all kinds of effects and field recordings stimulating the unconscious spheres to be entered.
We can’t deny that the continuously high quality releases (already three) of this talented Norwegian artist mark him as an important conductor of new explorations in the darker electronic music scene. Rumours say Sysselmann is already working on a sequel to this stunning release. We barely can’t wait for his new creations while we still enjoy and sink deeply in the Ritual Of The Aurora Noir ep.
Ritual Of The Aurora Noir is available on cd and digital formats on the Winter-Light Bandcamp page.
The modest Norwegian Tipi Token label presents an intriguing journey into diverse reconstructions of the dark ambient musician Onasander aka Maurizio Landini. His self-released ep ‘Ancestry’ from end 2016 was inspired by the military history of the Roman Empire. Four artists were asked by Onasander to give their impersonations on his compositions. Reworking artists are Anja, Klangbunn, Xerxes The Dark and Hilyard. We took the time to listen to the original work too so we could have a clear view on the result of the deconstruction and the reconstruction process the four tracks had to undergo for this release.
Anja (Chris F from New York) gave the drones on Orans a deeper and more imminent sounding effect. The buzzing sounds erupt deep and dark atmospheres. There is not that big difference between the reworked and the original piece. Anja handled with care the reconstruction and fine tuned with precision the first track of the release.
Klangbunn is the alias of Marius Sortland Myklebust (the Tipi Token label owner and manager). He was in a comfortable position to give Arcadius a total metamorphosis. Klangbunn added a mush of sound effects to the retained skeleton of Arcadius. We were drawn into a world with noisy and distorted textures resulting in a stunning dark ritual ambient recreation.
The response on Trier was done by Xerxes The Dark, the dark ambient alias of the Iranian Morego Dimmer, based out of Tehran. A series of grim touches were added to the drones of Onasander arising in a mysterious landscape of impending vibes and tones.
With etheric vocals sound designer Hilyard boosted Milivian Bridge into a meditative adventure. The enchanting sound constructions combined with the floating soundscapes and peaceful background babbling work like entering an escape pod, ready to set foot in other worlds.
Ancestry Reworked is without doubt a fine release showing the talents and mastering skills of the artists and the original creator Onasander. The answers of the reworking crew have meaning to stand on their own and demonstrate that there is still a future for inspirational dark and ritual electronic music.
A Most Accursed is a side project from the dark ritual act Druhá Smrt (Second Death), conceived behind the threatening shadows of the Middle European forests in the Czech Republic. Jindřich Spilka and his wife Lucie Spilková are mapping the awareness of life in a deeper way of thinking. The inspiration coming from their mind exploring experiences is transcribed into the music of A Most Accursed.
Ghosts contains a mysterious ambiance compressed in dark romanticism, causing the feeling of pure free thinking. The four tracks comprise a philosophical approach, the spoken words of Nietzsche are grumbled by Jindřich Spilka between the echoing piano keys and drones. A Most Accursed combines slow ritualism with a post-rock vibe on this recording. The guitar sounds are low tuned and surrounded by atmospheric and noisy electronic effects providing a world on the horizon of desire with a passion for the impossible.
Lucie Spilková renders the recording an extra touch with her secretive vocal appearance between the distortions and echoing sounds. Ghosts is the third release of A Most Accursed and they do not miss their objective. The moods and tones have an insightful result and create several thought patterns able to follow. Without forcing, this modest Czech couple tries to establish the string theory in a repetitive musical way.
The artists describe themselves as: ‘A Most Accursed are those who have become ghosts in contemporary bodies, because they found themselves out of time.’ We could only embrace the drone-post rock-dark ambient music and escape into the addictive sound adumbration that A Most Accursed created. Deep echoes from enigmatic minds.
Clavicvla – Sepulchral Blessings
A gray cover shower the mouldy hands of a seemingly dead person – no one could live with hands a mixture of burnt to ashes and blown up by frostbite – hanging down in front of an old garment (with one bloody stain on the left arm) as if worn by a mummy from the 17th or 18th century. This cover
gets the listener into the right mood for what will follow in the next 37 minutes.
No sunshine can permeate through the stark, distorted canvas that Clavicvla – mastermind Ittiel has concocted for the follow-up to last year’s “Sermons”, only to show that the starkness of horror scores for the most evil movies, the most gruesome images, the most horrible slow-motions need some kind of eruption: a shriek, a shrill noise wandering from left to right, a slow verbal chant to exemplify the fear to be induced.
Sepulchral Blessing” is not a bad album per se, not that is not true, in the realm of Black Ambient
this band has definitely a strong footing and will even gather more followers with this album. It is
bleak, it got a lot of atmosphere, knows how to incorporate small disturbances into the sub-bass
horror bleakness without ruining the Hadean flow. However, those of us who do not regularly watch old horror movies turning off the sound and for those who cannot envision a dark spawn of John Carpenter and Bohren und der Club of Gore lying in the grave dug up by Mamiffer and A-Sun Amissa this will not do. A class of its own – for its own scene – in its own world. Enter if you may.
Ateiggaer – Us D’r Höll Chunnt Nume Zyt
Swiss German is already a hell to understand for anybody who is not from the Northern part of
Switzerland, but turning it into the lingua franca for a black metal record seems even more absurd.
However, one thing becomes very clear when listening to Ateiggaer’s debut EP, to be released in
mid-November: These two guys (working under the monikers Fauth Temenkeel and Fauth Lantav)
make no sacrifices, they take no hostages, they are in it for themselves and for nobody else.
Associated with the up and coming Helvetic Underground Committee from Zurich, they are able to play a furious version of black metal that has long been associated with the second wave of black metal, stemming from Norway. They infuse their fundamental rage and well-shouted visions with short passages of intricate laid-back drum fills, guitar motifs and near-Gregorian chants that connect very well with the mysticism they are here to convey, just listen to “De Dämon us Levania” (the demon from Levania) – everything blends in nicely.
The world as we see it is not theirs, they talk about spheres and gods from another realm, always
able to surprise us with minuscule differences to the usual sound. Not even a year into their
existence, Ateiggaer already got a release by popular German black metal label Eisenton – no
surprise when listening to this EP which is hopefully not their last.
Process Black - Countdown Failure
When announcing this release of one of his numerous projects on iconic label Deathwish Inc.,
guitar player Aaron D.C. Edge said that this was a dream come true. Naturally, most any hardcore band dreams of releasing a record through Jacob Bannon’s label for several reasons – worldwide acclaim, lots of fans and, of course, the respect of the scene. However, the members of the band have already earned that respect over decades of contributing with so many bands (amongst them
Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye or Lumbar), so that this should not be a major goal.
Nevertheless, one goal was surely to release a standout single which they did. The noisy, low-tuned shredding by Aaron, Brock Lowry’s tight drumming or Tim Singer’s brilliant vocals (his name speaks for itself, evidently) all give the listener a shiver-evoking experience. The opener “Lies > Truth” already shows all the strengths of the band and additionally marks a deeply sarcastic lyricist.
“I don’t want truth… just lie to me” - sometimes people want to be lied to because (maybe) the
truth is too hard to bear, right? Well, truth be told, you will have to try hard to find a better noisehardcore debut single this year. The dream has come true for these experienced musicians.
Burden Limbs – There is no Escape
"miserable bastard music" / alternative / indie
Burden Limbs debut EP can hit you straight in the face when you least expect it as it displays a rougher version of the kind of dark pop that Kayo Dot presented on their latest record. The darkness is not only shown musically in a synth-driven melodrama like the self-titled track “Burden Limbs” but even more in their lyrics which are pretty straight-forward: “I'm so tired of suffering these reminders of a world I can't abide / Why else would I carve out my hatred and dissatisfaction?” The little red-glowing dots on the dark horizons are not leading the way to new-found hope but rather to blood raining in slo-mo from the skies. Not a lot of songs demand repeat as urgently as this one.
Burden Limbs can also knock you out in ways that do not sound like a doom-version of The Cooper Temple Clause but much more immediate with songs that introduce themselves into your longtimememory by means of simply intriguing lyrics by Chad Murray but also through the combination of synths, drones and gently-interwoven electronica giving you the chance to discover a lot of details and something new each time you sit down to really listen. And listen you should – these Londonboys might be up to something. They provide a great soundtrack to an overdose of medicine you don’t want to take but that you just can’t stop yourself from.
Kurokuma / Under – Kurokunder Split 7”
doom / sludge / noise rock / metal
Split releases – an interesting thing as most of us can name a few from the tip of our head, right? Isis and Aereogramme, Melt Banana and Fantomas, Battery and Ignite, The Ocean and Burst. Sometimes however, those with the unknown bands get you the most. Mid-November, Astral Noize will bring us one of the latter category, releasing a 7” by Kurokuma and Under. The combination is really striking, because both songs at first glance seem totally unrelated only sharing a certain weirdness.
Kurokuma starts off with a cover song (well, that is not unusual for a split release) – reworking a theme song for a 20 year old Sega game classic called “Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides of Time” - fortunately, this is not a close cover but a free interpretation as they turn the whirling theme into a pretty clever doom track with a lot of atmosphere and a striking hihat use so that the listener asks himself afterwards if this might not have been the better theme for Ecco’s second adventure.
Then Under are up next with “Abysal Gigantism” and they definitely have some sense of humor, because their track starts with some field recordings from the seaside so that you hear that kind of stuff you would expect from our dolphin. Then they turn the song into an eight minute epic somewhere between Crowhurst and Dillinger Escape Plan making clever use of vocoder, swirling guitars and waving drums all being held together by a strong rhythm section.
In the end, this 7” leaves one impressed by the chutzpah of combining those two bands and the
clever way both complement each other turning this split into a more than welcome stray from the
path of regular splits.
Witch Trail – The Sun Has Left The Hill
black metal / noise rock / post metal
Sometimes, certain boundaries should not be crossed. For example combining Motown Soul and
Classic Hardcore – that just doesn’t work. Nevertheless, some unexpected combinations might
work, just remember Zeal and Ardor combining gospel and black metal. Witch Trail do something similar – they create their own unique blend of post-metal taking a lot from Sonic Youth and Thurston Moore’s solo work and combining it with pure post-metal. And once again, Belgium (more specifically Ghent) proves to be a brilliant soil for unique combinations as the trio is really able to provide a fresh start to a genre as trodden as post-metal.
They take the classic noise-licks and use them to replace the regular post-metal riffs. This way they also implement the pop-appeal of good noise-rock into their songs. How they start “Lucid” with a noisy take on a nearly surf-twang guitar riff and then build the shrieking vocals around it, always leaving those easy and pumping noise-rock elements at the core of the song and right in the middle of our ears – impressive! Sometimes you must think of the Beach Boys (“Stupor”), but sharing the record with Stiff Little Fingers and Discharge (“Sinking”); suddenly Kim Gordon and SY show up on your mental stage (“Silent Running”) - but interestingly all of the songs are not sung by any of those but by a guy like Fenriz. These 29 minutes full of twists and turns, of clean-distorted noisy-ness and of blastbeats, of infernal shrieks and a unique soundscape really captures any open ear.
Melankolia is active since 2008 and has already a nice catalogue of interesting releases. The solo work from Lancaster Ohio U.S. based Mike ‘O Brien invites the sound perceiver for introspective listening. Melankolia participated already in several splits with Upon Shadows (Dark Metal), Hoyland (Dark Ambient) and Tamerlan (Dark Folk). He also works under other aliases like Veiled Monk, Alchemist, James The Lesser and he is member of the symphonic black metal band Appalachian Winter (Pennsylvania U.S.). During the last minutes of his free time he runs his label Nine Gates Records.
Mike ‘O Brien is a seeker, he translates his regrets with beautiful piano melodies drenched in gloom, exploring the laments of a past mired in sorrow. The climate change issues and the pollution of our world are woven in cold sounds of darkness. Spoken word pieces on this release corroborate his anger and powerlessness in deep and cold tunes filled with sorrow.
Slow but accurate the story of Melankolia continues and evolves further on. The inspiration for this release is based on the look-back Mike ‘O Brien got into the subject matter by a book of the same name (MECHUDZU), written by his uncle (professor Bryan Cantley). MECHUDZU is a mystical dark ambient release that drags you in a world of sinister melancholy which contains beautiful sounds of the darker side of life. His icy piano work is a musical conductor to visit the surreal worlds this artist captures in his dreamy compositions. The dreary mood on this recording is amplified with refined soundscapes and electronic effects.
Melankolia is an artist using a neoclassical input that keeps on delivering an amazing carpet of Dark Ambient music worth to check out. MECHUDZU is only available in digital format on Bandcamp (name your prize). Consider this a gift from an unknown but very talented artist.
Dark ambient during summer? During the moment we charge the batteries in order to bridge the future winter period, we were thrown into deep dark moods by NERATERRÆ's debut album The Substance of Perception. This inner journey to future seasons (autumn and winter) was produced, mixed and mastered by the Italian Alessio Antoni (NERATERRÆ).
Alessio Antoni also received the cooperation of some of the best dark ambient artists active on this planet. The result: a bold and varied collaboration that led to one of the darkest dark ambient releases, so far (during this year). Each of the seven jet-black electronic pearls have their own style which is partly determined by the participating artists.
The sound waves alternate with ritual and grim atmospheres, melancholic ambiance and stifling claustrophobic drones. There is not much light to be seen on this release, just a black void, like a gaping abyss, causing an inexpressible detachment from the tangible and the ruthless transformation of the self. Echoing Scars (with Flowers For Bodysnatchers) delivers with mourning whirling piano strokes a somewhat less dark atmosphere between the tracks filled with sounds of doom.
The participating artists (in order of the tracks) are: Northaunt (Norway), Alexey Tegin from Phurpa (Russia), New Risen Throne (Italy), Flowers For Bodysnatchers (Australia), Xerxes The Dark (Iran) and Treha Sektori (France) (together on track five), Ugasanie (Belarus) and Infinexhuma (USA).
The Substance of Perception is a stunning dark ambient edition of an unbelievably high level. NERATERRÆ’s deep sounds are the ideal companion for a long pitch black winter in hibernation. The mentioned artists are also worthwhile to give an exploratory listen (welcome to the dark ambient world). This release is also available on CD on the Bandcamp page of NERATERRÆ. The mysterious artwork was delivered by Nihil and Daria Endresen. We were blown away by this top release!
space ambient / dark ambient
An album released in June by Exosphere, a sublabel of Synphaera Records, Syzygies — a record by an electronic music artist working under the pseudonym Spinnet — has seven tracks: 1) Unitary; 2) Decoherence; 3) Vicious Walks; 4) Secant; 5) Transcendence; 6) Centroid; 7) Large Scale; with very slow, sometimes somber and gradually surreal expectations, the music of Spinnet is a marvelous, though condescending, lugubrious and vertical descent into darkness. While the music is pragmatically technical, and overtly simple in its structural tonalities, the work is amazingly efficient, and definitely delivers to the audience a spectacularly dense and cohesive universe of melancholic shadows, that abruptly conceives a deleterious universe of anxious cosmogony, that stretches the expansive and diluted tissue of the sound.
A very good work — that departs from a minimalist and very technical musical sensitivity —, Syzygies is an album whose sonority relies mostly on the hazardous atmosphere created by the artist, that discreetly delivers a style that psychologically plays with the listener, in a very intelligent perspective. With a more simple, but expressively lucid style, that grows from within its own introspective darkness, this work is a primordially sensible, refined and sinister musical effort, whose elementary conceptions and creative urgencies will easily captivate enthusiasts of the genre.
While the sound promotes a growing uneasiness within the listener's mind, its grotesque, but elegant nature progressively saturates the space on which its bizarre, but very original organic style is conceived. Delivering a space-oriented paradigm that aspires to the higher and more genuine qualities of the genre, Syzygies definitely is an album that stands out by the virtues of its eccentric features and sinister uniqueness, although in a way the sound is very homogeneous, despite displaying in several passages a brilliant versatility that revolves around pragmatic and cohesive musical tonalities.
Despite the fact that the album is relatively concise, Syzygies is a primordial and very beautiful work of art. With an intricate atmosphere — that really circulates over the dense universe of its own sinister demise —, the dehydrated darkness that comes out of this marvelous sonorous conjuncture of pervasive and dispersive symphonies defines a new creative system for the genre, that discreetly showcases a more proficient and somber method of musical sensibilities, designed to rearrange dark ambient elements in a more enigmatic, plural and cohesive consistency.
Julien Lacroix, the man behind this enigmatic dark ambient project, spent the summer of 2018 in French Guiana where he was baffled by the forces of nature and their effect on human civilization. With visions of overgrown buildings, mass hysteria and folklore legends, Lacroix went back to France to write and record the new Moloch Conspiracy full-length.
Titled 'Baclou', this new album is a swirling piece of dark ambient, containing eight tracks. Formed only in 2017, Moloch Conspiracy delivers a surprisingly experienced sound, one which sounds mythical, ominous and emotional. Something within this set of soundscapes and drones tells me that Lacroix is somewhat of a perfectionist. 'Irridescent Lights' opens the album in perfect dark ambient tradition. You could easily use it to accompany your horror stories and fans of acts like Raison 'd Etre, Troum or Inade will certainly appreciate this. 'Bagne's Nightmares' is a first highlight, a torpid piece of dark ambient which somehow comes with some sort of pulsating drive.
Another highlight is title track 'Baclou'. It also seems to be a fan favorite on the bandcamp page and for a good reason too. This is a haunting piece of music, so narrative that it drags you down into one of those dark folklore legends. 'In The Forest' follows that example. With this one it's not so hard to close your eyes and imagine yourself wandering through ancient and haunted woods. Judging from the impending overtone of this track, not many of us would survive this adventure. The album ends with another highlight, but perhaps this record is just full of dark ambient highlights. Lingering soundscapes, eerie drones, sounds of nature trying to strangle you and often threatening percussion. If you are into those elements, 'Baclou' is a must-add to your already impressive collection.