We kick off with Hulduefni, guitar drone and ambient act from Lisbon, Portugal. This act could be seen as a harsh, almost blackened, free-floating version of some of the drone-acts we know today, like a sharp and edgy Aidan Baker or a harsh and rough Dirk Serries' Microphonics. Layers of drones and eerie guitar shrieks make up most of Hulduefni's four tracks here. Somehow, the tracks sound primitive, but still quite immersive and even a bit ritualistic.
I Am Esper (USA) has been evolving a lot over the years. His sound is basically quite similar to what his predecessor brings but without the rough, sharp edges. I see I Am Esper as one of the most interesting acts in the drone-underworld today and as far as I'm concerned, he can compete with some of the bigger names, including Thisquietarmy and Noveller. In fact, his 'Cosmic Death I' is a brilliant piece of dark drone music while Part II is bitter, intense and noisy. Love it.
Paleozoic, from Belarus, continues on the thin line between atmospheric ambient and noise. Here we get cold drones, eerie soundscapes and an overall mystical aura. His contribution on this split might be the most fearsome and imminent, as if something is lurking from behind you, ready to strike but feeding on your fear and desolation instead. 'More Plowed Fields' is my favorite track from this project.
We close this split with Russian act Satanath, who seems to bring in a bit of rhythm on this album. His experimental and electronic approach is very interesting, grabbing the listener's attention almost immediately. I really dig the 'Kolaptos' track but I'm also quite in awe about the strangeness of the other tracks. Satanath certainly delivered the most varied set of tracks on this album, that's for sure.
In all, this split album is an interesting testament for the current dark ambient underground. Four quite different artist who take their art seriously and perform deeply personal music. I can only applaud that, so it shouldn't be a surprise if I recommend this album to every fan of avant-garde, ritual and atmospheric stuff. So check it out, and allow yourself to dwell in these mysterious soundscapes. You won't regret it...