This year started in a really strong manner for the dark ambient scene. Few solid releases were out on Loki and Cyclic Law during the first months of 2012, giving it a promising start. Some of the CD's were reviewed here and there by Brutal Resonance crew members to bring our readers the part of our inspiration from those albums. And now it is April to spread even better news. One of most honorable and veteran labels of the scene which we thought to be out of business already, regains power, takes a deep breath and blasts out with a set of solid albums and again proves the fact, that once you put your leg into the scene, you can never pop off without regret. Today it is Cold Meat Industry to bring delight into my heart resurrecting the line of its artists. And one of the bullets that shoot me down, is Dahlia's Tear long awaited album called 'Dreamsphere'.
Five long years passed from the last record of Dahlia's Tear. Finding its new home at Cold Meat, this formation naturally leveled the expectations from the new album. And here it is, right in my hand while I willingly dive into that creation.
It is always hard to review the albums that are highly abstract and individually oriented. Those albums can touch different strings inside each individuality, rising subjective feelings. And this is the case of 'Dreamsphere' as well. The album welcomes the listener with "The Transition" and top level cinematics hit me from the very beginning. Opening the gate into obscure haunted house, diving into the deep lake of horror and terror, this is the first step of the journey. Each door inside it hides a different nightmare; each floor is covered with a blood of innocent victims.
Extremely complex sound layers are engraved with samples of women chanting, creepy children ghostly voices fill the ambience, percussion and huge amount of field recordings. The usage of tribal soundscapes inside the structure rises the feeling of an ancient cults and human sacrifices to beseech cruel gods of long forgotten times. "Carousel of the Headless Horse" brings the vision of the abandoned park with the real carousel and rotten childish zombified figures, dead trees spread their branches over the decaying pool, death and devastation is everywhere. Able usage of different sampled gramophone sounds, various field recordings, church bells ringing and cinematic manipulation with the musical structures are the key to the heart of a squeamish listener like me. Extremely mystical "Dreamscape (Liquid Chamber)" captures me with more and more elements, like a slight background piano melodies, cracking, clicking, running water effects.
And here they come, two most powerful tracks of the album for my taste. First of all "Toward the Dark Cellar", a totally massive, which fully consists of a deep piano melody, enchanting me with its uncovered dark beauty and sadness, supported by background field recordings. And of course, "An Enigma in the Black Gap", which wide and colorful tribal soundscapes rise ancient spirits of earth and water to transform by the end of the track into enormous flow of strong droning dying layers.
Six long compositions create a vast landscape that fit a hundred percent into the concept of Cold Meat Industry scene vision, cultivated almost two decades. An example of successful mix between experimental, industrial and neoclassical cultures, and as a result is a brilliant record to inflame the hearts of even the most hard-boiled fans of dark ambient genre.
[ Under Seven Skies ]
"...Dahlia’s Tear music is within the dark ambient genre, though his music is noticeably far more harmonious and generally more dynamic, fascinating and varied than your typical dark droning ambient band, which are nearly a dime a dozen these days. The music has a very strong dreamy and otherworldly quality to it which allows the listener to pass into a realm of unknown thoughts and visions which may very well elude them when not listening to music like this. This is truly a great album to listen to while lying in bed since personally I’ve had some very interesting thoughts and dreams pass through my brain while under the influence of Dahlia’s Tear songs.
It’s interesting since the music is more than just lush melodic synthesizers; Dahlia’s Tear music also features distorted electric guitars in the background, industrial characteristics, sampled voices, female and male chanting, treated field recordings, piano and some well placed subtle beats too. I also love the way the music carries a very cold atmosphere to it and even though it’s fairly hot outside today I still feel a slight chill as a listen to this album and occasionally notice the hairs on my arms standing on end too. Wonderful.
Additionally the album comes packaged in a sharp looking digipak with wonderful artwork too. If you have any love for dark melodic ambient music then this is surely not one to miss as its absolutely fantastic for its entire forty eight minute duration. [ Review by J.M. Lunar Hypnosis (United States) ].
If you deep in to super duper ambient sound as much as I am and by that I mean [ Brian Eno ] ~ [ Ghost Wear Clothes ] ~ [ The Nikki Grace Experience ] etc etc then [ Dahlia's Tear ] is the way to go. Straight 10 out of 10 artist on BOTH releases. I guess you just know it when you come across a sound and you instantly feel like this is one artist that you are going to follow till the end. PREPARE YOURSELF TO GO PLACES GUYS. And believe me here when I say the 2007 title [ Under Seven Skies ] is just as good as [ Dreamsphere ]. EXCELLENT ARTWORKS, EXCELLENT COVERS AND ABOVE ALL BRILLIANT SOUND. If you can afford these titles BY ALL MEANS... BUY THEM.
Crafting a concept album is an incredibly difficult task. Tying together a cohesive narrative across a record’s worth of songs isn’t just daunting, it’s an endeavour that even some of the industry’s finest have failed to do memorably. This task, however, becomes notably more difficult when you’re dealing in the abstract via instrumental soundscapes. That is what Chronotope Project, the moniker of composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen, attempts to do with his latest project, ‘Ovum.’
NAAL is an eclectic music project led by Chicago composer Dave Mantel. This talented musician has a true passion for great melodies and haunting musical textures. His blend of ambient, shoegaze and experimental drone music feels personal and unique, echoing the work of artists such as Slowdive, Boards of Canada or Sigur Ros, just to mention a few.