Tuesday 30 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: interlopers

Dark Ambient Review: interlopers

Review By Casey Douglass


I think that some of the best horrors take the sights and sounds that we see every day, and introduce some unsettling element to them, something that corrupts them and forces us to look at things differently. This feeling lingers even when we are done with the film, show or book, and when we next see a similar object, we get echoes of those feelings. Josh Sager’s dark ambient album interlopers would provide a great soundtrack for such a tale.

The interlopers album art makes me think of invaders from other dimensions, or maybe humanity has finally made the weapon that will cause its own extinction. The metal structure and the chopped edits give rise to ideas of a mashing of worlds, or a clash of strange energies. The ubiquity of these kinds of structures, or similar ones such as pylons, in the developed world at least, drags these feelings into the realm of the everyday. The album title: interlopers, and the various track names, such as “auger spires” and “when mountains walk” really cemented these ideas for me, which the music then confirmed with gusto.

The first and titular track “interlopers” gives a great broad taste of what I felt. It opens with a fizzing, punching double beat, a windy drone blowing behind it. A buzzing electronic tone pulses out a simple melody, a high bird-like tone and a howl-like wail occasionally sounding. There is even the chime-like clinking of what could be milk bottles being left on a doorstep. This track brought such images to mind as an angry sky, a building storm, litter strewn streets and grit covered windows. It felt ominous though, like whatever catastrophe has occurred is either the first of many, or that the thing that caused it is still in the area, still a threat.

The track “to a flame” is one of my favourites. I think it’s because it opens with, for me, a retro horror-feeling electronic melody, the kind that you might hear as the victims in a film approach the haunted house that they are about the spend the night in. A scratchy beat begins a little later, accompanied by a low vibrating tone that almost snarls into the soundscape. A short while later, a roaming, ghostly sound begins, sweeping rushes of air pushing static through the ears. This track is another ominous one, and the changes in melody that come after the midpoint only serve to ramp this feeling up even more.

The final track that I wanted to talk about is “auger spires”. This is partly because it opens with a gentle, light tone and drone, with only small hints of wind or menace. The soundscape feels resonant and pulsing, and on an emotional level, ominous, but like a moment of respite too. It caused me to think about what an out of town industrial estate is like at midnight. Wide roads, tall, hanger like buildings and expanses of concrete. Then a vibrating tone begins in the track, a shuddering impact hot on its heels. For me, this was the audio equivalent of the street lights or security lights gradually fading as something dark or evil approaches. There is a shrill tone that twists in the air, and things turn to that uneasy, apprehensive feeling once more.

If you enjoy dark ambient music with fizzing electronic tones, haunting drones and unsettling “windy night on an industrial estate after an invasion” atmospheres, you should take a closer listen to Josh Sager’s interlopers at the link below.

Visit the interlopers page on Bandcamp for more information. You can also check out the titular track below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: interlopers

Album Artist: Josh Sager

Released: 22 Feb 2021

Sunday 28 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Radioactive Immersion

Dark Ambient Review: Radioactive Immersion

Review By Casey Douglass

Radioactive Immersion

At times, the beauty and courage of the dark ambient genre strikes me as if I’m discovering it for the first time. Sitting here, trying to decide how to begin this review, reading the album description of Radioactive Immersion, a collab between Dronny Darko and Ajna, it hit me again. An album steeped in desolation, peril, and set in the aftermath of a disaster? What other genre of music offers something so fucking cool?

Said album description depicts the gloomy exploration of dark tunnels, humans edging warily into the pitch black of a space where old, murderous technology sits in standby mode. There is mention of mutated plants, a fungal forest, and hazmat-suited bodies being embraced into strange cocoons. Call it a hunch, but I suspect you could happily wander around in such an environment and not have to give two shits about Covid. Sometimes a different peril is as much of a tonic as a holiday.

Radioactive Immersion features soundscapes that paint a bleak cinematic picture of the events that the listener might be listening to. There are tiny, Geiger-counter-like clicks, there are muted beeps, the sound of dripping water, and the squeaking rattling of metal things as they move, either by human hand or in some other manner. The first track, Anomalous Gravity Distortion, is a prime example. It opens with a clicking, and a ghostly drone, a warm hum bleeding through from beneath. It creates a hollow, echoing space, with hints of insect-like twitching and movement. It feels like walking down a long tunnel. After awhile, you are treated to the sound of subdued radio-voices and the sounds of what might be a generator whining. There is a radio-static hiss and a puttering, and a windy rushing sound that almost masks the small beeps and squeals of equipment. The clicking takes off, like microwave popcorn gaining heat, leaving you with a soundscape that manages to feel both hot and chilly, quiet and busy, at the same time.

Plutonium Clouds (feat. ProtoU) is one of my favourite tracks. It begins with distant echoing impacts. They repeat again and again, almost taking on the mantle of some kind of giant machine or bellows pushing air around the tunnel system. A warm drone grows, shortly followed by a shrill train-whistle sound. Later come high, hopeful tones and a vocal-like “ahh” quality. This track billows and swells with impressions of murky distance, a bit like how the sun can make a meadow mist shine. Just imagine the same thing underground, with a nuclear glow and rattling metal. I like the peacefulness of this track, and how that gets peeled back to utter grimness when you stop to think about it more deeply.

Another of my favourite tracks is Mutated DNA. A resonant tone falls over time and reversed, clipped tones begin to chop into the air. Strange beeps, pops and plinking tones deepen this effect, some of them sounding distinctly wet. It creates a really odd space, and really brought to mind the way DNA might suddenly warp or twist, like a random twitch entering the face of a motionless meditator. It just happens. After the midpoint, the track feels full of scurrying movement and egg-shell cracking birthing. I guess, to my mind, it made something half cockroach, half David Cronenberg creation.

Radioactive Immersion is a dark ambient album that carries the listener along the buzzing, mist-filled tunnels of a disaster. The echoing impacts, crumbling brickwork and rattling metal barriers all seem to vie with the strange wind that fills the lungs of the place. Curious creatures and corrupted vegetation live there now, and I wonder how long it might be before they decide to claim some of the world above for their own use. A great album.

Visit the Radioactive Immersion page on Bandcamp for more information. You can also check out Plutonium Clouds below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Radioactive Immersion

Album Artists: Dronny Darko & Ajna

Label: Cryo Chamber

Released: 9 Mar 2021

Sunday 21 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium

Dark Ambient Review: Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium

Review By Casey Douglass

Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium

Warhammer 40,000 is something I’ve tried to get into on a number of occasions, but until recently, I didn’t really click with it. A good omnibus of novels has helped massively, dabbling with one of the PC games too, and finally getting around to listening to the two albums that I am going to talk about in this review. I’ll mention the book and the game at the end, but the two dark ambient albums come from Monasterium Imperi: Dark Litanies of Terra and Mundus Sanctorium.

Both albums take a little of their inspiration from the Warhammer 40K world, but they aren’t intended to be overly entwined with the lore of that universe, nor is there any formal link with Games Workshop. Monasterium Imperi simply suggests that they might make a good soundtrack to listen to while you’re engaged in any amount of thought or gaming, that might include the darkness of that universe.

I made the decision to review both albums together, as that is the way that I first listened to them, and also because it just seemed right to me. In the broadest of strokes, I’d say that Dark Litanies of Terra seemed the most pious or sacral of them both, with Mundus Sanctorium’s field-recorded or other additions seeming to set three quite specific kinds of scene. Both albums feature the soothing style of sinister Gregorian chanting that might accompany a sprawling and powerful human civilization though, and for me, it’s by far the feature that stands most prominent.

Dark Litanies of Terra

Dark Litanies of Terra consists of seven, relatively brief tracks, each of which is dedicated to Earth. For me, they conjured the kind of mental imagery that you might expect if you have seen the artwork of the Warhammer 40K world. I felt like I was walking the polished gothic halls and chapels of sinister cathedrals, the sunlight shining through carefully placed windows battling its way through the darkness that creeps at the edges.

The track Fratres is probably my favourite. It opens with a sinister vibration and a throbbing bass rumble. The sacral chants begin and a lighter melody accompanies them, the odd hefty, single drum-beat sounding. This track includes something in the chant that I really enjoy. I’ve called it a “shred” but I’m sure that’s not the real term. Some of the chant has a higher edge, or maybe it’s even an extra tone added. It’s just a really pleasing counter to the unrelenting depth of some of the deepest tones. This whole track, for me, had an “enemy at the gates” feeling, that life was about to change and that dark deeds are about to be set into motion, in an effort to protect that life.

Mundus Sanctorium

Mundus Sanctorium is three longer tracks, each set to evoke worshipful life on far-flung sacred worlds in the cosmos. As I said previously, each track has a number of field-recorded or other elements that really set the scene. The first, Ordo Arcanum Cognitio has the splash of wind, rain and leaves. The second, Angeles Metalikus has a kind of electro-energetic fizzing, and the third, Credo Ultima, has the hiss and movement of something mechanical,along with distant screams. Guess which was my favourite?

Credo Ultima opens with a low drone, a clattering distant impact, and horn-like tones. Then the first scream begins. There is a chiming-knocking sound, and a regular piston-hiss, painting a picture of some kind of correctional or torture structure, a place for the heretics to be shown the error of their ways maybe. The calming chanting begins, with “shred”, and the screams that come after seem to amp up in their agony. I loved this track as it was the darkest for me, but the other two evoke some great impressions too.

Final Thoughts

Leading up to this review, I picked up Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn trilogy on Kindle. It’s currently £1.99 and is over a thousand pages of Warhammer 40K fun. I was partly swayed by one of the reviews, saying that it was a great book even if you weren’t a 40K fan, or maybe even if you’d not enjoyed other stuff. For £1.99 I picked it up. I’m half way through it at the moment and it’s brilliant. Eisenhorn is like the Inquisitor version of Sherlock Holmes, in some aspects. The book has already mentally taken me to an ice-world where most of the population has to be cryogenically frozen until the weather improves, to strange space-bending realities, and to witness a massive act of heretical terrorism that blew my mind.

Having spent a few weeks with Eisenhorn, I also decided I’d like to give Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 a try. It’s a space-based real time strategy game where you can blast and pulverise the enemy with massive gothic spaceships. I’ve not been gaming much recently, and I’m finding BFG:A2 a bit overwhelming, but I’ve had a couple of hours with it so far and I’m enjoying the pomp and bluster of the conflict. This game, with the book and these two dark ambient albums have created a nice little triangle of interest for me, and all of them have fed into the others to make them feel more fleshed out and more vivid.

Would I have enjoyed the darkness of Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium, if I hadn’t discovered a newfound interest in Warhammer 40K? I think I would. Is my enjoyment of the Warhammer 40K universe amplified in the other direction as well? Definitely. I like things based on dark religious ideas, even though most modern day religions leave me a little disgusted. Such is the paradox of my own mind. Losing myself in the dark chant-based soundscapes of Monasterium Imperi while contemplating what it might be like to live in such a bleak yet powerful future is just what I feel I need right now.

Visit the Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium pages on Bandcamp for more information. You can also have a skip through Dark Litanies of Terra below:

Album Titles: Dark Litanies of Terra / Mundus Sanctorium

Album Artist: Monasterium Imperi A.k.a Scorpio V

Label: Prometheus Studio

Released: 24 Dec 2020 / 5 Feb 2021

Friday 19 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs

Dark Ambient Review: Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs

Review By Casey Douglass

Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs

Just over a month ago, I reviewed Sonologyst’s Dust of Human Race album, a dark musical look at death. Shortly after posting that review, Sonologyst kindly gave me a review copy of another of his death-themed albums: Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs. This album released in early 2020, and it is described as a musical investigation of the cults and beliefs in ancient times.

Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs isn’t tagged as dark ambient on Bandcamp, although I think it could easily fall into that genre, especially if you consider its drone, ritual and experimental elements. When you listen to the album, you will hear various field-recordings too, such as the shushing of leaves, the wind, and various knocking and possibly bone-grinding sounds. The first track, Purgatorium, begins with a number of these, a sweeping, gritty soundscape that seems laden with sighs, furtive movement and stray drumbeats. For me, it brought to mind sand and a cold desert night, with some strange rite being performed in the light of a flickering fire.

Ceremony is the next track, and for me, felt a bit digital, like an online funeral or the death of an android. It opens with a windy, pulsing drone, with a tapping or dripping sound, like raindrops on a plastic barrel. There is the sound of squeaking, juddering metal, and a tortured electronic shriek. I think this is where I got the “android” feeling from. Later come buzzes, shrills, chants, and a variety of breath-like sounds, things similar to panting or breathing. It’s a strange, unnerving and fun track.

Primeval Science is next, a track that opens with a hum and a two-tone beeping. It warbles and warps, a vibration building behind it. There is a slicing, digging-like sound, similar to a spade chopping its way into cold soil. The track grows in harshness, and later, smooths into a calmer space. I felt like it was a track that was viewing life through the filter of death, like a ghost looking back at the living, and only being able to see them properly when the more ritual drumbeat element emerges near the end, to smooth things out.

The penultimate track is Popol Vuh, an echoing string-based track swelling with a whirling electronic tone. I’d imagine this track would be quite a good fit for what being in an opium den might have felt like. There are insect wing flaps, creaking and wooden knocking, with a tortured exhale sounding somewhere near the midpoint. Pipe notes appear and a pulsing quality seems to flow through the soundscape. This track felt mellow and disconcerting at the same time, lulling and antagonising, and probably some other contradictions that didn’t occur to me.

The final track is Anubus, House of Dead Prince. As you might imagine with a title like that, this track had me contemplating pyramids. It starts with a buzzing that’s full of digital fuzz and distortion, higher tones floating gently around it. A quiet chime knocks, and a mellow melody. The buzzing takes on a chant-like aspect, and chiming notes knock along, making me feel like I was listening to a haphazard clock ticking. Or, a procession of worshippers moving into the bowels of a pyramid. The rest of the track confirmed this impression, and some of the sounds split from ear to ear in a nicely pleasing way. There are “sparkles” and echoes and a low rhythmic quality. It’s a nice trip.

Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs is a fascinating album, each track having its own unique way of slipping some death spirituality into your day. If you like your music questing and a little jarring at times, you should head over to the Bandcamp page below and take a closer look.

Visit the Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs page on Bandcamp for more information.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Ancient Death Cults and Beliefs

Album Artist: Sonologyst

Released: 13 March 2020

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: A Taxonomy of Grief

Dark Ambient Review: A Taxonomy of Grief

Review By Casey Douglass

A Taxonomy of Grief

Before I wrote this review, I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what the word “taxonomy” really meant. Having looked up the meaning, and seeing that it is a way of classifying or defining things, I have a new appreciation for how A Taxonomy of Grief’s title relates to the track names, and to the theme that Sumatran Black’s dark ambient album contains.

What I found on A Taxonomy of Grief was a collection of tracks that seemed to capture the uneasy melancholy and shock of grief, the way that the sufferer knows things are real, and that they happened, but their body and mind don’t really “feel” it; it hasn’t sunken in. Certain of the tracks also had a great ability to present the feeling of time stretching, a little like the grief equivalent of boredom, when the night seems to never end, and neither does the emotional turmoil.

The first two tracks set the tone for me. A Day Like Any Other contains tones and vibrations that put me in mind of a car journey after a normal day. The sun is setting, the shadows cast by the trees that line the road grow harder and harder to make out as the sky darkens. God’s Hand Touched Him And He Slept carried on that feeling, but deepened it into night fall, with a dream-like warmth and quiet tones later joined by the sounds of an ambulance and the impression of flashing blue lights casting depressing lightning-strikes into the landscape around.

Whereas for me, the first two tracks were about a death coming out of the blue and turning a normal day upside down, a couple of other of my favourite tracks had their feet firmly planted in dealing with the aftermath. The track: A Taxonomy of Grief is one that taps into that “grief equivalent of boredom” I mentioned above. You can hear a papery scratching and turning sound, which made me think of someone hunched over a desk filling in an endless amount of paperwork. This track made me think of buzzing lightbulbs, stuttering radio interference, and even put me in mind of a church organ with some of its tones. It was very much an endless night embodied in sound for me, and I thought it was excellent.

Another track that I really appreciated was Deep Blue Sorrow. It opens with string-like notes and a faint shimmer in the distance, screechy tones and echoes soon joining the fun. There are electronic “burbles” and what might be something dripping, along with sounds that suggested someone moving. The image that came to mind when listening to this track was of someone sitting in a bedroom, a few doors along from a person that is a suicide risk who is taking a bath. That’s how I’d describe the tension I felt, a kind of watchful paranoia, the kind where you think everything will be okay but you don’t entirely believe that life is that forgiving.

The final track that I wanted to mention is The Rest is Silence, in no small part because it led me to think of a corpse on an autopsy table, a lone fly buzzing around it. The fly came from the buzzing in the soundscape, but the rest came from the mixture of tones and drones. It’s another track filled with a sense of tension, but also with a hollow kind of waiting, and later, what might be ghostly yells, or simply the wind. I thought it was a nice, strong track, and that it created a great atmosphere.

The tracks that I most enjoyed on A Taxonomy of Grief are those that tended to be nearer the type of dark ambient that I most often like to listen to. Those that featured field-recorded sounds and were more drone-based seemed to pull me in. The tracks that seemed more a mixture of electronic tones left me a little indifferent, even though I still got the sense of the “grief” theme through them. They just weren’t to my own taste. I did find plenty to enjoy with this album though, and if you feel like dipping into an album themed around grief and the many ways that it might manifest, you should definitely check out A Taxonomy of Grief.

Visit the A Taxonomy of Grief page on Bandcamp for more information.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: A Taxonomy of Grief

Album Artist: Sumatran Black

Label: Sumatran Black Records

Released: 11 Feb 2021

Saturday 13 March 2021

Book Review: How To Think Like A Roman Emperor

Book Review: How To Think Like A Roman Emperor

Review By Casey Douglass

How To Think Like A Roman Emperor

Of all the philosophies that I’ve encountered in my life, I think that Stoicism is the one that I’ve found most intriguing and useful. Sadly, as so many of the original Stoic writings have been lost to history, anyone who wants to learn about the philosophy has to ‘Sherlock Holmes’ their way through all sorts of fragments, letters and disjointed notes, with the odd actual book thrown in for good measure. Donald Robertson’s How To Think Like A Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, brings many Stoic principles and ideas together in one book, and what’s more, gives us plenty of examples of how Marcus Aurelius himself, likely put these into action in his efforts to live a wise and virtuous life.

Writing this a few days after finishing the book, I feel like I want to begin with how helpful it is that the book focussed on Marcus Aurelius and his life. Before reading How To Think Like A Roman Emperor, I’d read most of the ‘go to’ Stoic books, including Epictetus’ Discourses, Seneca’s Letters, and Marcus’ own Meditations. I’d also read some modern books on Stoicism, including Donald’s own Stoicism and the Art of Happiness. I tried to implement some of the Stoic techniques and perspectives that I encountered, into my own life, but I didn’t really feel that a great deal ‘stuck’.

The way that How To Think Like A Roman Emperor is anchored around Marcus Aurelius really seems to have provided the framework that I needed. Previously, I had a very vague idea of what Marcus Aurelius was like, besides a few notions about how good or virtuous he was meant to be. Now, thanks to Donald, I feel like I understand so much more. As an example, I didn’t realise that Marcus had an adoptive-brother and son-in-law called Lucius, and that, despite having a similar education in philosophy, they were two people who used that knowledge in vastly different ways, Lucius preferring to chase pleasure over almost anything else. This comes back so nicely to Donald’s introduction to the book.

On the last page of the introduction, Donald says that Stoicism can provide many tremendous things to your life, but warns that words on a page won’t achieve these changes, that only you can do that by putting the ideas into practise. Reading about Lucius and Marcus, their relationship and their actions, is such a fine example of this sentiment, and this leads me to other pleasing discoveries. One example is that I had no idea that the Stoics liked to hold up The Choice of Hercules as a moral fable of wisdom and virtue, in no small part due to the way that Hercules has to choose which path to take in life: that of Virtue or Vice. What seemed to make things even juicier for the Stoics, was that Hercules voluntarily chose the harder path, and had a much richer life for the effort. Epictetus tells his students that Hercules would never have become the Hercules they knew if he’d just stayed in bed!

Alongside the things that were new to me, there was also a liberal helping of Stoic ideas and techniques that I’d studied before. These included the explaining of the power that our judgements have in whether we are happy or miserable, and the usefulness of the Stoic Reserve Clause in helping us to accept that the outcomes of so many of the things we attempt aren’t wholly up to us, among many other helpful ideas. Donald also uses his psychology ‘chops’ and brings some elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) into things, which he says seems fitting, considering that CBT was itself inspired by Stoicism.

I really enjoyed this melding of the Stoic philosophy with the modern therapy that more people might actually be familiar with. I was taught about CBT decades before I’d even heard of Stoicism. This was during the initial treatment of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it was nice to read a book that highlights some of the overlap between the two systems. As with many things though, the situation and the time in which you find yourself reading a book often informs what might jump out at you, or which information you might find most useful. So what did I get out of my first journey through How To Think Like A Roman Emperor?

To recap, I feel that the main thing I got out of it was having a more fleshed out idea of who Marcus Aurelius really was, and this helped me in a number of snow-balling ways. When it comes to some of the practises that entail asking yourself how someone like Marcus might respond to a situation, I now feel that I can do that with a little more insight. Before, the only Marcus that I could think of when pondering that question was Marcus Burnett, Martin Laurence’s character in the Bad Boys films. I think ‘Bad Boys Marcus’ would have just started swearing and freaking out, which doesn’t seem like a sustainable path to improving your life.

I have also adopted a number of the practises in the book, practises that I had already encountered before but had failed to follow through with. These include meditating on the day ahead when I wake in the morning, trying to be mindful during the day, and reviewing how my day went before going to sleep at night, to see how I could have responded to things in a way that is more aligned with my virtues or values. I’ve also started to become more aware of the value Stoics put in speaking plainly, describing things with less emotion and avoiding rhetoric, which in the age of social media and click-bait news stories, seems timely advice indeed. The number of occasions that I have seen something described as ‘catastrophic’ or ‘devastating’, and then see that the person saying these things is rarely directly affected by whichever event they are commenting on... It’s no wonder social media is often so febrile.

I recommend How To Think Like A Roman Emperor to anyone who would like to learn more about Stoic philosophy and/or Marcus Aurelius. My only regret is that this wasn’t the first book I read on the subject, as it really did hit the nail on the head for me. It also appears that Donald is working on a Marcus Aurelius graphic novel, which is something I’d be very interested in seeing!

Book Title: How To Think Like A Roman Emperor

Book Author: Donald Robertson

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Released: 2 April 2019

Current Price (Amazon UK): £16.32 (Hard-cover), £6.43 (Paperback). £5.83 (Kindle)

ISBN: 978-1250196620

Thursday 11 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Division Cycle

Dark Ambient Review: Division Cycle

Review By Casey Douglass

Division Cycle

Just as brutality and war can sometimes mask noble deeds, beauty and peace can conceal something dark and brooding. Hilyard’s dark ambient album Division Cycle, for me, falls into this latter category. The album art and description serve up a quick one-two to the ribs, the soundscapes contained in the tracks themselves delivering a final kick to the “nethers”, and I loved it.

No I’m not kinky, well, not to that degree, but I think you’ll understand what I mean. The green lush vista seen in the album art looks majestic and serene, even if the architecture looks like it was designed to keep out King Kong. The album description tells tale of gears of hatred and wrath, grinding bones and a hungry earth eager for our flesh. Those rolling green hills and mountains on the cover feel more than a little bit different now don’t they!

This dichotomy carries over into the tracks themselves. They feel lulling and warm, but often with a creeping feeling of darkness underneath things. There are airy drones, chants, shimmering tones and flowing notes, but at times, they feel hollow, a little like the soundscape is an egg-shell that is just starting to present with the cracks of the thing struggling within. I’m certainly not getting the “fluffy little chick” vibe from what the egg might contain.

Equal Segments is one of my favourite tracks. It opens with bat-like sounds, chittering and flitting in an echoing, hiss-filled space. A metallic thump rings out, a dark sonar for the listener’s mind as a feeling of rock and depth sighs away into the distance. I had mental images of a vast cavern, flickering torches tracing a treacherous path to a gargantuan temple, one that nestles just at the edge of perception. This is a soundscape of chittering teeth, the smooth ebb and flow of lulling tones, and a distance that feels like it’s trying to keep what is down there separate from the world of sun and wind above.

Heartwood Reverie is another track that stood out for me. It seems to begin with two, “ahh-like” drones that are accompanied by a deeper swell at times. The general feeling for me was very like a droning bee-hive, but more chant-like, less insectoid, if that makes sense. The title of the track completed the imagery that this track brought to my mind. What I envisaged was a forest, maybe a few meadows away. The day is turning to night and the trees are glowing and flickering with strange lights cast from deeper in the tree-filled domain. It felt a little Lovecraftian, like seeing the Cats of Ulthar bounding up to the Moon. A dream-vision in the real world? Maybe.

The final track that I will mention in any depth is Abandoned Ramparts. It opens with a whistling wind and a deep, subterranean rumbling, possibly with hints of thunder. The tones, drones and notes that emerge are a warm blanket against the wind, but this felt like a dark landscape, one in which night has come early. The light of the Moon makes the scudding clouds look ominous and majestic. Maybe whatever plan was afoot to protect this area, this way of life has failed, and now a lone watcher stays on the ramparts, taking a last look at the landscape they knew, before it changes forever.

Division Cycle is a relaxing dark ambient album, one to listen to when things seem lost, and also when things seem like they are going very well. The division between the so-called good and bad in life is often just a matter of time or perspective, and having an album to listen to that reminds you of both, like an audio version of yin and yang, is a fine thing.

Visit the Division Cycle page on Bandcamp for more information. You can also check out Equal Segments below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Division Cycle

Album Artist: Hilyard

Label: Cryo Chamber

Released: 23 February 2021

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Dark Ambient Interview: Mindspawn

 Dark Ambient Interview: Mindspawn


At the beginning of the year, I posted my review of Daemon, a dark ambient album from Mindspawn, a musician also known as Gene Williams. After reading the album description and some of Gene’s postings on his own website, I had more than a few questions that I was curious to get the answers to. Gene was kind enough to agree to an interview, the result of which you can see below. We talk about the role a persona plays in his creativity, the perils of working with tools that can be different each time you turn them on, and we get a glimpse of Gene’s general philosophy towards life. I hope that you find the interview as fascinating as I did.

Casey: You originally created the Mindspawn persona to aid in the creation of your solo musical projects. In a blog post in early 2020, you say that, over time, the Mindspawn persona has tended to gravitate more towards what might be termed dark ambient creations. With these things in mind, in which ways does using a persona help you in your musical endeavours, and why do you think that Mindspawn, over time, has tended towards the dark ambient side of things?

Gene: Personas create a loose framework on which to explore certain aspects of my creativity. Think about David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Hank Williams,' Luke The Drifter, or Nicki Minaj’s, Roman Zolanski. All were used in some fashion by the artists that created them to delve into musical idioms that reflected the persona in some fashion, but much of the time the music made under these persona’s were usually outside the typical style, sound, or societal expectation of the artist’s main audience. I make music across many genres from blues to hip-hop, and while I do a lot of productions under the Mindspawn name that aren’t dark ambient, the majority of my Mindspawn releases are firmly in the dark ambient, drone, etc., vein. It’s simply a sound or style I gravitate toward.

That said, having a persona that I can play with creates a framework for sound exploration, timbre choices, and arrangements that contributes to a smoother workflow when creating new work. I don’t think of them as inviolate, but more akin to wearing a performance costume, if you will.

Casey: In the same blog post, you also talk about how Mindspawn helps you in the process of self-discovery, letting you explore questions about who you are and the role that perception, both your own and others, might play in who anyone “is”. Is there an example that you might be able to give that illustrates something that you’ve learned about yourself by way of your music creation?

Gene: My Mindspawn persona is one that actively encourages my experimentation, and as it is a persona I can look from the persona back to myself… it’s really hard to learn about yourself without the input of others, my Mindspawn persona is a little like someone else looking back at me, informed by the musical explorations. Over many years of this back and forth conversation between Mindspawn and myself I’ve had revelations, big and small, that have caused me to question “default settings” in my life, revisit old ideas with new eyes (or ears), and shape how I interact with the world in a more balanced (for me) manner. I’ve learned greater patience and discipline via Mindspawn, and a willingness to try anything no matter where it takes me. In that way, the Mindspawn persona is an amplifier of all my creative endeavors. Would that be possible without the persona? Of course, but the persona creates a ready made laboratory replete with recipes, ingredients and best practices baked in… It is kind of strange on some level that creating restrictions can be immensely liberating, and at the same time no restriction is inviolate. I think for me a lot of that stems from an interest Taoism that really got stared with exposure to Bruce Lee’s philosophy and teachings, in particular, “have no way as way."

Casey: For Daemon, your most recent Mindspawn release, the album description mentions the role that experimentation and exploration played in its creation, and the possibility of losing those discoveries if you were to risk turning off your modular synth. How important is it for you to start a project with some kind of purpose in mind, and do you have any particular techniques for branching out into areas that, while related, might not be imagined until you happen to stumble across them?

Gene: Sometimes when I start a new work the purpose is clear and fully formed, at least loosely so. At other times the only purpose is to sit down and explore sound. Quite often I will start with a purpose but that might alter marginally or significantly, even to the point of being utterly unrecognizable in some cases… So the short answer is, purpose can be valuable, but if the art asks you to violate that purpose, be willing to try it on for size. You may find that new place is where you were going all along….

My way of working with my eurorack modular equipment is a perfect example of something that swings both ways. On the surface, the power to create almost any sound I can think of is right there, I have over 120 modules that shape, twist, chop apart, granulate, and otherwise create interesting sounds…. But the myriad ways I can realize a particular kind of sound often will lead to unexpected tangents that can take you far far from the original intent. Many of these tangents are far more powerful and intriguing than the original concept. So, when I’m creating a new soundscape, bass sound, drum hit, weird noise, or any form of explorative sound design, there’s always this side of me listening for the unexpected.

I most often start with no pre-patching at all, preferring to literally create a new sound design from scratch every time. By starting a sound design session clean, it lets me think about new ways to arrive at the same place, different modules that might shape the sound differently or emphasize a particular aspect of timbre, etc. Most often this happens pretty quick and I record my work and then clear all the cabling for the next session. On occasion though, I’ll be onto something, and the chase to find/realize that something can take days. Modular synths, like any analog device, are subject to the whims of the world around them and there is no ‘freeze state” where you can turn everything off and come back to it later and hear the exact same thing.


Digital tools, soft synths, etc., are phenomenal for that ability to have perfect recall, modular synths, not so much. For example, you might be connecting several modules to create a sound... a slight variance in temperature on the last module in the chain might be barely noticeable, while that same variance at the beginning of a chain can make the end result widely different. Thus, when you’ve got a great sound on your modular, but it still needs more tweaking to get it where it needs to be, if you turn it off things cool down/the electrical flow alters and the sound can get altered in really significant ways. “Losing a sound" doesn’t always happen when you turn a modular off, but it can. When I don’t want to risk losing a particular patch/sound I’m working on, it stays live for the entire time, and sometimes that can take days.

So while it can be limiting and even frustrating not having “total recall” on a modular synth, it’s also a way of working that I enjoy. The sound is in the moment, volatile the entire time, and when you turn it off, that sound is gone. Again, a kind of restrictive liberation.

Casey: While Daemon made considerable use of your modular synth, do you enjoy using any particular equipment or software above others, and have you encountered any that you really thought would be fun or powerful, but that you sadly didn’t “click” with?

Gene: Yes and yes…. My guitars, eurorack modular equipment, my small collection of Moogs, my monitors (both my main monitors, Kii Threes, and my headphones, Audeze), and my DACs and Amps (Schiit, Chord, and Apogee) are my favorite hardware pieces. On the soft side, I create a lot of custom patches and sound libraries in Kontakt, and a Kontakt engine I use frequently is the Dark Matter and Dark Matter 2 instruments made by String Audio. The Dark Matter stuff is great for creating specific ideas as you have immense control over the sound shaping parameters…. Aaaaaand the Dark Matter engine has a “randomize” function which is like playing a sound design slot machine. Huge fun and surprisingly capable of creating usable and nearly usable patches out of the blue.

On the other side of things, I’ve purchased many sound tools that sadly didn’t live up to my expectations… And that’s fine. You experiment, maybe something works for awhile but you hate the workflow, or the plugin might be a little too unstable, or you simply don’t jive with a sound. I liken this to the hardware DX7 synth. When those came out (like a thousand years ago), they were the hot ticket and everyone into synths had one. I purchased one in the mid 1980s and as much as I tried to like it, and I did use it a lot, I never cared for the sound, how it interfaced, editing, etc. BUT that’s my experience, obviously lots of people loved that synth…. Still a valuable lesson, as I learned about things I didn’t like and that informed future time investments and purchases.

Casey: When creating Daemon, you embraced the various meanings of the word, from the Greek mythological version, to a background process running on a computer. More broadly, do you have a particular philosophical, spiritual or general view of life, a view that you feel best describes what is going on around us, or that guides you in your interactions with the world? I know that you mentioned Taoism and Bruce Lee in a previous answer...

Gene: I’m not religious, nor particularly spiritual, although the latter would depend on the definition one chooses to employ. Viewed from some perspectives, all life might be called spiritual.

I have a fascination with the occult and the supernatural, but I wouldn’t call myself a practical believer. The world around us is full of so many marvels, it usually seems the supernatural is superfluous, and the occult is usually revealed with little more than patience and an open mind.

Taoist and Stoic philosophies contribute immensely to my perspective of the world, and by world I mean everything, the universe seen and unseen, and myself.... My interest in Taoism originally came through the filter of Bruce Lee’s writings and philosophy when I was wee, maybe seven or eight years old. Stoicism was planted into my mind via reading Seneca in my early twenties. I wouldn’t call myself a Taoist nor a Stoic, but as Bruce Lee says, “absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

Aside from that, I have a strong belief in science. It usually works, and more importantly, as we get presented with better information, the “rules” of science are mutable and can reflect that new information. Science is fascinating, with myriad disciplines to explore and fuse, and real-life wonders which are as mind boggling as any acid infused tea party collaboration that Dali and Giger might conjure.


Casey: What can your fans look forward to hearing from you next?

Gene: I haven’t a clue! Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I’m always working with a few different people on their projects, and I am a full time mastering engineer, so I’m always hearing a variety of new music. All that exposure to other artist's music is such an incredibly cool experience from which I draw a ton of inspiration. I might pick up on sound combinations or maybe a novel mix approach, or any plethora of things you might hear that makes you think, that makes you feel, that excites you…. All these combinations I try to learn from, and then from that mix of ideas, techniques and sounds new interpretations flow… that’s what the next Mindspawn album will sound like.

That all said, I’ve been playing around with thematic ideas from re-reading some of Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane stories and Michael Moorcock’s, Elric/Stormbringer and Corum tales. Trying something that is inspired by those sources might be an exquisite challenge and rewarding no matter where it ends up. The stories are rich with imagery that begs for a soundtrack, a haunting melody, or an otherworldly sound. The worlds of Wagner and Moorcock are very fertile environments that spawn myriad musical and sound suggestions.... I could call the next album, Arellarti by Night, or perhaps, Dreaming City Blues…



Thanks so much to Gene for taking the time to answer my questions. You can visit Gene on his website to learn more about his music and his mastering services. And be sure to keep an eye out for his music on your music stores of choice too!

Thursday 4 March 2021

Gadget Review: Inner Balance

Gadget Review: Inner Balance

Review By Casey Douglass

Inner Balance

Heartmath have a nifty gadget called the Inner Balance. It connects to your smartphone and, by monitoring your heart-rate variability, gives you feedback as to whether you are in the synchronised state known as heart coherence. Heartmath UK+IRL kindly sent me an Inner Balance to have a play with, and after a few months of experimentation, I finally feel ready to put some thoughts out there.

The Inner Balance & The Inner Balance App

The Inner Balance sensor is a small, light, pebble-shaped device. It has a clip on the back to attach it to your clothing, and a wire that connects to an ear-clip. The plastic body is home to one large rubbery button to turn it on and off, alongside a tiny blinking led for status updates. The whole thing is very comfortable to wear, and I was particularly pleased that the ear-clip didn’t pinch; it just gently clasped. My sessions lasted anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and I never became uncomfortable with the device. This is a great thing, as you don’t want unnecessary distractions when you are trying to focus.

I installed the Inner Balance app from the Google Play Store, and my Android smartphone connected to the Inner Balance via Bluetooth without issue. The app itself is home to a lot of stuff, and to be honest, I could probably write a whole review on just the app alone. It contains tips and tutorials, your own logs and journal, and even synchronises to HeartCloud, a free account that you can sign-up for, that allows you to compare your coherence stats with others in a global community. The most important element of the Inner Balance app however, are the breath pacing animations that it uses to help you to enter into a state of heart coherence.

What Is Heart Coherence?

Research has shown that the heart and the brain communicate in both directions, each affecting the other in a variety of ways. If someone is in a state of coherence, these interactions will be more harmonious or beneficial. When someone is not in a coherent state, these signals can become disrupted and more chaotic. The Inner Balance measures the user’s level of coherence by way of their heart rate variability (HRV). When you are in a coherent state, the graph of your HRV, when plotted over time, will look closer to a smooth sine-wave pattern. When you are in a non-coherent state, the plot is more irregular and jagged. The Inner Balance app gives you the on-screen pacers and feedback information you need to effectively put Heartmath’s Quick Coherence Technique to work, and to bring yourself into coherence.

The Quick Coherence Technique is very simple. The first step is to bring your attention to the area of your heart and to slow your breathing until both your inhalation and exhalation each last around five seconds. The second step is to try to feel a positive, heart-felt emotion, such as love or appreciation. As far as I understand it, the change in breathing rhythm helps to shift your nervous system into a more balanced state, and the heart-felt emotion further amplifies this effect. There are other techniques in the Guides section of the Inner Balance app, but the Quick Coherence Technique is the main one that I used.

The Inner Balance App Part 2

The Inner Balance app gives the user a number of animations that help to get their breathing into a suitable rhythm. It’s worth noting that the target breathing rhythm and many other session settings can be altered to taste. It’s best if you try each of the breathing animations or views to see which is most pleasing. The first two feature large animations to set your breathing to. I did find that these tended to chug at times on my low-end smartphone though. You can also have a mini-HRV graph undulating above some of the animations. I personally found this to be distracting but it is something that you can easily turn off. All of these animations (and their accompanying sounds) give you feedback as to what your coherence level is. Or you can choose to sit with a screen of data, one that presents you with a number of graph plots, including your HRV, Coherence over time, and your Pulse.

I appreciated the tools that the Inner Balance app provided, and the configurability it offered. It didn’t take me long however, to feel that the chiming sounds and the information on-screen served as more of a distraction than any thing else, so I promptly muted the sounds and soon adopted a practise of using the animation to set my breath rhythm and then looking away. This suited my mindset and my practise but I didn’t find anything particularly wrong with the app. It crashed occasionally, as any app will, but that only happened once during an actual session, and I had almost 170 sessions with it before I wrote this review.

Inner Balance App Screenshots

My Experiences

So how did I get on? Did those 170 sessions with the Inner Balance give me any noticeable benefit in my life? The answer is, I think so. It was subtle, but it was there. It’s really great to have a device like the Inner Balance that can give feedback on what you are doing. I’ve lost count of how many times that I’ve read a certain breathing technique lowers stress or activates your parasympathetic nervous system and relaxation response, among other things. It’s one thing to believe that the technique helps, it’s another thing entirely to have data on the screen of your smartphone that actually proves that you are entering a certain state, even if it can’t quantify every knock-on effect that said state might have in your body.

I’ve been engaging with various meditation practises for decades. I'll admit that when I was a teenager, this was in the hope of developing some kind of extra sensory perception. As life has continued, and my health has taken a dive, I’m more than happy if a meditation or a mindfulness technique just helps me to experience a little space between miseries. I’m saying all of this to highlight that I didn’t come into this as a total novice, and altering my breathing and focussing in certain ways comes quite easily to me. As an aside, I’d like to think that there is some kind of depressive rock band somewhere, or at least a song, called “A Little Space Between Miseries.”

When I performed the Quick Coherence Technique, I could see confirmation on my smartphone that my HRV was responding to what I was doing. Sure, I wasn’t given proof that I was relaxing or that my brainwaves had changed, but I was given enough reassurance to know that I was doing the technique properly, and that my body was responding, and that felt very liberating. My coherence score and the ability to make notes in my in-app journal after the session, meant that I could easily see what helped me to achieve a higher level of coherence. As an example, when trying to cultivate a heart-felt positive emotion, I found that a feeling of appreciation consistently seemed to give me higher coherence than the feeling of love. I wouldn’t have guessed that would happen. True, it could be that I’m not very adept at cultivating love in that way, and that might change over time, but as something concrete to point at and to ponder, it was valuable to note.

For me, the state of coherence itself felt like a bit of space had opened up. Yes, a little space between those miseries I mentioned a short while ago. A five or ten minute session left me feeling calmer, and less easily triggered by my thoughts. I’ve suffered with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for around thirty years. When my body is in an anxious or triggered state, any negative or fearful thoughts can continue to amplify my fight, flight or freeze response for some time after I’ve calmed down. On the occasions where I had a short session with the Inner Balance after the first peak of my anxiety, I noticed that the same, intrusive thoughts didn’t have quite the same effect again. They were still there, but a bit further away. A bit like if you have a wasp in your room and you manage to shepherd it to the window, which you promptly close once its outside. It might still be bouncing against the glass, but as it’s on the outside now, it doesn’t upset you so much. That’s kind of how I felt.

In a broader sense, I felt other benefits too. Having an Inner Balance session before getting to sleep did seem to give me a slightly better night’s sleep. My sleep felt like it had a different quality but again, it was a subtle difference that felt slightly better to me. I think that my sessions with the Inner Balance also settled my stomach a little. Again, nothing I’d shout from the rooftops about, but it seemed to be a change for the better and it seemed to last. I can’t say that I noticed any improvement in my concentration levels or in other areas related to any kind of mental or physical performance, but my health is pretty grotty at the best of times, so it’s not always easy to discern these things.

Let’s Plot Some Data!

I was also curious to see if I could increase my coherence levels over time. The goals that already come in the Inner Balance App suggest practising three times per day for at least five minutes, with a longer fifteen minute session once per week to build your Coherence Baseline. This I did, as best I could, for almost fifty days in a row. Some days might have only had two sessions, but the vast majority had three. I decided to plot my results on the graph below:

Inner Balance Coherence Averages

My days of A-level maths are a long way behind me but I think I made a decent go of things. I decided to calculate the average coherence across my sessions for each day. This melded my session coherences into one figure that was easily plotted. If I had three sessions with a coherence rating of five on a given day, the average for that day would naturally be five. This approach also allowed me to plot the sessions where I hadn’t really committed to being so routine with things. The two red data points on the graph above are the bookends for my “three times per day” experimental period. The zone to the left of the first red point was a time when I was a bit haphazard and didn’t do my sessions every day. The zone to the right of the rightmost red spot is where I relaxed things to just one session per day. I plotted the averages and asked Open Office Calc to draw a trend line, which you can see in a tasty plum colour.

Before drawing the trend line, I did get the feeling that the data points became more focussed in the 5-6 Coherence band, but to see the trend line paint the picture of a slow increase was heartening. I will also add that one lower coherence session in a day really scuppers the average when the other two were nice and high. I also found that coughing drags my coherence level down too. Guess who has a chronic cough? Yup. Me. I think the graph speaks quite well for itself, so I will let you draw your own conclusions.

I also wanted to add that in the middle of my stricter experimental period, I tested the Audio Visual Coherence Breath Pacers, also available from Heartmath UK+IRL, which were included in those averages depicted above. 

Final Verdict

When I started using the Inner Balance, I did so with an open mind and with the hope that it would be beneficial. I didn’t expect miracles, and I didn’t expect any changes that might occur to happen particularly quickly. Like many things to do with health, the change is gradual, but I do feel that I could see the benefits of using the Inner Balance, even in such a relatively short period of time. I also think that it’s really helpful that even a five minute session, a couple of times a day, can seemingly give you a helping hand. When it became time to do a session and I didn’t feel like it, the thought “It’s only five minutes!” really helps remove some of the friction towards taking action.

It is here that I will mention the only hiccup that I had with the actual Inner Balance device, and it’s a minor one. The clip that fastens the Inner Balance to your clothing is a nice chunky thing. It has a little bump near the hinge that you can push on to lever the clip one-handed. Near the end of my 170 sessions, that little bump snapped off. Its loss simply means that I have to pull the clip open from the other end, and that’s easy enough to do. My Inner Balance was a demonstration model, so I have no idea how old it is or how many people played with it before it came to me. I can’t even be sure it wasn’t my fault and that I didn’t try to open it in a mindless way.

The Inner Balance is a great piece of technology and it does what it sets out to do with a minimum of fuss. The Inner Balance app lets the user tailor many things to their own taste, and the whole thing does a fine job of getting out of the user’s way. If you want to experiment with any kind of focussed or meditative state and have a thirst for a way to measure your progress, the Inner Balance seems to be a good solution for that thirst.

Thanks again to Heartmath UK +IRL for the review access to an Inner Balance.


The Inner Balance is available from Heartmath UK + IRL and is currently £159. It is available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Kindle Fire HD devices. Visit the Inner Balance page on the Heartmath store for more information.

If you’d like to read more about the science and research behind heart coherence, Heartmath.org has a freely browsable online book called Science of the Heart. It’s well worth having a browse through and it goes into a lot of depth.

You might also like to watch Howard Martin’s TEDx talk. Howard is one of the key figures who has played a role in Heartmath over the years.

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Genesis

Dark Ambient Review: Genesis

Review By Casey Douglass


I must say, Paleowolf’s brand of primal dark ambient music is a wonderful antidote to the frippery that tends to dominate social media. I don’t often get stuck in the infinite scroll, but when I do, I feel like I’ve been straining sewage through my teeth. There’s just something so spell-breaking about hearing ritual drums, chants and the rough edge of nature. Genesis is one of Paleowolf’s earlier releases, released by Cryo Chamber back in 2016, and I thought that now would be a good time for me to belatedly take a listen.

The Genesis album description does a fine job of framing the soundscapes contained on the album. It makes mention of archaic drums, riparian forests and painted skulls. This peels back the shroud and gives a taste of how brutal and yet simple, life was back then. When you listen to the album proper, you are treated to thunderous drum beats, eerie undertone chanting, and a feral, powerful landscape that can be heard in its howling winds and lapping waters.

For me, it was the last three tracks that stood out as my favourites. The fifth track, Eastern Tribes, is the first of these. It opens with an echoing drumbeat and a trundling droning chant. It had a martial feel to me, like forces grouping for a looming battle. There are distant high tones and what sounds like deep horn notes. A faster companion beat begins to play around the initial drumbeat, and things really begin to feel a bit ghostly. Maybe the spirits of the previous dead are with the armies, fighting their own battle high in the sky. This is a lovely, kinetic and brooding track.

The next track, Across the Mythic Ocean, is another beauty. It starts with a deep, slow pulsing bass tone before a swelling high tone shimmers into being. It’s an echoey space, a forlorn horn blaring against the rumble. Sea birds can be heard calling, and another prolonged horn-like tone takes over. A drumbeat begins, accompanied by some more lovely undertone chanting, the sound of waves shushing in the background. For me, this track hinted at roughly fashioned boats gliding through a thick sea mist at night, the moon lending everything an otherworldly glow. This soundscape felt hollow and vast, and yet also a little like a lullaby for a troubled sleep.

The last track, Permafrost, rounds up my little trio of favourites. A howling wind and a gentle tone made me think of a cave-like space, the wind sucking at the deeper hollow where the humans might be sheltering. Echoing drumbeats reverberate around the space, a shimmer hanging above them. A peaceful deep chant sounds, and things feel cosy and safe. This soundscape brought to mind images of shifting shadows, flickering fires and sparkling ice crystals. And the cold, but a cold that is being dealt with by the denizens in a pragmatic, sensible way. Another kind of singing vocalization sounds near the midpoint, and the whole thing feels like a vibrating dance in the darkness.

Genesis is a dark ambient album steeped in a time that was so long ago, it almost seems as alien and fantastical as some of the films that we watch on the big screen. Yet we know it happened. All I can say though, is that it feels right to me, someone who wouldn’t last five minutes if he happened to wake up back there tomorrow morning. If that does happen, I’ll be sure to reflect on the accuracy of Paleowolf’s impressions as I get stomped by some vicious beast, clubbed to death, or meet some other messy end.

Visit Genesis on Bandcamp for more info. You can also check out the track: Eastern Tribes below:

I was given access to a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Genesis

Album Artist: Paleowolf

Label: Cryo Chamber

Released: 20 Dec 2016