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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I.Corax - "The Cadaver Pulse I: Sealed in a Radiant Larval Maelstrom"

Artist: I.Corax
Album: The Cadaver Pulse I: Sealed in a Radiant Larval Maelstrom
Year: 2014
Label: Aural Hypnox
Genre: Ritual / Dark Ambient
Website:  helixes.org/auralhypnox

The Cadaver Pulse I: Sealed in a Radiant Larval Maelstrom is the Aural Hypnox re-release of the album, originally released in 2003 on Blue Sector. Unfortunately, I have never heard the original so I can't compare the differences. Anyhow, I.Corax is a collab between Aural Hypnox masters Anti Haapapuro (Halo Manash, Aeoga, etc.) and Jaako Vanhala (Zoat-Aon, and recently gaining notoriety for his harsh noise releases under his own name) so you know the material is going to be good. According to the press release, these sonic tapestries have been mainly produced from heavily processed natural sound sources including animals, voices, wind, and bowed instruments.

The track titles are all roman numerals and, despite being volume 1, they go from IX through XIV. The first two are very long pieces, both coming it at over 20 minutes, one 10 minute composition, and the last three being shorter at 5-8 minutes. The opener, "IX" is a long dirge through the galactic abyss. I feel that it transports me out into the stars to float amidst the darkness between these fiery spheres. It's pretty good and suitably meditative, though I actually find it to be one of my least favorite on this album. I find a stronger connection with the second track, "X". This one has a more dense, earthen feel to it and I feel like I am sitting in a crumbling shrine made of soil and clay. Over it's duration it carries the listener through myriad sonic terrains which all retain a bit of the aforementioned vibe. "XII" is probably my favorite one here - the droning pad and crackle of ritual percussive tools reminds me quite a bit of old Desiderii Marginis. This is another powerful offering that conjures the atmosphere of a remote mountain lodge. "XIII" is darker and more experimental, incorporating some strange & hard to place synth-y cackling amidst the cosmic transmissions. The album ends with "XIV" which feels like exploring damp clay tunnels under the earth, lit only by the light of your solitary torch. There is a lot going on in this track and it's another one of my favorites on the album. It surprises me to find out that this was originally created in 2003 as, to me, it sounds as good as anything else I've heard from this label. I guess they have tapped in to a sort of timeless ritual sound that will always be aurally pleasant and captivating.

More solid ritual drone/ambient from the guys at Aural Hypnox. Predictably, The Cadaver Pulse I sounds like a cohesive mixture of the individual styles of Aeoga and Zoat-Aon. This is a little more active than the recent Aeoga album but inhabits a somewhat similar sphere of sound (probably more similar to the older albums Coav and Zenith Beyond The Helix Locus, but I haven't listen to those recently so I can't recall), and it shares similarities with the first Zoat-Aon release, Star Autopsy. Ironically, 2013 saw the release of a project called Arktau Aon which is another collab between these guys. That said, The Cadaver Pulse I will definitely will please fans of the label and the style. I'm glad to hear more material in the vein of Zoat-Aon as that was always one of my favorite projects on the Aural Hypnox. This album makes me want to check out more I.Corax material.

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