Album: Theu Anagnosis
Label: Zoharum / Steinklang Industries
Genre: Dark Ambient
Bisclaveret is another band whose name I have seen many times over the years but unfortunately haven't gotten around to checking out. As such, Theu Anagnosis is my first experience with the act, and I'm rather impressed. This is a joint release from Zoharum and Steinklang Industries and is available on both CD and vinyl.
I suppose this would be filed under the "dark ambient" tag, though it's different than what I would expect if someone were to tell me "hey this is a dark ambient release". The first track, "Seven Lands of Happiness", begins with a simple koto melody over waves of pulsating and shifting drones, mixed with subtle, ritualistic vocals. While the melody doesn't change, the underlying bed of drones continually shifts to keep the listeners attention. The production is very clean and, as such, this creates a deep listening experience and draws the listener into its vortex. With the second track the pattern becomes clear: melodic lines (either plucked or piano) over drones and low vocals. The second track is more minimal, only utilizing an ancient sounding piano and vocals. "Three Sacraments" uses a xylophone-esque melody over layers of emotive pads and builds until tribal percussion comes in for the last third of the track. The successive tracks are all generally a variation of the aforementioned; strange and wondrous gothic-tinged acoustic melodies alongside deep reverberating droning textures and arcane vocals. I can't think of much to reference, except perhaps Vortex when the tracks have vocals - though Bisclaveret have much stronger production. The record maintains a constant sound throughout, though each track is different from it's predecessor. Many pieces are purely ambient, though some such as "Humani Sanctus" contain subtle, but effective, rhythmic elements. The album comes to a close with the epic "In the Hospital of Lost Souls" which has an extremely melancholic and sacral vibe to it conjured by the wonderfully dreary pad and heavenly (or perhaps, fallen from heaven) choir combo.
The biggest downside of the album is that it is very short - only 38 minutes in length.
This record is fairly hard to classify. Each track is quite different, though they all operate in a somewhat similar manner and purvey a certain dark, ritualistic tone. If you're interested in deep, ritual dark ambient but want something more active that utilizes instruments & percussion and does not rely purely on droning textures than give this a shot. The strong production values and atypical approach to the genre make this a memorable listening experience for sure.
Dark and obscure music blog/zine since 2006 [ Post-Industrial / Ambient / IDM ]