Ugasanie – Ice Breath of Antarctica

I’ve never really gone in for the whole Weather Dependant Music thing. You know, listening to Pop Punk in Summer, Immortal in Winter, Megadeth when the clouds spell out the word “dickhead” in the sky? It always felt a little superficial to me, turning music into a glorified decoration, when REAL music fans listen to whatever they want whenever they want it. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM: ESA – That Beast

Back from a three-year hiatus, kvlt multi-instrumentalist Jamie Blacker, a.k.a. ESA returns with his new album this week That Beast on Negative Gain Recordings. Running the table of influences from black metal to dark industrial, dark-ambient and much more, That Beast is a musical kaleidoscope of extremes you need to experience. Ghost Cult has teamed up with ESA to stream his entire new album, which you can hear below. Continue reading

Gridfailure – Irritum

It’s a cruel irony that, for music which is such a personal and unrestrained expression, so much Noise sounds interchangeable. By forcing the player to respond to orthodox patterns, traditional instruments make it much easier to develop a singular “voice” – by making and manipulating their own sounds out of nothing, Noise artists ironically often end up sounding the same as each other. Continue reading

Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns

The thing that everyone always forgets about “Post-Rock” is that it was never intended to be a defined style of music. Essentially journalistic shorthand for “I don’t really know what this is, but they use guitars”, it was a useful semi-label for the otherwise unlabelable until someone decided that it was a genre defined by stroke-inducing levels of boredom and its use in a review became the Touch Of Death for all right-thinking people.  Continue reading

Gnaw Their Tongues – Genocidal Majesty

When a band that formed in 2006 have already recorded ten full-length albums and so many EPs and splits that I can’t be bothered counting them, it’s fair to assume that they’ve (I know, it’s only one person, but you use a band-name you get called by a plural – science) nailed their sound down by now. With Metal/Noise pioneers Gnaw Their Tongues, however, it’s a bit more complicated than that – they’ve somehow managed to develop a style that is instantly recognisable but changes subtly across each album, to the extent that you’re never sure exactly what you’re going to get when a new one is announced, and how heavily it will lean towards their disparate sides. Continue reading

Gnaw Their Tongues – Collected Atrocities

These days, blending Black Metal with Noise/Ambient electronics is so common it’s become a cliché (or, at least, it seems that way if you’re the one Ghost Cult asks to review EVERY SINGLE ALBUM IN THAT STYLE THAT EVER GETS RELEASED), but that wasn’t always the case. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s using Noise for intros or segues was standard, but actually letting it into your SONGS was still largely frowned upon. Along with his peers in Axis Of Perdition, Mories (the man solely responsible for Gnaw Their Tongues) was among the first to really explore the potential of these two often contradictory styles, and still among the very best. Continue reading

Cryo Chamber: Miles To Midnight & Ur Djupan Da

It’s starting to feel like I’m repeating myself here, but “Cinematic Dark Ambient” specialists Cryo Chamber remain one of the most consistently engaging and accomplished in any genre, and one of their more interesting qualities is their themed collaborations between artists. For a Metal label these would likely be little more than indulgent acts of vanity, but Cryo Chamber’s collaborations are always among the most distinctive and evocative of their releases, the artists combining their disparate approaches to create a shared atmosphere, often based around a narrative or themed. Continue reading

Cognitive Dissonance V

Authentic static television on a television screen.

In which Richie HR dives into the maelstrom of abstract Metal, Noise and Ambient, and comes back up with something awful… Continue reading

Cognitive Dissonance IV

 

Cryo Chamber Collaborations Round Up (Late Summer 2017)

One of the interesting things about getting into different styles of music than what you’re normally used to is adjusting to the different opportunities afforded by them. Collaborative albums exist in Rock and Metal, but by the very nature of those styles tend to fall into the “Dave Necrobastard singing with Cryptic Gardener” format. Electronic music, by contrast, lends itself more readily to genuine collaboration, with one or more artists able to lend their own sounds and production to a track, creating something both new and familiar. Cryo Chamber Records, leaders in the Dark Ambient field, have been experimenting with themed collaborations for several years now, and in the Summer of 2017 have brought three such albums of a particularly high quality. Continue reading

Randall Collier-Ford – Promethean

Despite the essential differences of the music, Dark Ambient does share a number of things in common with Extreme Metal – one of the most obvious is that, from the outside, it is often perceived as all sounding the same. Without understanding the particularities of the genre, it can all sound like pigs grunting over feedback/hoovers exploding in a wind tunnel (delete as appropriate), but to the trained ear the skill of individual bands and artists makes all the difference. In Dark Ambient, which mostly lacks the obvious paths to individuality offered by guitar sound or vocal style, the key is in the skilful and effective placement of sounds and tones – in this field, Randall Collier-Ford is nothing less than a master. Continue reading