Archive for Ambient

Black Sigma – Lost

Posted in Review with tags , , on 17th May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Black Sigma
Lost
Released 1st April 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Black Sigma - Lost



‘Lost’ is the debut album from the Belgian atmospheric black metal artist Black Sigma. The project was launched last year by the musician known as Occulta, who used to be the vocalist of the symphonic black metal band Avatar back in the ‘90s.

After several listens I can state that the main two adjectives I would use to describe this album would be ‘atmospheric’ and ‘melancholic’. There is a fair bit of melody in the guitar work and it is paired with haunting black metal shrieks. Occasionally Occulta mellows things down like in the piano outro to Always Alone and the ambient-esque closing track Desolation. The style is fairly similar to the German ambient black metal duo Bann. A lot of the songs have long instrumental parts with the vocals being used sparingly.

The second half of the album includes some subtle doom undertones in the guitar patterns ,for example in the title track. That particular song also features a variety of vocal styles ranging from shrieks at the start, to My Dying Bride -style semi-growls and eerie whispers. I also enjoyed the ambient keyboard and guitar passages on Apocalypse 3.0.

In summary I can confirm that this is definitely my kind of black metal. Black Sigma is one of the most promising newcomers to the scene and I look forward to hearing more from him.

9/10

Iza Raittila

Klaus Schulze – Another Green Mile

Posted in Review with tags , , on 30th November 2016 by izaforestspirit

Klaus Schulze
Another Green Mile
Released 30th November 2016
Experimental Electronica, Ambient
Released via M.I.G. (Made in Germany) Music

Another Green Mile’ was originally released back in 2002 as a part of a very limited edition and long out-of-print 5CD box set known as ‘Contemporary Works vol. I & II’ by the German electronic artist Klaus Schulze (ex- Tangerine Dream). This is a re-issued version of that album featuring the bonus track ‘Voice’n’Harmony’ (which was originally released on ‘Contemporary Works II’ CD 10 – ‘Adds & Edits’.

The music on here is primary instrumental comprising a mixture of acoustic instruments: an oboe, a cello, a guitar and the electronic, ambient sounds of a synthesizer. There are three vocalized tracks: In The Streets, in the Rain, The Story Does Unfold and Vox’n’Harmony; all featuring operatic-style vocals from Julia Messenger. Her beautiful singing is precisely the reason why these songs caught my attention. Her range is very versatile, comfortably hitting the high notes as well as the more mellowed-down, tranquil whispers to match the speed of the music. The complete absence of the lyrics means that the vocals’ sole purpose is to convey emotion and add emphasis to the ambient music.

All the songs have this serene and atmospheric quality creating a calming effect on the listener. This this the kind of music that you might encounter at an art gallery or a lounge. The instruments, especially the synthesizer and the cello, have this sombre yet strangely soothing tone to them. I just wish that the performance itself was a bit more energetic. This just sounds like a soundtrack to an Sunday afternoon stroll in the park.

Overall, ‘Another Green Mile’ is a very atmospheric and tranquil ambient album. Some might find this type of music relaxing but personally I found it challenging to adjust to the slow pace. It’s all very melodic and emotional but ultimately it is quite purposefully low on energy.

3/5
Iza Raittila