Altar Shadows – Speckledy Falcons

altarshadowsI have quite a few of these CDs that I imported in large amounts at one time a few years ago and I can honestly say I overlooked the album despite the intriguing artwork, despite the artistic logo and despite the nature-esque imagery evoked by the track names that I am normally drawn too. I finally gave this CD a random listen to this morning and was quite struck with the concept all blending so well to the entire album music and art. I was hoping to hear more from this band but I soon discovered this band is defunct. I would say the defining track on this masterpiece of an album would be The Yellow Moon III.

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Arcana – Le Serpent Rouge

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I would highly recommend this album to anyone that wants to hear a very dark middle eastern themed ambient album. Their are no vocals to this album (which could have either destroyed the album if they where not properly utilized or could have greatly enhanced this album if they where just as mysterious as the music on this album). I have heard some of the other works by Arcana overall since they are a well known dark ambient band. They normally are not solely focused on the middle eastern theme but they did a great job on this album. The (artwork and) music encapsulate the person into oriental folklore surrounding as if near a late night camp fire in a desert somewhere. This is one of my all time favorite albums and is comparable to the eerie sounding Elend albums except with a middle eastern twist to it. I’ve never heard anything like this before and again and hopefully Arcana will take this path again. Although I was not able to bear their other albums – they obviously are popular for a reason and for those into dark ambient in general they probably are innovators in the field. This album was released through Displeased Records.

Eklipse – A Night In Strings

coverThis sexy girl band just made my list of an interesting approach to music. The downfall is they take popular mainstream music tracks but they turn them into something much more beautiful then that. I cant even tell what they are suppose to be but they are coming off of The End Records (the same label that hosted my once favourite band Virgin Black) and they certainly explore the boundaries of music their there avant-garde style and approach. Even their website was just as enticing to visit with seductive images of the girls. The instruments (cello, violin. and viola) certainly make pop music more beautiful than their computer generated beats. Favorite tracks include “In The End”, “Paparazzi” and “Cry Me A River” of which neither of the originals I find amusing.

Fear Of Eternity – Spirit Of Sorrow

spiritsorrowBlack metal with symphonic touches, nothing exclusively interested me from their music but I found so much potential in their sound, they’ve had quite a few releases through the moribund label (usa) and later it seems through the twilight label (argentina) as late as this year 2013. They have been around for over a decade and seem to be underrated as a band. I suggest you give them a shot.

Veles – Night On The Bare Mountains & Charnel Valley – Igneous Race

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Although I don’t have any personal favorite tracks on either album, they are both recommended black metal listens. Veles is a black metal band from No Colors Records. Meanwhile Charnel Valley are from Paragon Records (USA); I believe this band to be underrated, upon doing some research I discovered the vocalist is the man behind the label Bindrune Recordings / Worm Gear Black Metal Distribution. Interestingly enough he has not yet released any of his own albums under the Charnel Valley moniker although it would be great to see some new work from them. Veles seems to be defunct at this point with their last release in 2004 but I intend to listen to their 2 follow up albums Black Hateful Metal, and The Black Ravens Flew Again – as they proved themselves to be a band on the watch for with their Night On The Bare Mountains release.

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Ajattara – Kalmanto

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An extremely heavy black metal album. The vocalist had very distinct vocals that I couldn’t understand whether I enjoyed or didn’t like. However his voice exudes anger and when I would be in an angry mode this album would set the tone for me. This album did have some oddly infused eastern sounding arrangements with vocals and instrumentation for very minor parts of their music, maybe they where Finnish and I just don’t know Finnish music well enough to know. I would recommend this album for its solid recording of black metal riffs and clean sound. This band is now defunct after throwing many albums our way.