Posts Tagged ‘Haunting’

Pelagic Records – 15th March 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Is there anyone Lustmord hasn’t collaborated with, or otherwise touched (metaphorically) in some way?

Lustmord, aka Welsh-born Brian Williams embarked on his musical career back in 1980: that’s a forty-two year span now, and the range of artists he’s collaborated with while forging a staggering output of solo releases is beyond staggering. Having emerged from the early industrial milieu and the circlers of Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and SPK, of which he was a member for a time, Lustmord is generally hailed as the progenitor of the dark ambient genre.

A tribute / covers album feels appropriate, then, and the selection of contributors to The Others – Lustmord Deconstructed includes Ulver, Enslaved, Godflesh, Zola Jesus, Katatonia’s Jonas Renske, Jo Quail, The Ocean, MONO and more.

It’s noteworthy that the tracks are credited to ‘Lustmord &…’ as if in collaboration – but then again, isn’t any cover a collaboration of kinds, albeit distant and disconnected? A meeting of minds across time and space.

And so, ahead of the release of The Others – Lustmord Deconstructed, Zola Jesus has shared her cover of ‘Prime’, from the 2020 album Stockholm, recorded live in 2011 and released in 2014. She comments, “As a longtime fan of Lustmord’s work, the opportunity to combine landscapes was like a dream. I’m so inspired by the space and stillness within his music. I wanted to experiment with his way of keeping music on a slow boil, mostly to challenge my own propensity for maximalism.”

It’s certainly a departure from ZJ’s usual style of epic, string-soaked theatrical dramatics, but at the same time, it has all of the rich atmosphere you’d expect. Her gothic, operatic vocal is very much kept in check here, echoing ethereally around a dark rumbling growl of abstraction is melded to a heartbeat. It’s tense, and channels a dark energy that’s almost spiritual. It’s the haunting, otherworldly sound of decay, of tremors from the depths of an ancient sepulchre. It’s mystical, magical, and magnificent.

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PEL183-V the others - trifold v08 print.cdr

DARKHER are now premiering the bitter-sweet video single ‘Love’s Sudden Death’ taken from the beloved Northern English doom act’s sophomore album The Buried Storm, which has been chalked-up for release on April 15.

The black and white clip ‘Love’s Sudden Death’ was filmed on location at Long Dike Moor, which lies between Hebden Bridge and Haworth in West Yorkshire – and is also very close to Top Withens, the moorland that inspired the Brontë Sisters’ novels and poetry.

Watch the video here:

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Photo: Catherine Pogue

Grappa Musikkforlag – 24th August 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

I used to watch a fair few horror films when I was younger, but don’t get to so much these days: my wife isn’t a fan, and, moreover, I can’t watch movies and listen to music at the same time. Spending my evenings reviewing means it’s the movies that have had to give. But when I did have the time to watch horror movies, I always preferred the films that unsettled the mind rather than overloaded the senses with in-yer-face viscera and gore. It isn’t necessarily that I like to be scared: I just like to be mentally challenged, and the imagination is a powerful thing. For the same reason, I usually prefer to invest the time in a book rather than TV show or movie. Greater effort tends to yield greater reward, and what’s more, the mind can conjure scenes far beyond the scope of any film set and special effects.

The mind’s eye is a terrible thing, but also a wonderful thing. Just look at your dreams: they’ll likely present vistas beyond anything you’ve ever seen in any movie. And even if not, these scenes are your own, rather than something pre-presented, the product of someone else’s imagination.

Rooms & Rituals is an album which engages the mind and encourages it to explore the darker recesses. The compositions are haunting, to the point of being outright scary. tapping into the deeper realms of the psyche, teasing out the horror of disquiet, and poking around in those dark, uncomfortable places. The voices are those of no less than ten female singers, although not necessarily at the same time. This is, indeed, a choir like no other.

‘Steamsaw’ sets the tone: dark, ominous, rumbling thunder and fear chords drifting almost subliminally… It’s minimal, and it’s a discomfort you can’t quite put our finger on. But it’s there, it’s real, and it gnaws at the pit of your stomach. ‘Pulser’ is eerie. Voices, disembodied, and as if rising from the grave, amidst unintelligible guttural utterances from the underworld, shrieks, and industrial pulsations and the occasional, sporadic clash of grating undifferentiated noise conglomerate to forge something stomach-churningly tense.

‘Ritual #3’ is a series of bleeps and tweets over a low-end rumble, and is reminiscent of some early Whitehouse, minus the trebly shouting. ‘Rise; is a voice lost in a gale, the sense of dislocation, distance and isolation rendered palpable in the drift. ‘Hymn’ pitches vocal melody that’s evocative, haunting, almost a Celtic folk piece, against a gnawing hovering synth hum, and elsewhere, ‘Gleam’ goes gloriously minimal, trilling organ pulses providing the backdrop to ethereal vocals that drift skyward.

Collectively and cumulatively, these pieces move and unsettle the listener, bringing a sense of dislocation, and disorientation. It creates a space for pondering. This is art.

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Trondheim Voices