Friday, 17 September 2010

“Hunts & Wars” finds this British based dark ambient meets stripped and off-kilter doom project offering up their third and most consistent release to date. With layers of ritual and military percussion, along with noise elements been added to the projects sound to create a grim and sweeping sound canvas that has moments blood stained dissonance/ noise to more subtle and uneasy dwells.
The album is a really a fairly even balance between longer/building tracks and shorter more atmospheric tracks. There are in all four longer tracks that last between just over the seven minute to just shy of twenty minute mark a-piece. And these tracks utilize more of the wavering & stripped sub-bass doom riffs, the ritual and military percussive marches, and the more atmospheric noise elements- all to make epic, often building ,dramatic but very grim pieces. Then we have the shorter tracks which really break up and give you a slight atmospheric breather from the longer epic works and these are a mixture of: bleak/ subtle painted drone matter or darken organ weaves, looped doomed neo-classical dirges, and generally more subdued grimly cinematic moments.
As the albums title suggest there’s more than a whiff of battlefields & conflict running through the album sonic veins, but the wars, battles and deaths that are audibly summoned up here are not of the glamorous or Hollywood variety. No- this is all about exhausted and gaunt soldiers fighting knee deep in mud, blood and excrement. Or soldiers slowly dying all alone in a bleak drizzly soacked forest glades, where birds circle getting ready to pick their flesh when they can no longer fend them off..
Sure “Hunts & Wars” is highly bleak and hopeless listening experience, yet there is light and shade in the sonic suffering and moroseness that makes this so much more replayble and rewarding as a whole. One of 2010’s grim highlights.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Can you hear distant horns and drums that make the ground tremble? It's Tenhornedbeast's third album HUNTS & WARS. Recorded over a three year period from 2006 to 2009, the new album sees Christopher Walton redefining Tenhornedbeast sound, introducing, along with the characteristic nightmarish obsessive doom industrial bass guitar riffs, tracks like "Hilnaric", "Ironborn" and "Season Of Wars" which function as interludes between the long percussive suites. Those three are based on treated feedbacks and melodic elements that apparently ease the atmosphere but that really are always hypnotic and only a bit less obsessive. "Ironborn" sounds like a horde of warriors entering into a castle (you can hear the horns announcing them), while "Season Of Wars" has a dreamy hallucinatory atmosphere. The four long suites ("Reaching For The Stars We Blind The Sky", "Father Of The Frosts", "I Am The Spearhead" and "Hunts & Wars") give life to the oneiric visions of Robert E Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian) and Lord Dunsany (moniker used by Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany for publishing his writings) by creating a blasting atmosphere made of percussions, cymbals, distant grinding guitars and growling bass guitar sounds. Listening to HUNTS & WARS is an experience of sorrow and pleasure and the only thing you are sure of is that... there's no escape.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Although life is an affair of light and shadows, we never accept it as such. We are always reaching towards the light and the high peaks. From childhood, through early religious and academic training, we are given values which correspond only to an ideal world. The shadowy side of real life is ignored, and Western Christianity provides us with nothing which can be used to interpret it. Thus the young men of the west are unable to deal with the mixture of light and shadow of which life really consists; they have no way of linking the facts of existence to their preconceived notions of absolutes. The links connecting life with universal symbols are therefore broken, and disintergration sets in.
Miguel Serrano, 1966

Night Vision

Thanks to Jas for his wit. Badgers eh? Here's some scat, track and sign.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

With the third launch from Cold Spring reviewed here, we stay in the ambient-side of expressions. Still there is a great difference between the gentle and melodic "Daas"-album of Machinefabriek and the utter darkness on next launch being "Hunts & wars" from Tenhornedbeast. Located in the Northern territories of England, British composer Christopher Walton alias Tenhornedbeast has since 2004 launched one album of apocalyptic dark ambient after the other. As I three years back reviewed the previous album of Tenhornedbeast titled "The sacred truth", I described the music as being death industrial with comparison to Swedish genre-legend Brighter Death Now. On this new album recorded in the period between 2006-09 the harshness has been decreased. What is left behind is seven pieces of black ambience and the result is great and even better than previous album. The expressions on the pieces are repetitive and slowly moving in-between drones of buzzing darkness. Last track is the lengthy 20 minutes title track "Hunts & wars". A great work that opens in pure darkness but halfway through turns into semi-melodic ambient-spheres thus adding some warmth to the otherwise cold and cynic world of the beast.