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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
04. Anathema
- The Optimist
05. God Body Disconnect
- Sleeper's Fate
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
08. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning
09. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
10. Au-Dessus
- End Of Chapter

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Random album

Flowers For Bodysnatchers - Aokigahara (2015) - Review

Band: Flowers For Bodysnatchers
Album title: Aokigahara
Release date: 3 November 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Tracklist:
01. Prisoners Of Night And Fog
02. And There Is A Darkness
03. Field Of Ink
04. Kuroi Jukai
05. There Will Be Lies
06. Night Heroin
07. Aokigahara
08. A Rope To End It All
09. A Man Metallic
10. The Games Foxes Play

Duncan Ritchie is Flowers For Bodysnatchers, previously of The Rosenshoul. The Rosenshoul was an immensely gifted project showcasing a more drone and industrial side, whereas Flowers For Bodysnatchers seems more of a beauty enshrouded in darkness. The latest album, Aokigahara on Cryo Chamber, is an distrubing yet wildly peaceful and melancholic experience. Cryo Chamber, again, shows their knack for finding artists who have a grander vision in mind when going into a project and bringing it to life as a flawless aural experience.

On Aokigahara, Flowers For Bodysnatchers has captured field recordings from Tokyo to the infamous Aokigahara Forest, a place where a staggering number of people come every year to commit, or at least contemplate, suicide. His addition of piano, flute, vocal, and minimal drone/synth arrangements makes for one of not only the most melancholic but also the most classically arranged albums on Cryo Chamber to date. There is a dark beauty here throughout Aokigahara that is unsettling, especially considering the concept of the album.

As with many Cryo Chamber releases, there is a concept in place yet sometimes it is harder to decipher than others, and you can often never be sure exactly what the artist had in mind, this is one of my many reasons for loving David Lynch's movies and ultimately, finding and loving the dark ambient genre through composers like Angelo Badalamenti, a composer I have to think gave some inspiration to Duncan Ritchie. Before listening to Aokigahara, I watched the Vice News: Suicide Forest In Japan, a documentary about the bleak situation at the base of Mt. Fuji where there are 50-100 deaths a year. Flowers For Bodysnatchers masterfully takes us on a journey from the city of Tokyo into the heart of Aokigahara Forest, fighting inner demons and reflecting on the beauty and ugliness of our modern world as the trip progresses.

"Prisoners Of Night And Fog", "And There Is A Darkness" and "Aokigahara" all showcase the brilliant classically oriented thinking of Flowers For Bodysnatchers, while tracks like "Field Of Ink" and "Night Heroin" show his masterful technique at bringing these two, often clashing in many other artist, genres of music together and blending them for an ebb and flow that engulfs Aokigahara as if the person making his potentially final journey is reflecting on the positives and negatives of life, sometime elated other times brooding and ominous.

Flowers For Bodysnatchers looks to be a welcome addition to the Cryo Chamber roster with Aokigahara. As with many fellow artists on the label Flowers For Bodysnatchers shows his ability to tell a story, stick to the dark ambient format, and yet push the boundaries just enough to keep each track, as well as the entirety of the album, new and refreshing. I would highly recommend Aokigahara to ambient or classical fans looking to test the waters of dark ambient, there is a fine portion of both here. With that said, the theme of the album really shines through and one can't help but feel overtaken with darkness while experiencing Aokigahara.

Review written by: Michael
Rating: 9/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Red Sun Revival
Album title: Identities
Release date: 19 June 2015
Label. Echozone/Ressurection Records

When the London based four piece Red Sun Revival released their debut album, Running From The Dawn, in 2012, the gothic rock fans were nothing but mesmerized and hooked by its ethereal emotional melodies, yet very personal and deeply moving songs. Then the EP named Embers brought one hell of a promising four tracks where the band showed even more matured compositional skills. With Identities the band got even more unique sound, even though the typical gothic rock elements perfected before by The Mission, Nosferatu, The Cure and Fields Of The Nephilim are present all over, but done in such kind of soundtrack-ish style, with pinch of pop like edge in some rhythmic lines, with emotions pouring out with every chord, every beat and every word, I don't believe we ever heard something alike before. Identities with all of the ten featured songs is as opposed to the debut album written not only by bands mastermind Rob Leydon, this time also bassist Panos Theodoropoulous took a part in the compositional process and the consequence are even more flowing, lush and original soundscapes, even Rob Leydon's voice has almost nothing to do anymore with Carl McCoy. In a way I can go as far and say that if later era Pink Floyd were ever going to make gothic rock then something similar could came up. Identities offers a myriad of amazing moments that flow like a tender warm breeze of the most refined darkness, thus exposing all of its beauty to the one who'll give to this release a careful listen.

Read a full review HERE