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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018

01. Aeon Sable
- Aether
02. Amorphis
- Queen Of Time
03. Atrium Carceri
- Codex
04. Dimmu Borgir
- Eonian
05. Behemoth
- I Loved You At Your Darkest
06. The Eternal
- Waiting For The Endless Dawn
07. MGT
- Gemini Nyte
08. Primordial
- Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Khôrada
- Salt
10. Immortal
- Northern Chaos Gods


Random album

Autumn's Grey Solace - Windumæra (2016) - Review

Band: Autumn's Grey Solace
Album title: Windumæra
Release date: 11 June 2016
Label: Self-Released

01. Windumæra
02. Sláhhyll
03. Belle
04. Asundran
05. Swíþfram
06. Axa
07. Hærfestwæta
08. Ymbe

The beautiful siren Erin Welton and multiinstrumentalist Scott Ferrell, united under the name Autumn's Grey Solace, are back with a new album. Windumæra features eight new tracks and is already the ninth album for this North American duet who started their career in 2000. Already with their debut, Within The Depths Of A Darkened Forest, and then even more with the next couple of albums, especially with masterpieces like Ablaze and Riverine, Autumn's Grey Solace became one of the most influential acts inside this rather narrow and somehow mysterious genre called ethereal wave. Erin with her beautiful tender coloratura soprano voice style is one of a kind singer, as well Scott nicely manipulates the guitar and other instruments to create some kind of a magical fantasy sonic experience.    

To tell the truth, a follow up to their in 2014 released Monajjfyllen, is one of the most difficult albums from this duo to get it through. The dream pop element that was so very present on Ablaze for example is present just in fragments, also those meditative dense atmospheres and catchy prolific passages are not here as we were used to hear from them. Rather than that on Windumæra there's much more emphasis on drifting and sparkling guitar sound, in a way the atmospheric guitar lines are a bit similar to early The Cure, Cocteau Twins and as well early Dead Can Dance. Most of the songs on this album are still a bit less atmospheric than on their previous works, but are a bit darker and psychedelic, I can say even dramatic, there's much more connection with retro wave and dark wave than ever before, some passages are smelling almost post-punkish to say at least. So, the minus is that the shoegaze elements are rather left behind or pushed in the backwards, the same it's with their trademark romantic pop side, but thankfully not entirely and that's perfectly heard on one of the albums highlight "Sláhhyll".

Erin is a vocal virtuoso and thanks to her amazing singing tecnique songs and words behind them get almost an otherwordly dimension. Her voice is very emotive, it brings calmness and pushes you in a meditative state of mind while nicely glazing through these soundscapes. All of the songs are pouring softly from one to another, but the listener must be in a certain state of mind to properly absorb what this album offers, otherwise you can get bored because the whole thing, while still being pretty airy, is a bit too much linear, minimalistic, sometimes almost too gentle and without necessary more evident ups and downs that would make it evem more multidimensional, perhaps also more luminous.

Windumæra is a soothing listening experience, pretty chilly, it might let your imagination flow, it opens doors into magical world. Just listen to mesmerizing last two songs to get the point, the cinematic romantic "Hærfestwæta" and rather more bouyant closing one "Ymbe". I can't tell you a lot about the lyrics as they are pretty much unintelligible, but judging from the titles I think that are about ethereal stuff, nature and talking about a fantasy world. Windumæra holds inside some kind of sadness, melancholy, yet it brings stillness, but only if you fully devote yourself as it's a very demanding listening experience. I still prefer their earlier works, but it's obvious that Autumn's Grey Solace show some kind of progression with every consequent release by shifting more and more into organic sound of instruments. Windumæra is an enjoyable album, it's mystical, but not for everybody.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Shibalba
Album title: Samsara
Release date: 22 December 2015
Label: Malignant Records

Shibalba return with Samsara, a magnificent offering to the gods and their first on Malignant Records. Their special brand of ritual dark ambient is an invocation of the highest order. Great halls filled with worshipers and priestly hooded figures are brought to mind. Ancient structures of dilapidated stone-works surround the congregation as they chant their prayers and pound their drums. This experience is something of a meditation for the listener, giving us a channel into the depths of our own inner gods and demons. Shibalba perform a rite which is larger than life, a worthy soundtrack for the gods as they manipulate our every movement here on Earth. Samsara is a deeply moving experience. Shibalba have obviously taken every precaution in piecing together this ritual.

Read a full review HERE