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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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Beyond Sensory Experience - The End Of It All (2016) - Review

Band: Beyond Sensory Experience
Album title: The End Of It All
Release date: 29 June 2016
Label: Cyclic Law

Tracklist:
01. Two Ways To Dwell
02. Back Into Place
03. Thinking Time
04. The Arc Of Desolation
05. Ten Times The Effect
06. Ends And Histories
07. Properties Of Stars
08. Daunting Decisions
09. The Unfolding
10. Time Travels
11. The End Of It All

Beyond Sensory Experience have been making albums in the dark ambient genre for over a decade, starting with their debut, Tortuna, on Old Europa Cafe. They gained recognition during their time on the legendary, now defunct label, Cold Meat Industry. In 2013, Beyond Sensory Experience would find their new home with Frederic Arbour and company at Cyclic Law. Now, with the release of their third album on Cyclic Law, entitled The End Of It All, Beyond Sensory Experience prove that they still have plenty of landscape left to cover in their musical career.

The End Of It All does anything but break the mold when it comes to musical output by Beyond Sensory Experience. The sounds presented here will be familiar to any fan of their previous albums, especially their most recent releases through Cyclic Law. Beyond Sensory Experience have a very particular sort of sound, which seems to draw a lot of parallels to Silent Heart by The Human Voice, also released through Cyclic Law. In both these projects what we hear are albums which seem to be the perfect soundtracks to a lonely and melancholic late night, lights dimmed, conjuring retrograded mental images of a life once lost. There is no happiness to be found here. Yet the album doesn't tend to make one sad, so much as it is the perfect companion to one's own sadness, a shoulder to cry on, when no other living soul is around, during your darkest nights. Beyond Sensory Experience achieve this bleak and melancholic mood through the use of minimal droning passages, checkered with solemn and tragically forlorn piano movements. The occasional cello notes can be heard on tracks like "Ends And Histories" raising the emotional intensity to an even higher degree. There are ample vocal passages throughout The End Of It All, adding a bit of narration to further solidify the intentions of its authors. These vocal passages are almost all from different sources and different people, presumably none of which are actually Beyond Sensory Experience, which is of little consequence as the words and voices themselves are a perfect match to this somber affair.

As previously mentioned, similar to Silent Heart, by The Human Voice, The End Of It All is a soundtrack to a deep and personal ending. The intersections of beauty, despair, and a pervasive calmness give The End Of It All a powerful emotional edge. Listened to in the right circumstances, I am sure this could easily bring one to tears. This isn't a glorification of sadness by any means, more so an complete and utter appreciation for and understanding of the depression, loss, and defeat felt in the lives of everyday people. As the illusion of world-wide peace and happiness is being slowly revealed to the inhabitants of our planet, there has never seemed to be a time in the past more suitable for contemplating the weaknesses and failings of humanity as a whole. Never before have so many people, world-wide, been able to look at history, without rosy-red glasses, and see the predicaments we are now finding ourselves in as a collective whole. The End Of It All is the soundtrack to that sentiment. "Properties Of Stars", for instance, grasps this concept like few other dark ambient tracks. It is as if we are sitting in some lonely personal retreat, staring up at the stars, and yet we feel the collective of humanity at our side, all staring into the sky, wondering, pleading for some signs of a way out of our collective dilemma.

The vocal passages in The End Of It All really do play a large part in this personal feeling of loss and sadness. Many of these passages are spoken in English, but others are in some other language which I am unable to specify. One of the best tracks on the album, and the best example of the power of these spoken words, comes in "Time Travels" the second last track, which says, "I have often wondered about what it must be like to go to sleep and never wake up." and later in the track saying "To be simply not there, forever and ever." These simple statements along with some of the most melancholic piano work I have heard combine to produce quite an emotionally charged experience.

With many humans finding themselves in an existential dilemma these days, and the state of our Eco-system in utter chaos, there has never been a better time for releasing music of such a particularly dark yet contemplative and sober variety. Dark days are sure to be ahead of us, and with those dark days many of us seek equally dark music. For many listeners The End Of It All should be the perfect companion to your own personal apocalypse. I highly recommend this album to any fans of a more instrumental and vocal take on dark ambient. Also, anyone interested in melancholic neo-classical will find plenty to enjoy here. As far as readers who may not often listen to this genre, Beyond Sensory Experience showcase many of the elements which make for a perfect introduction to dark ambient and its various cousin genres.

Review written by: Michael
Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Sabled Sun
Album title: 2148
Release date: 8 November 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

Sabled Sun is, at this point, one of the most well known sci-fi infused dark ambient projects out there. 2148 is the fourth chapter and the fourth year in the story of a man who has awoken from a long cryo-sleep to find that his planet has been abandoned. Each year or album in the series reveals a few more details and possibilities to be taken into account. Sabled Sun is the side-project of Simon Heath, who is most well known as Atrium Carceri and owner of the Cryo Chamber label. This year's album 2148 takes the story to it most surprising place yet. As an individual album 2148 is brilliant. From beginning to end, we hear some of the best music yet within the Sabled Sun story. There are plenty of things here to keep each type of listener happily entertained. Now, we can only wait to find out if this is the end of the line for the protagonist or if Simon Heath still has more ideas up his sleeve for the continuation of his protagonist as he moves toward the stars, the second great unknown in his journey.

Read a full review HERE