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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Amorphis -
Queen Of Time
02. Dimmu Borgir -
Eonian
03. Khôrada - Salt
04. Immortal -
Northern Chaos Gods
05. MGT -
Gemini Nyte
06. Summoning -
With Doom We Come
07. Crone -
Godspeed
08. Primordial -
Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Atrium Carceri & Herbst9 -
Ur Djupan Dal
10. Mournful Congregation -
The Incubus Of Karma

More HERE

Random album

Enmarta - The Hermit (2016) - Review

Band: Enmarta
Album title: The Hermit
Release date: 22 Novemeber 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

Tracklist:
01. Apokatástasis I
02. March Of The Priests
03. Journey To The Celestial Rivers
04. Apokatástasis II
05. Passing
06. The Hermit
07. Temple Of Abandon

Enmarta released their debut album, Sea Of Black, on Cryo Chamber last year. This album sent ripples through the dark ambient community. With their masterful use of classical instrumentation, primarily viola, Enmarta presented something with enough technical expertise to turn heads even outside the dark ambient community. Now Enmarta is back with their sophmore album, The Hermit.

Enmarta, as previously alluded to, is a classically trained musician who has toured with Reggio Calabria Philharmonic Orchestra as a viola performer. So with Enmarta, we get a unique take on dark ambient. Through the eyes and ears of a classically trained musician, music always seems to take on a different form. There tends to be more deliberate planning of certain movements within a track or the album as a whole. Being able to fully appreciate and manipulate tonal variations and to envision a track from top to bottom before ever pressing record; these things can make all the difference. Yet, there is often a downside to classically-trained artists, in my opinion. Studying the full breadth of historical works, learning how and why an instrument, or even a scale, does what it does, these things can lead to very mechanical and easily-anticipated sound structures. Luckily for us dark ambient fans, Enmarta has not fallen for these trappings.

The concept of the album is focused on a religious man, who has found himself in isolation. The album begins with "Apokatástasis I". ἀποκατάστασις, in its original ancient Greek transliteration, means something like: restoration to the primordial condition. Within this context, we seem to be following this hermit through his reawakening, as he becomes one with the gods and the land itself.

Sea Of Black showed a lot of promise for this young musician. Yet, The Hermit brings the intensity to a whole new level. We are presented with a nice variation of instruments and sounds throughout the album. For instance, on "Apokatástasis II" the track starts off with some distant percussion that sounds more like the beginning of a dungeon synth track than dark ambient. Yet, where many dungeon synth artists will fall flat with wildly mixed percussion, Enmarta, possibly due to the mastering skills of label-head Simon Heath, delivers a brilliant mix. The percussion seems to keep that gritty vibe without sounding like it was produced on a toy keyboard. Add to this, layers of field recordings and subtle drone and the final result is next to perfection. Not just with the drums, but again when listening to the viola, we hear a mix that was deliberate and painstakingly detailed. For instance, "Journey To The Celestial Rivers", one of the most peaceful and brilliant tracks on the album, meanders on for the first two and a half minutes with some gentle rain and celestial synths before the viola cuts through the mix like a knife. Using the viola as a contrast to the subdued sounds of the field recordings and synths, Enmarta is able to build very noticeable shifts in setting and emotion, in a fashion that seems effortlessly second-nature to him.

As a whole, we have in The Hermit, a brilliant follow-up to Sea Of Black. As Enmarta continues honing his classical as well as dark ambient skills, it seems only reasonable that there will be even more brilliant albums ahead in the coming years. The Hermit is one of those albums, which shouldn't be offensive to anyone. Where some dark ambient albums can be a bit noisy at times, The Hermit keeps its cool and composure throughout. With that said, I would absolutely recommend The Hermit to any lover of relaxing dark ambient, classical, or new age music. They will certainly have a dark and somber path ahead of them, but it will be well worth the journey.

Written by: Michael
Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Draconian
Album title: Sovran
Release date: 30 October 2015
Label: Napalm Records

Sovran is a proof that the combination of gothic metal and doom metal works out perfectly if you have top notch musicians performing and composing it. While the pace of the album is a bit slower and not so direct like on some of their previous albums, the whole gloomy atmosphere is outstanding, songs are catchy, flowing, dramatic and absolutely racked by melancholy. Most of the melodies are stunningly captivating, guitar sound is gentle and heavy at the same time, often we hear those typical slowly gliding evocative trademark Draconian lines and riffs which brings tears in the eye, the rhythmic line is crushing, just right to give that necessary dose of turbulent doom metal and slight aggression into these compositions. The multidimensional ambiance gets often fulfilled with obscure gothy symphonic synths which give to the songs such an unimaginable depth and rich sound. All of the songs on Sovran are nicely building up in atmosphere, there are so many layers and the one who would like to take everything this album offers should be concetrated on the music as much as possible, possibly setting up a perfect mood. Sovran is magical, soothing, melancholic and dreamy adventure, yet it is ponderous, powerful and heavy by partly remaining loyal to the formula from their debut album, Where Lovers Mourn (2003), where the band made a deviation from their early death/black metal days into a dark and doomy metal style which convinced fans of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and early Anathema.

Read a full review HERE