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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Ferndal - Ferndal (2017) - Review

Band: Ferndal
Album title: Ferndal
Release date: 21 April 2017
Label: Einheit Produktionen

Tracklist:
01. Ouverture Op. 1.1
02. Ferndal Op. 1.2
03. Ungelebtes Leben Op. 1.3
04. Klavierquintett in g-moll “Arntor, ein Krieger” Op. 1.4
05. In die Freiheit Op. 1.5
06. Ein später Gast Op. 1.6
07. Coda Op. 1.7

German melancholic/folk/classical/black metallers Ferndal started out in mid 2016 and now released their self-titled debut album. Ferndal's line-up consists of five talented musicians, being the main composers/lyricists Sorathiel (bass and vocals) and Lestaya (violoncello), plus Alboîn (drums), Abarus (guitars) and Sethras (guitars). This full-lenght debut of theirs features seven tracks, among them four long tracks and a classically orchestrated version of Windir’s, "Arntor". The cover artwork was created by the Spanish artist Norax, also known from the black metal band Lux Divina. The artwork of this release is pretty important as it shows the impressive painting of a desolated landscape, in which a single human, apparent as a shadow, stands before the sun in the shape of an eye. The motive reflects issues of the lyrics allegorizing the conception of the album. The lyrics address existentialist issues, self-reflection on life and death, self-knowledge that leads to freedom and growth of the individual.

Assuming the lyrics, Ferndal decided to explore different forms of expression in relation to the style of black metal. Instead of anger and hate, you will realize how melancholic and sad this album is. Ferndal is an ode to the melancholy of despair. The band basically manipulates two different musical atmospheres, but not unknown to each other. In this album we have the junction of classical music, represented mainly by the spectacular Lestaya cello and in the other hand the traditional rough black metal guitar riffs with some groaning vocals, yet clean as the guitars and drums.
 
The sound is a very melancholic, a bit folky, it's somehow clean and progressive style of black metal. In the tracks as "Coda", "Ouverture" and "Klavierquintett in g-moll, Arntor, ein Krieger", I felt myself surrounded by a fluid sensation between peace and despair. What impressed me most about this album was the classical music and guitars in kind of pain, very beautiful. Undoubtedly the classical part, the choirs and the vocals and the other instruments are in perfect harmony in certain sense. The melancholic tone, the epic and sweet atmosphere and all the elements added are impressive. As a lover of classical music, I would say that everything from this point of view is excellent.
 
But my problem lies in the fact that in the raw part, even if tackled in a more progressive way, the black metal elements had not convinced me. All the magnificence of the guitars that play along with the cello in many tracks are in a way lost when the band is introducing the heavy part. A greater engagement between the two styles is necessary to not obscure the whole thing. What I want to say is that an album like this that features a perfect, super emotional and epic piece of classical music deserves more fascinating, strong and an epic black metal approach as well. But afterall this is the first album of the band and the differentiated and artistic proposal presented in here lead me to believe that the next album will be just excellent.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 7,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ugasanie
Album title: Eye Of Tunguska
Release date: 22 September 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Eye Of Tunguska is certainly Ugasanie’s most refined album to date. The drones, synths and field recordings of nature as well as other unearthly sounds, all flow together perfectly. Eye Of Tunguska is quite complex without ever feeling cluttered or noisy. We are told that Ugasanie was inspired to write this album by “A strange incident (which) took place in the 1990s in late autumn in the taiga. Not far from the epicenter of the Tunguska meteorite impact site. A group of students went hiking to see this legendary site. They lost their way after they decided to spend the night in one of the winter huts built by hunters of the land. Their mutilated bodies were later found near an old abandoned geological base with radiation burns.” Ugasanie paints a vivid picture here of the darkness and pure terror felt by these hikers as they experienced a potential alien or government abduction and their ensuing deaths. Ugasanie always amazes with his use of atmosphere coupled with a compelling plot. Eye Of Tunguska brings more of what we love of Ugasanie in a quite different manner than previous albums. While the sounds may be more subtle, the overarching story appears to better plotted than ever. Eye Of Tunguska is highly recommended for those who love dark ambient with sci-fi and/or polar isolation elements, not to mention a bit of horror-scape.

Read a full review HERE