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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
04.
Sun Of The Sleepless - To The Elements
05. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. End Of Green
- Void Estate
08.
Anathema - The Optimist
09. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
10. Last Leaf Down
- Bright Wide Colder

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Random album

Friends Of Alice Ivy - The Last Days Of Fenwyck (2017) - Review

Band: Friends Of Alice Ivy
Album title: The Last Days Of Fenwyck
Release date: 1 May 2017
Label: Meadowlands

Tracklist:
01. Fenwyck
02. Blackthorn
03. Albion
04. Wycca
05. Rooks
06. Brambling

The Australian duo bearing a fairy-tale name Friends Of Alice Ivy, invites us once again to close our eyes and to be taken out of reality, into an ethereal dream world full of magic and sparkling wonders with their new creation, The Last Days Of Fenwyck. After their immersively haunting and beautiful debut, The Golden Cage And Its Mirrored Maze, a dizzying kaleidoscope of exoticism, flights of fancy, star-gazing wonder and neoclassicism, released in 2014, Kylie and Amps once again overpassed themselves and created something truly magical, a mesmerizing inter-related concept album with which Friends Of Alice Ivy want in their own way say, "that those ancient ways of understanding change are dying and our connection with nature is dying. We are not hippies, but that disconnect is not a good thing. Our connection with nature is more distant than it has ever been", and perfectly captured the essence of the album. It's an album consisting of six songs of pure beauty, clocking in around 30 minutes that transcend the borders of ethereal music into something that could be called as dark-ethereal-neoclassical-gaze, if I try to experiment a bit with definitions.

Sensual, fragile, yet melancholic but highly evocative atmospheric soundscapes are quite dynamic so to say, but not in a bad way at all, it actually makes the whole thing even more exotic, somehow palatable, relaxating and on the other hand also deeply introversial. Like we were already used to hear on their debut album, also this time Friends Of Alice Ivy combine well arranged minimalistic song structures with almost epic, slowly building ambiances, but yet they managed to make something even more unique and absolutely deep. This album needs an attentive listener who knows how to consecrate properly into this kind of self-immersive soundscapes, otherwise it can become a bit monotone and you can easily miss out many hidden things that this music has to offer.

Kylie with her fragile, ethereal, sensual, gentle and yet strong voice is caressing the listeners senses in a stunning way, thankfully never being overly pretentious, but the proper effect is reached only in combination with those slowly evolving and heart-rending compositional structures and catchy melodies. Musically Friends Of Alice Ivy don't exagerate with unnecessary samples and various additions, yet there are many subtle layers waiting to be discovered, they use many very interesting percussions and by adding certain uncommon instruments the whole thing gets almost multidimensional. We are somewhere in the fields of sluggish ethereal neoclassical music, symphonic darkwave, shimmering folk, sometimes a bit avant-gardish, always nicely flowing while being backened by some mesmerizing darkness of captivating gothic ambiances. The sound is very rich, consistent and coherent, even though there are plenty of minimalistic parts. For example just listen to the astonishing magic of highly evocative "Rooks" and you'll know what I mean.

Fans of Dead Can Dance' album Into The Labyrint will for sure find some well known patterns in "Blackthorn", on the other side there are resemblances with Arcana in the magical "Wycca", or that brooding electronic samples and sparkling piano in "Brambling" can be compared with This Mortail Coil, conditionally even with Massive Attack. Even though some influences are clearly evident, Friends Of Alice Ivy reached kind of their own expression and own sound. They go even that far and spice up some songs with elements that are very close to dream-pop, sometimes at the border of shoegaze, and by doing that another necessary level of catchiness is masterfully reached. The Last Days Of Fenwyck is not only one slowly evolving soundscape, there's plenty of drama in it. Some songs get intensified with use of melancholic cello, played by guest musician Ellie Walker, and some well inserted piano touches on certain parts.

The Last Days Of Fenwyck is one of those albums that are deeply melancholic on one side, but as well sparkling on another, it should be heard with closed eyes and by using headphones with volume set at maximum. It almost literally takes your hand and you'll feel like flying above some primordial unspoiled nature and being surrounded by some fairylike creatures. It's a fairytale which begins already with the first look at the beautiful front cover artwork,... everything is so soothing. It's difficult to desribe what kind of emotions and memories this music evokes, but most certainly it stirs up many for every dreamer who will take this broody mystical path with Friends Of Alice Ivy.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10

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Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Devilment
Album title: II-The Mephisto Waltzes
Release date: 18 November 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

The Mephisto Waltzes is a cracked and crazed rollercoaster ride through a twisted universe populated by grotesque monsters, deviant freaks and irresistible, ghoulish heroines. The second offering of Devilment features nine tracks full of gothy/horror metal with a lot of creepy atmospheric soundscapes. It's a haunting and often captivatingly extreme, often with some black metal in it, but not only, there are plenty of NWOBHM and typical hard rock hooks, and all this manifests in great dynamics that The Mephisto Waltzes offers. It's nice to hear and see that Devilment are becoming such an entity on its own. Everything shines even more because of great production that adds another degree of heaviness to the whole thing. Devilment became with this album a wholly distinctive unholy force, with an intuitive understanding of the value of shattering every mirror and stepping through into an alternate dimension where rulebooks smoulder and hell’s gates are thrown open for an unhinged but celebratory knees-up, and certainly a genuine force to be reckoned with.

Read a full review HERE