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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
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Moloch Conspiracy - The Cave Of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights (2018) - Review

Band: Moloch Conspiracy
Album title: The Cave Of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights
Release date: 29 June 2018
Label: Eighth Tower Records

Tracklist:
01. At The Entrance To The Cave
02. Fear Of stones
03. Kulullû
04. Apsû
05. The Subterranean River
06. The Awful Ritual
07. Epilogue

Moloch Conspiracy is more or less a new name in the ever expanding dark ambient territory, a project is around since 2017 and in a rather short time already released two albums, was featured on one split album and on some dark ambient compilations that are recently growing like weeds. The debut album, The Burned Temple, released by Cephalopagus Records in October last year, showed that Moloch Conspiracy is not a joke, the extremely dark and ghastly cavernous soundscapes were in a nice ratio with subtle ritualistic undertones, thus creating a very dense and sometimes almost suffocating dark atmosphere. The new album in its basis follows the same principles, but at the same time is way more diverse and lets say dynamic, all this is achived by using different instruments, by adding vocals on certain parts, trying out of the border approaches and with this Moloch Conspiracy is on several occasions playing it not that safe if we compare it to what he has done on his first album, but also in comparision with many other dark ambient artists of today. I certainly admire this approach, it reminds me to what was done in the 90s when dark ambient was still in early stages and many experimentations were going on.

Already the album title says a lot of what we can expect to hear here. Moloch Conspiracy offers seven quite lenghty tracks that could appeal to quite a large audience, there are things that have something in common also with dungeon synth, ritual ambient, occult, neo-folk on some places and yet everything has some kind of avant-garde feel all over it. On this new album Moloch Conspiracy has lost some of coherence and linear flow, but has certainly added the dramatical factor. As well the album is soundwise not so tumultuous bleak like the first one, it's a bit more open, like if there's a shimmering light at the end of the tunnel, but ok, fear not, this is still very dark stuff and you can almost feel the presence of unhuman figures in the underground world. The album is a thematical one, it's a metaphysical journey into a cave. The tracks are esoteric, mysterious and all related to Mesopotamian myths and legends, the compositions are smoothly sliding from one mood into another, but always keeping that extremely cavernous atmosphere.

Moloch Conspiracy uses dark drones in a nice cohesion with field recordings, gloomy synths, and creates several highly cinematic passages. The ambiance is throughout haunting and bleak and I welcome the use of subtle chants and of course the female vocals by guest Uunslit in the amazing, maybe the album highlight named "Apsû". As well the use of not so usual instruments for this genre like is re-amped cello, piano, timpani, and as well the ancient woodwind instrument duduk in the most diverse track "Kulullû" and gusle in the last half of the closing one "Epilogue", are the things that make this album somehow special. The first two tracks are in a way typical cavernous dark ambient tracks with cinematic elements and sometimes it reminds me to the masters like Atrium Carceri, Raison d'être, Kammarheit, Desiderii Marginis, and just a bit also to Era 1 of Mortiis, but more and more that we go deeper the more unique everything feels. My favorite is the dark cinematic creepy journey into the depths named "The Awful Ritual", where the instrumental mix and treatments were done by Niculta, and here Moloch Conspiracy creates such a suspensive rather melancholic eerie/horror ambiance with so many different subtle layers that can be discover only by some repetitive spins.

The Cave Of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights has it all what a fan of dark ambient can only wish for. It's an adventurous, mystical, deeply immersive and mind provoking dark ambient album that can keep you occupied for a very long time before it will unveil all of its secrets. It's a nonconformist release for sure and a huge addition for the Italian rising label Eighth Tower Records. Moloch Conspiracy with this album, but as well with the debut one released last year, has certainly put his name on the radar of dark ambient and is an act really worth checking out if you like the genre. Somehow I feel that Moloch Conspirancy with this album is on some kind of a crossroads and I expect even more from this act on future releases, even though that already now is showing a huge creative talent and skills that must be respected and congratulated.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

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Band: Antimatter
Album title: The Judas Table
Release date: 9 October 2015
Label: Prophecy Productions

Since the departure of one of the Antimatter's founders, Duncan Patterson, (former bassist/songwriter of Anathema), the remaining member Mick Moss brought Antimatter to the state of being one of the essential bands when it comes to melancholic and atmospheric rock. After two stunning albums, the groundbreaking Leaving Eden (2007) and Fear Of A Unique Identity (2012), both albums set new standards for the dark atmospheric alternative rock music, now Mick's Antimatter is back with a new very introspective album, The Judas Table. Following the steps of before mentioned two albums, the new opus is another proof how to blend together melancholic art rock, goth, atmospheric rock and highly emotional acoustic pieces. The Judas Table is a conceptual album in which Mick Moss sings about his personal experiences, about betrayal, disappointment, self-doubt, and anybody who ever suffered from betrayal on a personal level will without doubt relate to this album, but not only... Mick Moss' battle with his inner demons might seem to be now in an equilibrium, but we who love the music this man does will hope that this battle in his thoughts might never end and Antimatter will still be exploring this intimate and sad side of personal struggle to survive amongst all of evil selfish souls who were born just to cause harm and desperation. All in all, Antimatter created another gem full of amazing soul and mind shaking atmospheric songs!

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