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Kammarheit - The Nest (2015) - Review

Band: Kammarheit
Album title: The Nest
Release date: 1 August 2015
Label: Cyclic Law

01. Borgafjäll
02. Unsealed
03. Lower Halls
04. The Howl
05. Sphaerula
06. Hypogaeum
07. The Nest
08. Sung In Secret
09. Aeon

Are you ready for almost 50 minutes of total darkness and nightmarish meditative ambiance? Kammarheit, the Swedish dark ambient act is back after 10 years of silence with a new album that brings nothing else but pure awe-inspiring darkness transformed into sound and brought to surface in form of nine almost bizzare tracks. The man behind Kammarheit is Pär Boström, a person who gained a cult status with his classic albums The Starwheel and Shockwork, that both became a true cult within the genre, later some of his experiments which were not intended for official release, but created as a sleeping aid for Pär’s then incessant insomnia, were released by Canadian label Cyclic Law under the name Unearthed 2000-2002 and brought to the fans kind of the most disturbing dark ambient soundscapes out there.

Kammarheit's new album, significantly entitled The Nest, follows the same route we were used from this artist, but still it offers a bit more dense, complex and compelling sound. It's a sound of apocalyptic vision delivered through cinematic, sometimes almost too linear soundscapes, yet once you'll get into this desolate place created with use of field recordings and diverse electronics there's a new world that opens up. Sometimes the sound progressively evokes feelings of pure isolation and depravity, yet there's a constant feeling of something evil lurking in behind, just take a deep concetration when the track "Unsealed" with its dreary droneing atmosphere penetrates your mind, it's like being alive in kind of a worst nightmare ever. Kind of a soft and lush presence is all over, but never fronted, like the sound of a desolated world singing the grieving song. By paying enough attention kind of a mournful melody makes its way on a surface within the claustrophobic drones of "Lower Halls". The ambiance of each single track is so cold, at some points at the edge of becoming disturbing, but some layers of industrial treatments and noises that are necessary to amplify the tension are more than welcome. With this approach Pär gained some dynamics, the right texture and density in the overall mostly minimalistic sound.

The main scope and the intent of The Nest is to take the listener on a subterranean journey through enormous halls of unfathomable depths, and yes, those very cinematic sounds are just about that and this subtle experiment has the power to take you on a journey where only a weak glimpse of light illuminates the area. The absolutely dark "Hypogaeum" is an essential dark ambient presentation of post-apocalyptic deserted underground world, you can almost breath the poluted air, yet the constant impeding presence of a horrifying thumping beats leaves nothing to provide any kind of hope, being awake in the nightmare might rest for an eternity. The tracks are put together in some strange symbiotic order, are like chapters of the story where the suspense is increased with every single step. Everything is very vivid, the sounds are often just like if coming from a distant galaxy, not human at all, like being "Sung In Secret" by kind of an alien form. Sometimes the ambiances can remind to the nordic tradition of acts such as Norwegians Svartsinn, Taphephobia or even Northaunt. The Nest slowly and subtlety takes the listener on a voyage which ends with the most, may I say melodious, lush and soothing piece up here - "Aeon", it almost embraces with kind of stark vibe, with cunning tenderness and demonstrates once again why Pär Boström become one of the most respected artist in dark ambient.

With The Nest Kammarheit makes a great return in its own world of cure for insomnia. The listener needs a lot of concetration to be able to find out what everything lies hidden between all those layers, thus it's not an easy piece of art to grasp in its entirety right from the very first listen. This gloomy meditative journey is a must for every devoted fan of dark ambient, maybe not an easy one for those who just started to explore this specific genre which seems to be going through its second ascent. Nevertheless, The Nest has all necessary nozzles to become a cult within the genre and those who were missing the sound of Kammarheit must give this release a warm welcome before drowning in its ocean of desolation and sombreness.

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

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