This week’s sale includes four items from the “First Fallen Star” label, which we’ve marked down from $12.99 to just $7.99 through February 2nd. Grab ‘em while supplies last!
Forged in 2009, First Fallen Star’s focus is to release music on the dark end of the ambient / experimental spectrum. That being said, the first sale item we have for you this week is:
KARSTEN HAMRE – THROUGH THE EYES OF A STRANGER (CD + DVD)
Format: CD in a DVD case
“Karsten crafts desolate dark ambient sound structures, ornamented by sampled sounds and experimental textures. The end result of this process is an experience categorized perhaps too simply as dark ambient, though it more closely resembles a dark soundtrack to a movie, or to a life – as seen through the eyes of a stranger… Presented in a DVD case with professionally pressed CD and professionally printed artwork, limited to 1,000 copies. The first 500 copies are presented in a 2-disc DVD case with a professionally pressed bonus DVD (PAL format), also titled “Through the Eyes of a Stranger,” that takes the viewer on a visual journey of imagery used for live performances.” –First Fallen Star
“Hamre delivers with some of the best dark ambient soundscapes I’ve heard this year. The album is full of big, dark passages which purvey a mood not unlike walking through an endless field, moist after the rain, which is shrouded in dense fog and lit only by the soft glow of the unseen moon somewhere far overhead. Beyond the field you will travel through dungeons, withered ruins of antique castles, and perhaps even venture outside the terrestrial. The dark, subtly evolving drones are supplemented nicely with a plethora of distant sound effects and weird, almost uneasy textures; both of which help immensely to define atmosphere and take the listener to some place beyond this sphere.” — Dan Barrett/connexionbizarre.net
Our next sale item is:
DENSE VISION SHRINE – TIME LOST IN OBLIVION (CD + DVD)
“Building upon a solid foundation of dark ambient, Dense Vision Shrine also employs sampled sounds and sparse rhythm to carefully design the listening experience of a realm where time itself has stopped, of a blackened voyage into oblivion.
Presented in a DVD case with professionally pressed CD and professionally printed artwork, limited to 1,000 copies. The first 500 copies are presented in a 2 disc DVD case with a professionally pressed bonus DVD (PAL format), also titled “Time Lost in Oblivion,” that takes the viewer on a visual journey of imagery used for live performances.” –First Fallen Star
REVIEW:“The CD holds almost an hour’s worth of nature-inspired ambient with a darkened overtone – or vice versa. The music is calm and in a way very simple; the songs’ backgrounds are built from usual synth-ambience with a (industrial) neo-classical feel, but their amount of different layers and the good-quality source sounds make them very pleasing to the ear. The songs have a lot of variation between them, and they hold a surprising amount of content and vivid movement despite their peaceful outlook. Some are topped with field-recorded metal beats (either modified to form a rhythm or left as-is), some with softer industrial-beats, some have birds chirping, and so forth. The reversed sounds in “Through Fjords…” are a pleasingly eerie add, and the melody in “Through Eternity” that sounds like raindrops is just amazing. The thing that fascinates me the most with this album is its atmosphere. It has a really calm and even serene feel, but it’s constantly clouded by ominous, formless darkness that kept me wondering how I feel about it, and how I’m supposed to (from the artist’s perspective). “Time Lost in Oblivion” feels desolate and made me think about different kinds of abandoned or otherwise lifeless and quiet surroundings. Even so, the small glimmer of hope shines through the darkened void every now and then, keeping my thoughts from becoming monotone while listening to the album. It clearly has a lot to give.” –damned-by-light.com
Next up, we have:
INNFALLEN – THREE DAYS OF DARKNESS
“Intended to capture in sound the immense fear, but also the great hope, of those hiding indoors during this time, Innfallen offers their vision of the Catholic prophecy of “Three Days of Darkness.” Consisting of veteran Doyle Finley (of Invercauld) and talented newcomer Kevin Scala, Innfallen has composed a rich, illustrative tapestry of multi-layered soundscapes that is undeniably the soundtrack to this frightening prophecy.” –First Fallen Star
“The album delivers on its promises, and you’re treated to a surprisingly precise and vivid portrayal of the events the music is trying to cover. Even without looking at titles, with just a brief knowledge of the concept, you’ll know with fair certainty which phase you’re in while listening. The artists never seem to drift away or allow themselves too much freedom on the narrative side of things. They’ve set out to depict a certain story from the get-go and they do it to the best of their ability – which is very well, I have to admit. It’s like an ecranisation of the story, but deprived of sensual qualities, focusing on the feeling itself. The listener is transposed into the story, and while not directly threatened, the experience of the events is very much first-hand. You’ll hear and feel the torrent of demons on a killing spree, the rampaging destructive forces of nature, the wailing muffled cries in the distance, and the sombre aftermath of it all, where the few left standing wander around in despair wondering if the returning light is salvation or just another form of punishment, showing them how little there’s left to scavenge of their world.” –fortheinnermost.com
MYSTIFIED – PASSING THROUGH THE OUTER GATES
“Ambient and dark ambient soundscapes alike are deftly populated by neo-classical elements, occasionally with an experimental twist! There are no comparisons to other musicians or albums, as this album and the journey within are distinctly those of Mystified! Dare you join Thomas on his spiritual journey? Or do you fear to leave this world behind?”
Mystified`s “Passing Through the Outer Gates” is presented in an A5 digipak with silver foil-embossed lettering and a specially die-cut cover whose coffin-shaped hole reveals only a hint of the true album cover artwork underneath! Featuring David Demaret`s “Burning Souls” painting, with additional graphics and layout by Eclipse Media. –First Fallen Star
(Limited to 500 copies.)
“There are some genuinely interesting elements at play here: calm, dark, minimal drones, various melodic elements, and even some well-crafted tribal-esque percussion. Only some of the tracks contain beats, which is nice if you also enjoy more droning soundscapes. The melodic stuff is typically good as well; each track has some type of melody, whether it is a highly reverbed flute or distant synth line. I find that these melodies add a sad, cinematic and almost ancient/medieval tinge to the work, which I quite enjoy. Another positive aspect of this album is that it remains tranquil and serene throughout its duration, providing an enjoyable, relaxing listening experience through its shadowed corridors. –Dan Barrett/connexionbizarre.net
Click on the artist/title links above each picture to read/buy!