Maculatum - The Nameless City
Dark Ambient This year had been very productive for Malignant records. It is only August outside, but the label was already in time to indulge devoted listeners with a pack of solid releases. Few of them were reviewed recently by Brutal Resonance crew. And today it is the time for a new arrival from US soil to get weighted and measured.

Maculatum is a fruit of the collaboration between two well-known formations on the scene of dark ambient music, Collapsar and Rasalhague, which were exposed on the same label during the last two or three years. Both of them succeeded in creating unique atmosphere, finding their own face between hundreds that try. This time they assemble their creative forces to reveal something different from their regular activity. 'The Nameless City' is an excellent example of how diverse and polyhedral can be human talent.

The musicians didn't spend too much time for finding the proper names for each track, preferring to concentrate on their content and on conceptual background. The idea behind the project is not new, the world of Lovecraftian mythology inspired many artists in different genres to craft their soundtracks for the stories full of mystery and horror. Though, the Maculatum execution of this specific theme fits right into the area that reflects for me in a closest way an atmosphere of what is described in Howard's books but with a connection to a common world using machinery effects to support the mixture of ancient evil and modern times.

Both composers implement into this project their most significant qualities. "Part I" is a slow opening track that gives an opportunity to dive progressively into the whole creation. Being more of Collapsar based origin; this composition opens wide plains and brings a cosmic ambience with a huge presence of mystical feeling - a very dark and gloomy track indeed. While with the next track I expected the same tempo to rule the game, right in the middle of its play I was surprisingly amazed by the direction which it took. Suddenly, ritualistic drums entered the stage, guided by percussion and slight electronic pulsations to inject a sinister rhythm into the floating melody. The third composition continues to cause a dance of dark spirits around the bone fire of human fears, but this time the whole layers are denser, background chanting of devoted followers of dark cult joins the structure as well.

Both second and third parts are relatively short giving a space for the fourth part to express itself in a full manner. Fourteen minutes long track loses the drive and returns to where the album started. Wavy humming sound slowly rises and fades; shamanic signing accompanies it putting a cinematic aspect into the front of the show, underground cave effects are spread all over the soundscape. This long composition carries different moods and energies inside of it, shifting gently between them as the atmosphere develops all around.

The fifth part of this trip starts with a slow and deep interlude but somewhere in the middle it clears space for the ritualistic drums and percussions to take control over the show once again, rising images of a cruel tribal mess based on human sacrifices to ancient gods. And as the final point to this journey, comes the sixth soundscape which shows all the delights of a solid dark ambient composition with desolated vast plains, darkest corners of abandoned cities and apocalypse of mankind.

Balancing on the edge between dark ambient and ritualistic tribal ambient, Maculatum combines the strong parts of each genre to show fresh ideas and thoughts. The fusion between slower and faster parts of the tracks is not always smooth, being a weaker point of the album; sometimes, the music reminds of a little bit more dynamic version of projects like Herbst9 or Inade. But even without pretending to be a masterpiece, this cd will find its special place inside many hearts of those listeners which search for the unique atmosphere to spend with it few rainy and windy evenings inside the haunted house of personal imagination fed by horror literature.
4
Brutal Resonance

Maculatum - The Nameless City

This year had been very productive for Malignant records. It is only August outside, but the label was already in time to indulge devoted listeners with a pack of solid releases. Few of them were reviewed recently by Brutal Resonance crew. And today it is the time for a new arrival from US soil to get weighted and measured.

Maculatum is a fruit of the collaboration between two well-known formations on the scene of dark ambient music, Collapsar and Rasalhague, which were exposed on the same label during the last two or three years. Both of them succeeded in creating unique atmosphere, finding their own face between hundreds that try. This time they assemble their creative forces to reveal something different from their regular activity. 'The Nameless City' is an excellent example of how diverse and polyhedral can be human talent.

The musicians didn't spend too much time for finding the proper names for each track, preferring to concentrate on their content and on conceptual background. The idea behind the project is not new, the world of Lovecraftian mythology inspired many artists in different genres to craft their soundtracks for the stories full of mystery and horror. Though, the Maculatum execution of this specific theme fits right into the area that reflects for me in a closest way an atmosphere of what is described in Howard's books but with a connection to a common world using machinery effects to support the mixture of ancient evil and modern times.

Both composers implement into this project their most significant qualities. "Part I" is a slow opening track that gives an opportunity to dive progressively into the whole creation. Being more of Collapsar based origin; this composition opens wide plains and brings a cosmic ambience with a huge presence of mystical feeling - a very dark and gloomy track indeed. While with the next track I expected the same tempo to rule the game, right in the middle of its play I was surprisingly amazed by the direction which it took. Suddenly, ritualistic drums entered the stage, guided by percussion and slight electronic pulsations to inject a sinister rhythm into the floating melody. The third composition continues to cause a dance of dark spirits around the bone fire of human fears, but this time the whole layers are denser, background chanting of devoted followers of dark cult joins the structure as well.

Both second and third parts are relatively short giving a space for the fourth part to express itself in a full manner. Fourteen minutes long track loses the drive and returns to where the album started. Wavy humming sound slowly rises and fades; shamanic signing accompanies it putting a cinematic aspect into the front of the show, underground cave effects are spread all over the soundscape. This long composition carries different moods and energies inside of it, shifting gently between them as the atmosphere develops all around.

The fifth part of this trip starts with a slow and deep interlude but somewhere in the middle it clears space for the ritualistic drums and percussions to take control over the show once again, rising images of a cruel tribal mess based on human sacrifices to ancient gods. And as the final point to this journey, comes the sixth soundscape which shows all the delights of a solid dark ambient composition with desolated vast plains, darkest corners of abandoned cities and apocalypse of mankind.

Balancing on the edge between dark ambient and ritualistic tribal ambient, Maculatum combines the strong parts of each genre to show fresh ideas and thoughts. The fusion between slower and faster parts of the tracks is not always smooth, being a weaker point of the album; sometimes, the music reminds of a little bit more dynamic version of projects like Herbst9 or Inade. But even without pretending to be a masterpiece, this cd will find its special place inside many hearts of those listeners which search for the unique atmosphere to spend with it few rainy and windy evenings inside the haunted house of personal imagination fed by horror literature. Aug 27 2012

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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