Aureole – Alunar [US, Black / Ambient] (2014)

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Fallen Empire Records | 9-29-14

Fallen Empire Records | 9-29-14

I count my blessings each day that I stumble across a label like Fallen Empire. Here is a label that has consistently been proven to put out, if at the very least, interesting black metal. Additionally, the releases from Fallen Empire are usually either lesser known or completely new talent. Take for example Markov Soroka, who goes by the name M.S. in the project Aureole. Here is a very young newcomer who has taken the past couple of years to seclude himself in a castle of solitude. If the brilliant cover was not enough indication, the album Alunar is an institution dedicated to loneliness in the reaches of mystical space.

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Darkspace – Darkspace III I [Switzerland, Black / Ambient] (2014)

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Avantgarde Music | 9-6-14

Avantgarde Music | 9-6-14

This is how the universe collapses. Darkspace is similar to Dead Congregation, as they are both relatively well known metal bands that have legacies attached to their records. Darkspace’s legacy is rooted in their interesting exploration of ambient black metal, as well as one of their guitarist’s work in the seminal side project Paysage D’ Hiver. It also helps that the band has an air of mystery, with their releases becoming increasingly more sparse. Darkspace’s previous record Darkspace III was released in 2008, and for the past four odd years fans have been awaiting the arrival of whatever the fourth installment would be called. In thematic fashion, the band’s announcement of their new record came in cryptic transmissions, with the full album being released almost immediately. I think I would have been happy with anything but this is something else entirely.

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Spectral Lore – III [Greece, Black / Ambient] (2014)

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I, Voidhanger Records | 5-2-14

I, Voidhanger Records | 5-2-14

Well, this is it. This is how the world ends. With an 80 minute ambient black metal record. Spectral Lore is a Greek black metal act who has had a wonderful couple of years. Not only was the 2012 record Sentinel highly reviewed but this project was apart of some fine splits including the cosmic hour long collaboration with Mare Cognitum. III is a conceptual continuation of numeric releases which pick up after the 2007 release II. Sentinel saw a break in this formation but the creator, Ayloss, saw it necessary to return stark and mysterious album titles. If one needed any further indication to the amount of detail which is put into this record, please make yourself comfortable for the next 87 minutes.

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