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svarte greiner - Kappe
Erik Skodvin, the crown prince of nefarious Nordic doomscapes, returns with another incredible dark ambient grimoire for the Type label. Kappe finds the Deaf Center member peering yet deeper into the sonic abyss, concentrating his efforts on four lengthy compositions, each one following its own distinct subterranean tributary. 'Tunnel Of Love' opens the set with a blurry swell of dense tones and funereal howling before eventually throwing in a metallic clamour that cuts through the murk in a brilliantly discordant fashion. Disfigured guitars hum and fray in the background, but it's not until 'Where Am I?' that more substantial drone developments take hold. The piece evolves from a sequence of glacial tones that eventually dissipate into the background, transformed into what might pass for demonic whalesong emanating from a misty fjord. Next comes the intriguingly titled 'Candle Light Dinner Actress', the longest of the four pieces here and easily the most astonishing, hovering weightlessly over sixteen minutes of strained harmonics and searing overtones that will leave you gasping for breath. As is often the case with Svarte Greiner releases, it's not always easy to tell what instruments and sound sources are being tapped for these unearthly noises, but there's surely some deconstructed electric guitar in there somewhere, and Kjetil Moster of Rune Grammofon/Load Records combo Ultralyd supplies some heavily cloaked saxophone tones. Wrapping up the album, 'Last Light' makes for a fittingly elegiac closing piece, populated by thick, noxious vapours, disembodied found sounds and strings bowed so coarsely and heavily that they begin to take on a knotted, thorny quality. There's a real air of restraint about Kappe, and it's an album loaded with dark energy, always poised ambiguously between outright aural punishment and an impenetrably black chasm. A masterclass in organic, artful gloom, Kappe comes with the highest possible recommendation.