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the chamber
cold spring   2002
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album rating: 1

submitted by jc smith on 23-Feb-2003

The Chamber sampler contains fifteen tracks, mostly from upcoming releases, highlighting the varied roster of England's excellent Cold Spring label.

Ignis Fatuus open proceedings with hard-charging tribal percussion and lush, vibrant, symphonic synths during "The Vastness Of It." A sample dealing with the infinite aspirations of true love is followed by more tribal percussion, but the mood has shifted, much darker now, more pensive. Follow that with the pumping industrial grind Power Electronics of Folkstorm, and the variety is immediately made clear. Other standout tracks include Mark (X-Files) Snow's "Cortege," sounding expectedly cinematic, swathed in darkness and mystery deeper into the track, before an oblique finale basked in wiry tension. Toroidh's "Europe Is Dead—Part 3" roams desolate streets and abandoned harbors, as synths ache and swell, hollow moans to midnight's emptiness, awaiting Charon's fateful transport to Hades. The simplistic rhythm of Novatron's "Angel," as decorated by shimmering crystals of shattered Hope, belies an escalating unease. Schloss Tegal, the masters of sonic unease, dredge up a mutant strain of discomfort on the speaker rubbing, crackle, screech and rain spattered mental terrain of the unnerving, "The Final Glint Of Consciousness," sounding like the last impressions of one after skidding off the wet road into death. Band Of Pain's "November 1970," is a scintillating take on concentrated dementia, as they once again (recalling the excellent Reculver release) explore the inner workings of the mind of the sociopath, but not constructed through cliché, more so, littered with voices, radio-wave static, and some of the most forlorn synths imaginable. (I can't wait for the forthcoming release, Chi Omega.) What may be the final transmission from the masters of ancient evil, Endvra, is a windswept endeavor, one sprinkled with wisps of synth, tentative piano, hesitant voice samples (some possibly related to serial killer Dennis Nilsen, as he/his poetry/writings was to be the subject of the release in [eternal?] limbo, Contra Mvmdvm), and a general mood of sterile eeriness. Other participants, known and unknown, (and all with more than worthy displays) include Laibach, Benedikt Middler, Von Thronstahl, Sleep Research Facility, The Days Of Trumpet Call, A Challenge To Honour, and Kerovnian (with my fave track from the exquisite, dread-infested The Depths Of Haron release). The Chamber Cold Spring sampler bodes well for what lies ahead for the more than impressive Cold Spring label.

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