For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed.
This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the fourth, which follows his introductory essay and a list of the 11 2016 albums he listened to the most (here), an additional list (here) of 14 albums that also received a lot of his attention, and an additional group of albums by bands from his home country, favorite 2016 EPs, and more (here). Part 4 consists of:
ELEVEN NON METAL FAVOURITES OF 2016:
i. ALUK TODOLO “Voix”
Obscure rock, spiritual, meditative, eccentric and progressive free jazz. Each listen discloses different things. With each listen another spectre appears. It is a great achievement to hear this band dwelling into multiple genres and at the same time being above genre labelling. Another plus for me is the great use of bass since I am a huge admirer of great bass-lines.
ii. ARATH “Treasures From The Dungeon (Vol. 1 & 2)”
I listen to dungeon synth on a regular basis during winter. This kind of music is the ultimate soundtrack for studying and meditating. This is Arath’s lost recordings, and I can hear influences from Mortiis, Wongraven, Summoning, Burzum, Pazuzu, and even Sopor Aeternus. Incredible dungeon synth release.
iii. CRYO CHAMBER COLLABORATION “Nyarlathotep”
A continuation of the Cryo Chamber Lovecraftian Mythos series. This is the outstanding dark ambient album of the year for me. Drowning into the seas of eternal chaos and being eaten by Nyarlathotep, and in turn being reborn, is a vision that comes in mind while listening to this great piece. The album consists of 190 minutes of mesmerizing dark meditative ambient. Very suitable for incantations.
iv. DER BLUTHARSCH AND THE INFINITE CHURCH OF THE LEADING HAND “Sucht & Ordnung”
A live recording based on vision, improvisation, and artistry. A psychedelic rock release that even contains blast-beats and progressive approach (not the approach of playing a thousand nonsense notes, but the will to progress). The strength of this release for me (apart from the great sense of melody) is that everything sounds really organic, like a real rock band playing, which is something I miss in this age of computer rock.
v. DESTROYING ANGEL “Conversations With Their Holy Guardian Angel”
Another “Not Just Religious Music” release that I enjoyed, dwelling into the realms of experimental neo-folk, performed with dedication.
vi. KINIT HER “The Blooming World”
Dark neofolk again here, spiritual music, with some neoclassical moments.
Psychedelic and ritualistic dark folk particularly for the winter.
vii. NIGHT PROFOUND “Invocatio Lux, Evocatio Nox”
The best newest dark folk band that resonates with me. Usually, I very much like the music of dark folk bands but I cannot relate to the lyrics. This band and a few others resonate with me.
These were some of the thoughts that possessed my mind while listening to this:
The awakening, the understanding of the superior call. The vision behind the veils, the eternal passage and the black flame which burns. The death of the ego, the supreme sacrifice for the one who lurks and guides. The timeless will, the endless strive for perfection and the final awakening in acausal forms.
viii. TAMERLAN “Luciferian”
Very atmospheric occult acoustic folk with a Luciferian concept. A profound and a very well-played multilayered album, great for travelling to other dimensions away from the mundane filth. This is art, rejoice.
ix. TREHA SEKTORI “Acermeh”
A dark ambient labyrinth of minimal vocal sounds, using the body as the instrument. Perfect to clear the mind and to enter the nameless void.
x. THANGORODRIM “Taur-nu-Fuin”
Traditional dungeon synth worshipping the first era of Mortiis. This might be Tolkien-inspired but I rather use it for forest walks to call upon the black earth. One of the best latest Dungeon Synth albums.
xi. VORTEX “Moloch”
Great cinematic ambient with a very absorbing atmosphere.
Obviously, there are more releases that I need to listen carefully as soon as I find the time. Thank you for the invitation.