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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

['RAMP] : Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum (2009)

“Caverna Larvarum is the sum of a limitless imagination that a composer transposes to his listener”

1 Caverna Larvarum 7:55

2 Summoning 14:40

3 In Dead Cold 6:10

4 Ektoplasma 3:05

5 Bioluminiscence 6:00

6 Spectral Moths 2:00

7 A Long Descent 12:25

8 The Deep Well 3:40

Doombient.Music (CD 55:55)

(Dark Ambient, Berlin School)

['ramp] or Stephen Parsick? Stephen Parsick or ['ramp]? A questioning that has all its justification, so much the musical hemispheres of the two entities are almost identical. Recorded after the very dark and ambient concert of the Kunstfeld-Feldkunst Visual Art Performance (Doombient: Verbrannte Erde 2002), Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum is an extension of the heavy, complex, dark and ambient territories of Verbrannte Erde but with a strange zest of claustrophobia. And that's explaining! It was in the cave of Dechenhohle, illuminated by a 1001 candles, that this album was recorded. Bah! There are some small sound problems, but they go unnoticed in this maze of dark and resonant sounds. And I insist that this album confirms the status of Stephen Parsick as the absolute master of a Dark Ambient poetic with industrial textures.

A synth blows a heavy wave tinged with a mephistophelic opacity whose delicate oscillations float among heavy resonances. This breeze from the underworld initiates the first musical emanations of the strange and distant crypts of Caverna Larvarum. Beautiful fluted layers subdivided their tender harmonies wandering in this Cenotaph heaviness to deviate in the purest occultism with the Chtonian choir of Summoning. Slow and very bewitching, the longest title Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum transports us to the gates of darkness with an oblong atonal structure tinged with strange shivers, or whispers, which escape with a varying intensity such as a satanic Mass that survives in the center of the Earth. Although long, Summoning is absolutely mesmerizing with its satanic incantations whose power of the octaves outweighs the heavy and dark layers of a synth stigmatized by a fear buried in the abyssal territories of a universe in perdition. A world that slips even lower with In Dead Cold and the industrial clangs that flutter under the screams of an apocalyptic beacon.

We are in the bowels of a chaos that Ektoplasma revives by strident whistles, like a huge screaming kettle, in a parallel universe, whereas softer and warmer, Bioluminiscence installs the bases of an ambient world that quietly seeks oxygenated air in a good stride with powerful synth waves that repress it in the backwash of its incantation. Life settles gently, embracing the musical sketches of the great tenors of ambient music like Michael Stearns and Steve Roach with soft and sweet vocals that once again grasp the underground heaviness with Spectral Moths and the streaks of a guitar screaming to abandonment. A brief track that leads us to the doors of madness with A Long Descent, where the guitar of Marcus Reuter is again flirting with darkness, molding its ululations with the paranoia of a forced solitude while the first strikes of the big Moog from Mark Shreeve resonate loudly in the depths of our eardrums. A Long Descent is transformed into a strange hypnotic trance. The beat is heavy and slow. It pulsates between the clinking of a cymbal amoeba and loops of a guitar spiting infernal solos, spreading so all the paradox between rhythm and atony in a splendid hypnotic lap that gradually fades to embrace the abyssal darkness of The Deep Well.

Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum is the sum of a limitless imagination that a composer transposes to his listener. A marvel of a dark ambient but enchanting musical world where Stephen Parsick draws deep in his resources to offer a show that is very representative of its environment. You can hear the walls of the cavern live and groan on a music both corrosive and warm. One can feel all the paranoia that lies in wait for those who are caught or hidden in the shadows of these 1,001 passages' caves with strata and choirs as intense as black. An intense album that lives up to the sensitivity that guides the works of Stephen Parsick, which I highly recommend to Dark Ambient fans. If only for A Long Descent ...Ouf!

Sylvain Lupari (August 23rd, 2010) ***½**

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