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Urfaust - Apparitions

by Tom Colyer at 23 February 2015, 9:46 PM

There are some pretty strange types of music in the world, most of them seem to have pretty hardcore fan-bases but some just kind of drift around on the periphery with the odd person listening to them semi-religiously. I've met die hard fans of just about every type of 'Core' that you can think of and people that swear they can only listen to music played at above 200 bpm. I can't say that I fall into either of these categories, but the latter have always had the more interesting music collections (in my experience).

Ambient music is a genre that seems to evade any particularly hardcore following and ends up being played sporadically, when nobody is watching. There have been so many artists out there that combine it with other styles of music and end up being on the play lists of fans of whatever genre they have mashed it into. This oddly brings me around to URFAUST. The Dutch duo have been making music since 2003 and they have cemented themselves a name on the Black Metal scene as purveyors of bizarrely beautiful music. Far from simply howling at a misty moon through blackened European forests, they have specialized in creating such vivid soundscapes that you can turn off the lights and find yourself lost in whatever strange and enchanting realms they have decided to take you through.

Their most recent album “Apparitions” is a slightly baffling 45-minute journey into the nether-realms of the mist.  It opens with “The End Of Genetic Circles” and it is instantly apparent that this is not going to be an album for everyone. The song plays through almost seven minutes of what feels like a dream. With various synths rolling over each other and getting a good thorough drenching in reverb, it's almost impossible to gauge what's real and what's not. The album continues in much the same way, with only the brief blasts of intensity offered when Willem’s vocals cry their way out of the night to bring a much more grounded feel to everything. The title track “Apparitions” is the highlight of the album, as a combination of vocal work and heavily atmospheric instruments serve to almost lift you off into some dark medieval fair filled with wonder and terror.

All in all, this probably isn't going to be an album that most people can get into simply because it is so far removed from the 'norm' of music, but if you want an interesting journey through just what music can be, then this would be a perfect place to start. 

4 Star Rating

1. The End Of Genetic Circles
2. Apparitions
3. The Healer
4. The River
Jim Dokter - Drums
Willem - Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Van Records


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