CD, New Old Sentinel, 2007
Behind many of Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s works lies a hidden terror, an incomprehensible force that if beheld in material form often led to madness. Arcane symbols and forbidden knowledge lead the curious fools down twisted halls and into the mouth of unspeakable horrors. The foreboding sound of “From Wasteland Mausoleums” is reminiscent of such strange stories.
Cloama have been known for their dense power electronics, such their collaboration with extreme Power Electronics artist Grunt, so it was interesting to see how they would meld with more the ritualistic sounds of Blutleuchte. The ritualistic percussions of “Blackbird’s Den” are gently carried along waves of subterranean rumblings and echoing poetry. “The Tower Covered in Frozen Ectoplasma” invites the listener into a strange world of disassociated otherworldly saxophone melodies and hypnotic tones. At the end of that voyage, a more contemporary guitar solo kicks in. “Spirit Risen Amidst the Shadeless Desert” again plays with some Lovecraftian atmospheres. One could imagine the Arabian chants to be coming from Abdul Alhazred, author of the Kitab al-Azif (the Necronomicon). Unnerving oriental strings are interlaced with droning synths and frequencies. “Bow of Insanity” takes Cloama’s hypnotic soundscapes to the forefront with dense drones and slow pitched vocals. “The Voice and the Serf” takes a more direct approach, with harsh electronic loops and processed screams shattering the ambience of the previous tracks. Fans of the aforementioned collaboration with Grunt might find this to be their album highlight. “Archean Quartzite Hammer” takes me back to Throbbing Gristle; the looped bass line bares some resemblance to “Six Six Sixties”, but in an influential way, not just ripped off. My personal favorite tracks would have to be “Sepulchral Starlight” as it successfully mixes pulsating electronic rhythms with a brooding ambience and weird disconnected piano chords, and “Archaic Waters Enshrine the Seer” as the overly distorted guitars create an ocean of drones that ebb and flow.
The ambient pieces aren’t treading any new ground themselves, which I imagine is the product of Blutleuchte. But the stranger elements that mix with the harsh electronics of Cloama warrant a listen. The otherworldly atmosphere would make for a great listen on a stormy night, which is how I enjoyed this Frankensteinian blend of harsh electronics, dark ambient and metal.
— Raul A.