Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In Sadness Silence & Solitude
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
The fourth album by Swedish darkwave act Raison d'Ętre opens with sounds of bubbling water, followed by a frightening cavernous rumble that trails off into calming Gregorian chant. It's a series of events that proves emble... more »
The fourth album by Swedish darkwave act Raison d'Être opens with sounds of bubbling water, followed by a frightening cavernous rumble that trails off into calming Gregorian chant. It's a series of events that proves emblematic of the disc as a whole: a marriage of sounds both ugly and beautiful, as if to prove that the concepts exist only in relation to each other. Sweeping, epic keyboard washes, tranquil medieval voices, but always the distant rumbling, the unsettling dark ambiance, the sense that all is not well in this cold, dimly lit dungeon Raison d'Être have constructed. It's a fine return to form for the band, whose debut, 1993's Prospectus I, saw them embark on this strange journey but whose previous album, Within the Depths of Silence and Phormations, leaned a bit too far into the realm of industrial noise for many fans. --Steve Landau
Vladimir Miskovic | 04/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Raison D'etre is the work of prolific composer, Peter Andersson, and rates among the most important acts on the Swedish-based, dark-ambient label - Cold Meat Industry. Among Andersson's many monikers, Raison D'etre incorporates a flexible balance between the serenely meditative states, evoked in such works of his as Necrophorus, and the cold, unrelenting industrial sounds of something like Bocksholm.
With Raison D'etre, Andersson achieves an elegant blend of beauty and ugliness, a tepid territory between light and darkness. The music - I wonder if this is the right word for it? - is intensely visual: each composition unfolds its own microcosm of sound and moreover, this is prone to take on differing qualia depending upon the characteristics of the individual listener.
The acoustic journey of Raison D'etre's `In Sadness, Silence and Solitude' begins with an ominous, almost subterranean rumble. Then the sound of burbling rain as the roar intensifies, followed by the sweep of a forlorn wind; the crescendo plateaus, spills over into an intermittent silence and then begins to reverberate again, placidly. Gregorian chants rise out of the murky depths like little peals of light. This is how the album begins, with the first composition, Reflecting in Shadows. The sound here has the amazing ability to conjecture in the mind, a sense of spatiality: the impression is of ancient monasteries with moss covered floors, dusty frescoes and giant oak trees that have grown within the walls.
Thundering percussions pound the way near the end of the first nine-minute track into a peaceful lacuna of silence and then the melodious undulations of, In Absence of Light, spin you into a cocoon of sound and take your mental on a cruise through empty streets of some obscure European town that is made almost liquid by the interplay of shadow and cold sunlight and where squared, ivy-covered houses intercept the angles. Delicious sunsets are reflected in orange puddles of the cobbled roads.
Well of Sadness is perhaps the audio equivalent of being squeezed into a tiny blood corpuscule and traversing through a darkened heart tunnel. The speeds of moving through this passage are phenomenal and then you emerge onto the other side that is really a narrow alleyway creeping toward a beach that you can just barely see, but where you can hear the splash and froth of nocturnal waves.
Deep Enshrouded is having a funeral shroud placed on your eyes and catching glimpses through it, of an afterlife. At first it's like being rocked gently at the bottom of the sea, but then a wave of sound transports you through enormous triangular buildings with tall, alabaster ceilings that you can never reach.
The melancholy wailings of Falling Twilight are some of the most beautiful sounds on the album, ripe and plump like raindrops collected on a windowsill or a bird's eye view of a multitude umbrellas passing on to the closing day's burial; Passing Inner Shield closes out `In Sadness, Silence and Solitude', giving the fleeting impression of drowning and having your eyes sealed shut by drops of honey.
In order to gauge the optimal experience, the record should be enjoyed in solitude and with a pair of headphones."
Ambient noise at its finest
mysanthropyk_overlord | USA | 09/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find harsh ambient noise to be one of the most rewarding genres of music to listen to, for nothing more than the sheer disturbing and emotional atmospheres it produces without having any lyrics to destroy the imagery. I would say Raison d'Etre is somewhere between the harsh, relentless nightmare of Nothing and the calm yet haunting aura of the latest Burzum release. Most of it has very little musical legitimacy, but this makes it all the more intriguing. The soundscapes are highly psychological; Peter knew exactly how to draw the listener's attention in with haunting pieces of noisescape and music that create a very murky, cold, dismal feeling within the listener. It is obviously not for casual listeners, but anyone with a true appreciation of auditory art needs to have this in his/her collection.
While on the subject of harsh ambient noise, I should recommend a product which I have not found on Amazon, namely Nothing's "Nondescript." I have not heard this act's other works, but this album is phenomenal. If anyone follows the brilliant-beyond-words atmospheric metal band Agalloch, they will know the name Jason William Walton, who is the main force behind Nothing (Haughm is also part of it). A little more musical than Raison d'Etre, but the same atmosphere. I recommend that album if you liked Raison d'Etre (there are copies floating around eBay all the time). If you haven't heard Raison d'Etre yet, what are you waiting for?"
Can't beleive I enjoy it so much.
IcemanJ | Ohio, USA | 04/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is what music should be. Never have I heard anything so dark, erie, bone-chilling, and atmospheric. Some might say it's "barely music" but I think it's more than music. The way it makes you feel and the ideas that might pop up in your head makes it more than just music.This CD is extremely gloomy and chilling, sometimes frightening. It is not meant to startle you, there are no sudden loud unpredictable noises or anything, but if you're in the right mood for a good listen, it could freak you out a little. For instance, the first time I listened to it, it was a windy, stormy night with heavy rain and thunder and lightinging. The CD starts out with a sound that could be interpreted as wind, and I couldn't tell if it was the CD or not. Actually, a thunderstorm isn't the best time to listen to this cd, as it's very calm and erie instead of powerful and mighty like a storm. A better place to listen might be beneath a well with dead bodies in it, (I'm thinking of the movie, "The Ring," but...) or a huge abandoned old church or ancient castle with many dark corridors with torches lighting them and stained glass windows and paintings that seem scary no matter what is on them. It would make an absolutely great soundtrack to a suspenseful, terrifying movie.Theer is also some very faint, ghostly, angelic, ethereal, soft singing and mostly chanting, glossed with layers of echo which makes for a perfect effect for the music and is very fitting. That's what makes me think of an abandoned church or any kind of ancient buildings. When these vocals are put right next to, or right on top of low, menacing rumbles, it creates some sort of apocalyptic feeling... calm, yet deadly, like the world is ending, but there's nothing you can do about it so you might as well relax and sing."In Absence of Light" has some very perfectly fitting drumming with dark, half chanted, half synthesized ambient sound I cannot describe. I'm always better at describing what it makes me picture, and that is going back to ancient Egypt and exploring a dark tomb with just a torch, looking for the great riches. Suspence everywhere because if you get caught, you will be put to death, or you might get lost, or you might get trapped or attacked by other animals down there. "The Well of Sadness" also has some really moving ambient melodies."Deep Enshrouded" sounds like you're in some sort of dungeon or underground area, or some kind of islands and you know danger is approaching. The subtle sound effects. they sound a little like machinary, but not really... I don't like the term "Industrial" to describe this music. The chanting and ambient melodies make it seem like you found some sort of treasure or some sort of way out... they have a slightly positive feeling."Falling Twilight" sounds like the ancient tomb again, but in a much different way... actually sounds like the music to some ancient civilization educational video, but music for that would never possibly be this good. This song is a bit repetitive but that's an element that creates atmospheric music.The last song, "Passing Inner Shield" is 13 minutes long and somewhere in the middle, it abrubtly starts with a very haunting high-pitched piano and harpsichord loop with that cool african style drumming again. The rest of it is a huge, bleak, monochromatic soundscape.This band is an awesome discovery of mine and hopefully will continue to be as I try to find more of their albums. If you like anything even slightly dark/atmospheric/artistic/creative you'll definately love this!"