The Temple of Algolagnia/ Funeral Mantra – Fremitus Ortus Cum Defuncti MC Fall of Nature 2016
Ectoplasm – From the Extrasensory Sphere MC Fall of Nature 2016
Issued under the new umbrella title of ‘Fremitus Ortus Cum Defuncti’, The Temple of Algolagnia/ Funeral Mantra split was originally issued as a digital only release on Kalpamantra in 2012. Fall of Nature have now seen fit to give this release a repress on physical format, including remastered recordings and newly updated artwork.
The Temple of Algolagnia take up the first side with occult infused dark ambience and perhaps could be compared to the funeral doom project Nortt and their mostly ambient album ‘Galgenfrist’ (…but for clarity it is highlighted that no metal elements are featured here). The opening cut ‘Translucent Ebony Statues’ sets the scene with sparely forlorn atmospheres and an understated lone piano melody haunting proceedings. The next piece ‘Catacombs Above Ground’ features field recordings elements of rain, dripping water and distant crow cries embeds a very strong cryptic tone (…low bass drones rumble ominously throughout). ‘Cantibus Ad Messorem, Sanctus Mors’ then up the sound towards death industrial spheres with a thumping percussive framework, tolling church bells and more animated quasi-orchestral synths and whispered invocations (…comparable to being a subdued version of In Slaughter Natives’ satanic orchestral industrial). ‘Death Libations’ features as a short bonus track and rounds out Side A with sparse clanging discordant piano notes and scant wailing funeral strings. A strong yet sullen conclusion to The Temple of Algolagnia’s offerings.
Funeral Mantra are to be found on Side B and take a further step down into the catacombs via dark ambient atmospheres of choking soot and ash, which contain a sense of dread and non-movement. The lengthy 9.5 minute opening track ‘The Source of the Black Poison features a muffled tone and feel of suffocating inky blackness and with its distant, forlorn and muffled choir chants, is something akin to a more sparsely rendered raison d’etre. Likewise ‘Necrolust Obsession’ works particularly well, with distant droll funeral procession percussion, windswept ambience and male chanted choral vocals, coupled with scrapping metallic textures in the foreground. ‘Throne of Death’ is the final offering from Funeral Mantra, being a touch less echoed and dour in feel, given the sampled choral vocals make a return but this time are mixed prominently upfront, with the lurking synths providing an ominous edge.
Moving on to the Ectoplasm tape, it would seem this is side project of Funeral Mantra and the debut release at that. Although not straying too far from the sound of Funeral Mantra, the sound Ectoplasm still differentiates itself by accommodating a more dynamic soft/ loud production which is coupled with a strong presence of unintelligible disembodied voices. The opening piece ‘Cataleptic Transmissions’ is rather quasi-orchestral in approach by building to shrill crescendos, which is also undercut by ominous tones and general catacomb ambience (…sparse bells/ rattling chains/ opening of rusty hinges/ anguished cries). ‘Ectenic Crytotrance’ is another focused and tensile dark ambient composition, where the sound of a record needle on an old 78rpm record is a nice touch. ‘Spectral Autopsy’ then sets itself completely apart by breaking out into section of slow paced lo-fi black metal/ rasping funeral doom (complete with treble toned razor sharp guitars, slow booming drums and shrieked vocals), but as quickly as this section arrives it recedes into the background leaving twilight hours field recordings, rumbling bass and sparse gong tones. ‘Transition’ is the final of 4 tracks from Ectoplasm and concludes the tape over a 14 minute expanse of echoed desolate soundscapes, floating spectral vocalisations and occasional doom laden thuds.
Given both tapes broadly exist within similar tonal sphere – namely obscure, occult infused dark ambient musings – both of these tapes deliver in spades for this style and despite their limitations (120 and 100 copies respectively), both are pro-pressed and exquisitely designed.