Kave - Dismal Radiance [Eibon Records - 2013]‘Dismal Radiance’ by one-man project KAVE is 49 minutes of floating dark ambience. Although the albums divided into 8 tracks, it is really one long piece which slowly evolves over its duration.
The nearest parallel I can draw is that of Nurse with Wounds ‘Salt Marie Celeste’ where the atmosphere of being underwater is created and then meanders along, subtly changing but never really going anywhere.
The track titles are illuminating and apt: ‘Tombs of the Black Sand’ begins with deep ambient metallic chimes, prolonged chords and crunchy tones. The undersea scenario is further reinforced by the addition of bell like sounds and groaning voices like waking giants. This track reminded me a lot of Thomas Koners ‘ Nunatak Gongamur’. ‘Corridors under the Sea’ does what it says on the tin – a wet soundscape of moving through subterranean caves until we enter the ‘Vault of Mysticism’ where deep echoed tones and choirs of the undead create an atmosphere of menace, a lost cathedral filled with spectral Monks.
The journey continues in the same style for the rest of the albums tracks, ‘Dark Monoliths Rising’ and ‘Encompassing Emptiness’ again reminding of ‘Salt’ or Lulls ‘Dreamt about Dreaming’. ‘Bleak Phantasm’ displays a slightly calmer and less menacing sound as the Monks again do their thing.
There is a subtle development over the course of the album but we remain in the same underwater caverns, traversing slowly through and observing as we go. It is a very isolated experience, monotonous and desolate as these types of albums are, but if you are a fan of this type of thing it is an excellent example of the genre. It doesn’t add anything new but it certainly fits the blueprint.Dave Biddulph