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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Fantome de Sang - Maladif Lune [Altar Of Waste - 2013]

Fantome de Sang is the new project from the super prolific HNW/ ambient artist Cory Strand – who releases under his own name, as well as under other solo project names such as Lethe, Necronom IV, and  Lindskold. This new project sees him creating darkly seared & intense HNW, blacked harsh noise & bleak ambience that’s themed around the work of French underground black metal/ dark ambient collective Les Legions Noire- this group of projects existenced between 1993 & 1997,  and  brought together the likes of: mournful ‘n’ grim black metal of Mütiilation, Vlad Tepes & their raw, minimal and atmospheric take on black metal, and wonky/sinister black grim ambience of Moevot.

“Maladif Lune” is the projects debut release, and it comes in the form of a four disc CDR set. Each of the first three discs feature two lengthy & blackly extremely slabs of ultra thick walled noise, and the last disc takes in a single lengthy slice of frost bound & moonlight lit grey ambience.

The walled noise tracks are wonderfully overloading, murky & grim slices of dense noise craft.  Strand builds each ‘wall’ around a mixture of  noise textures which hint at blacked metal guitar tone, but more bring to mind extreme winter wind billowing, rabid ‘n’ brutal nocturnal tunnelling, rapid bone cluttering & harsh dark wood fire roasting. Each of theses six ‘wall-noise’ tracks are fairly grimly shape-less & continual raging in their attacks, yet each is subtle different in it’s textural make-up. From time to time I’m sure I can make out more morose 'n' soured drone undercurrents drifting though the roasting & darkly searing noise walls, but if these really are there they are very subtle.


The ambient track takes the sets title of “Maladif Lune” as it ‘s name, and it comes in at just over the fifty minute mark. It all starts out with muffled & drifting synth haze- this has very much a grim 'n' slowed guitar-less ambient black metal feel to it, being both majestic & dark around it's edges.  As the track  progress the ambience starts to get smeared, drifted & hazed out more & more, and by around the 6.30 mark it seems to have almost completely faded. By around the 7th minute a new more subtle & subdued element has arisen in the track, and I guess you could described this a mixture of blunt tolling tone texturing that is wrapped in a muffled and drifting sonic vapour- as this progresses the tracks individual elements become less & less easy to define, and instead the whole thing comes across as a mix of simmering 'n' pressing spectral sonic fog, that’s quivered with a reverberated tone dwell. To start with this  part of the track conjured up images on drifting through an eternally dusk soaked landscape, moving through  stark black & white forests that are broken up ever so often by mist enshrouded strange broken down buildings, & weird shaped bone white stone monoliths that are tightly wrapped by weaves of grey lifeless vines. But as the tones start to blur & starkly haze more & more, it felt like one was drifting through a billowing storm white-out, getting more & more disorientated.


“Maladif Lune” is a truly intense, grimly punishing, & darkly searing affair with the last ambient disc topping off the whole thing in great bleak & stark contrasting.  I’ve found Strands past attempts at trying to bring black metal into drone & noise( with projects like Lindskold), some what mixed & hit 'n' miss affairs, but I certainly found this four disc set most consistent through-out.  So if your interested in the place were black metal & noise meets, and noise overwhelms the black metal “Maladif Lune” is well worth a look.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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