Neige Et Noirceur - Natura Mortis Sonoris [Dusktone - 2013]Neige Et Noirceur (meaning snow & darkness in English) is a one man Quebec based project who since 2002 has dabbled in ambient black metal, doom drone, and moody dark ambient/creepy cinematic. This 2013 compilation brings together a selection of the project more ambient & darkly moody soundscapeing side, with only slight hints at the projects more blacked metal side.
“Natura Mortis Sonoris” brings together fifteen tracks and just over seventy minutes of moody,creepy & bone chilling sonics. The track lengths fall between just under the one minute twenty mintue, up to nearing the thirteen minute mark. By all accounts this compilation collects together odds & end from various compilations, splits & ltd releases- though neither the four page inlay, or cd back cover listing indicates exactly were or when the tracks originally appeared.
The tracks here cover a fairly wide range of different types of darkly atmospheric sound-worlds. So this is far more sophisticated than many one man black metal projects stabs at dark & moody none metal sounds cape- you’ll find no droned out lo-fi synth scaping, or plonking, rudimentary & morose piano playing here- but instead you’ll find well conceived, effectively played & consistently dark mood-scaping.
For the most part all fifteen tracks are highly satisfying & rewarding slices of dark moodiness- with the whole release flowing well as a proper album, instead of a miss-mash of tracks. A few of my favourite moments come in the form of: “3rd hymne fragment” which brings together strummed & picked acoustic guitars, with a more darkly rising & expansive synth ‘n’ clear almost blues focused electric guitar element which brings to mind a dark side version of Pink Floyd. “Après la nuit” is built around sinister wavering & swooning 80’s dark synth scaping, field records of rook squawks, a selection of creepy cluttering & scraping dungeon like textures, and hissing ‘n’ melting dark guttural whispers. “Hibernation” opens up with a mixture hovering & sustained low-end synth trails, more harmonic & string like swoons, & field recordings of storms. Before moving into golden ‘n’ darkly buzzing synth drifts, weird bird like calls, bubbling like field recordings, with darts of sudden noise seared beat craft & electro textural stretch, buzz & grate. “Loin des hommes, prêt des bêtes” moves from a mix of distant wolf bays, swirling wind recording, low & sinister synth sustained, and weird muffled/ whispered vocals. Through to a slurred yet slightly spaced-out 70’s doomed synth marches, before moving through lashing rain recordings, church bell toll, and to more drifted & slightly wonky ambient drifts.
I must say that “Natura Mortis Sonoris” was a very unexpected surprise, as when we received it in M[m] HQ I thought it was just another run-of-the-mill dark ambient, or ambient black metal release…but in reality it’s a very rewarding, fairly varied & sophisticated collection of dark mood-scapes.Roger Batty