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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

Halo Manash - Se Its En [Aural Hypnox - 2014]

Here’s a reissue of the first album from this dark ritual ambient project who are one of the most known names within Aural Hypnox- the mysterious Finnish label & collective. The album originally appeared back in the form of a CDR in 2003- this was put out on the now defunct Blue Sector label(which was a precursor to Aural Hypnox)  in an edition of just a 100 copies, so really this will be the first time most people will have heard this rare/ early release.

The standard version of  this new CD reissue appears in an edition of 468 copies, and as you’d expect with Aural Hypnox releases the packaging features a rather darkly ritual tinged arty feel. The CD comes in a very dark brown inked fold out card cover- this features a minimal sliver inked cover that takes in the projects name, a round rune like motif, and the releases name. Inside the folder you get a black ink on black art paper eight page inlay booklet- this takes in a brief description of the concept behind the release, track listings, and minimal artwork. Also you a dark brown art card, which features a double sliver inked image of a bear or a beast. There was also Special version of this reissue too, which came in an edition of 29 copies- this featured the standard CD packaged in a handmade silk-screen printed cloth bag with an etched copper plate mounted on wood and a hand-numbered insert.

Anyway enough about the packaging- lets move onto the album it’s self. It takes in seven tracks in all, and each of these tracks run for exactly seven mintues- with a total running time of forty nine mintues.  Sound wise the tracks are fairly lo-fi & murky mix of stark ritual percussion, pitch black ambient synth drifts, blurred & hazed field recordings,  subtle noise & electronic elements, strange & dark vocalising that at times almost moves towards blacked mumbles, and the odd hint of guitar textures that have a almost mangled doom/ blacked metal hints about them.  Apparently these tracks were composed after waking from dreams, and the whole album  certainly does have a blacked dreamy/ shadow/ creepily surreal edge to it.

As a long time fan of both Halo Manash & Aural Hypnox collective, it’s great to hear any of their early work. And I must say as début releases go this is pretty great- sure it lacks some of the focus & polish of their later & more recent work, but each track here is well conceived & executed. And they move from bleakly drifting to starkly mid-paced, though of course the whole album is extremely dark & grim in it’s nocturnal unfold.

So in summing up Se Its En is a rewarding & consistent slice of dark & grim ritual ambience. Of course this is a must have for fans of the Aural Hypnox collective, but it’ll also be of interest to those who are after something that’s lo-fi, black as the night, and ritual tinged.

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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