Raison D'Etre - Enthralled By The Wind Of Loneliness [Cyclic Law/Old Europa Cafe - 2018]Raison D'Etre- the project of Swedish musician Peter Andersson, should need no introduction, as it's one of the most famous & respected projects in the dark ambient genre. The project was formed in 1991 and remains active today- releasing twenty-four albums, and nine compilations for its nearly 30-year history.
Many early albums from the project have been re-released several times. And Enthralled By The Wind Of Loneliness, originally released in 1994 as a CD by the cult Swedish label Cold Meat Industry, is no exception. This album was first saw a re-released in 2007 in digital form by Peter Andersson's label Yantra Atmospheres. Then, in 2013, Enthralled.... was re-recorded, edited and supplemented with four bonus tracks- this redux version of the album was put out by Italian label Old Europa Cafe as a CD.
At the end of 2018, Cyclic Law & Old Europa Café reissued the 2013 redux version as a double-LP edition. LP is available in two forms - White & Red Splatter vinyl, as well as Black Vinyl in the standard version. At the time of writing, at Cyclic Law's Bandcamp page White & Red Splatter vinyl has already been sold out, while black vinyl is just still available. Perhaps, by the time of the publication of the review, the last copy will be sold out. However, you can place an order on label sites and on their Bandcamp pages. A digital version of the album is also available.
The cover is a monochrome image in white and brown. It shows the steps between the columns leading to a dimly lit arch in the wall. All this resembles the interior of a palace or temple. The shape of the arch is reminiscent of the Middle East or perhaps India. At the top of the cover, on the darker part, with a beautiful white handwritten font, the title of the album is written. Below, is the name of the project Raison D'Etre, made smaller and more simple white italic font. It is worth noting that this cover is a version of 2013 and it is very different from the original version of the album of 1994. Despite its simplicity, the cover creates a certain mysterious atmosphere and perfectly complements the musical part of the album.
The album consists of eleven tracks, with a total duration of almost one hour and fifteen minutes. Enthralled By The Wind Of Loneliness is the classic album from the early period of Raison D'Etre. I am sure that every Dark Ambient fan is very familiar with this album. Nevertheless, I will talk a little about the musical part of the album. All tracks are made in the same style, so the album is a fairly solid sound canvas. We can hear atmospheric melodic synth passages and distant droning, saturated with effects and samples of field recordings, such as the sound of water, rustling, squeaks, and sometimes Gregorian chants. The last element is subtle rhythm touches in the style of Ritual Ambient, with light hints at Industrial and Gothic genres. It seems to me that at the early stage of creativity, Peter Andersson drew inspiration from the music of Dead Can Dance & Steve Roach - these are the artists who came to my mind while listening to the album.
Despite the rather gloomy atmosphere, the album does not leave a depressing impression. If I may say so, then it - sublime gloom. Perhaps this is one of the "brightest" albums of Raison D'Etre, since in later works Peter Andersson began to bring more and darker shades into the music and atmosphere of this project.
Since the new edition is the LP version of the Redux album of 2013, I can say that the updated version sounds much better than the original one. The sound is more clear and balanced. Of course, there are minor differences from the original tracks, but this is not significant. The four bonus tracks very organically complement and develop the themes of the original tracks, remarkably fitting into the overall sound of the album. The original version of Enthralled By The Wind Of Loneliness was the first Raison D'Etre album I heard, so for me (as well as for many fans), this album is an undeniable classic of the genre.