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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Weirdly minimal dark ambient in the mood of Biosphere, Robert Henke and Omit (all included in the archives to represent the genre). "Purifying Fire" is a collection of rare tracks and unreleased stuffs from the German. The general atmosphere is confounding, absolutely doomy and "stoned". Entirely non-rhythmic "hypnotic" electronic drones. Ghostly and creepy microcosmic textures, emerging from the "chaos". "Strange Attractor" starts with echoing "industrial" abstractions, completely "claustrophobic" and oppressive. "Deep calls to Deep" reveals obsessive, physical, massive droning spheres, turning endlessly into a world of imaginative superposed sounds. "Deep Calls To Dub" is closed to "cosmic- psychedelica" emanations. It sounds trippy, cavernous and demonic (including almost funeral choir like imitations at the end). Mystical, experimental electronic darkness. It will ravish fans of 70's Berlin Underground and most recent bands coming from the ambient school.
Report this review (#121388)
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Purifying Fire' - Lustmord (6/10)

Don't be fooled by the brightness of its welcoming cover art; Lustmord's "Purifying Fire" is not a musical venture for the pure or weak of heart. In keeping with the one-man project's style of dark ambiance, the sparse, oft-chilling textures used here may be better suited to the likes of a horror film score than anything light or sun-related. Even though the music often more closely resembles the sounds of a landscape moreso than a human composition, Lustmord's brand of dark ambient music is unmistakable. Although many potential listeners will no doubt be turned off immediately by the album's lack of apparent structure, the creeping atmosphere felt throughout "Purifying Fire" should make it a worthy purchase to any fan of the genre. Outsiders be warned however; this is not music for the impatient.

Of the four traditional elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre), "Purifying Fire" focuses almost solely on the last and most often marginalized element: timbre, or the way something sounds. Texture is the soul and lifeblood of much ambient music, and Lustmord embraces the idea of texture-based composition in much the same way as many of the German electronic composers did. Although there is a slight sense of orchestration and human intention here, much of the album's length is dedicated to the ebb-and-flow of hypnotic hums, the rustle of cosmic winds, or the sort of static fuzz you might hear in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Lustmord aims for the lower end of the sonic spectrum. The waves of soft noise favor bass above all else, and though there is the occasional layer overtop, you won't find a great deal of sonic dynamism here. For the most part however, the fixation on deep and gloomy sounds only serves to make the atmosphere that much darker.

Especially considering that each composition seems set on giving elements of convention and structure the proverbial middle finger, it's refreshing and- in a quiet sort of way- exciting to hear Lustmord reinvent the style of ambiance a few times throughout the album. The first three tracks here unfold in a very similar way. "Purifying Fire"s first half is overwhelmed by the barren soundscapes and rustling drone often heard within the dark ambient realm. With "Black Star", the album takes a significant shift in direction. Although the sound remains scarce enough to remain strictly ambient, Lustmord introduces a sense of structure into the music. A haunting, exotic drone hums as an inhuman howl echoes overtop. From this point onward, Lustmord goes from the purely post-apocalyptic to something more overt and frightening. "Purifying Fire" only ever begins to experiment with rhythmic patterns towards the end of "Of Fire & Of Ice", but by that point, the album is almost already over.

Although Lustmord's ability to change up the ambiance gives the album a much greater sense of replay value, the 'excitement quotient' of these sonic evolutions are subtle at best, and probably won't even register to the impatient listener as changes at all. For music so mellow and minimalistic, "Purifying Fire" may be too demanding for some listeners, particularly if they haven't had any experience with ambient music. Although it's not quite enveloping enough to warrant a listener's undivided attention, the effect and atmosphere Lustmord is able to conjure here is unmistakable. Dark, spacey ambiance abounds.

Report this review (#934029)
Posted Friday, March 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

LUSTMORD Purifying Fire ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only
  • 5 stars Ennio
  • 4 stars angelmk (angel) SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
  • 2 stars profburp (Fourmont)
  • 2 stars HarryAngel746 (Maciej) COLLABORATOR JRFC / PSIKE Team
  • 4 stars Gordy (Endless, Nameless) SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Folk/Eclectic/PSIKE/Metal Teams

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