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I actually dozed off while listening - 24%

GuardAwakening, December 13th, 2019

I enjoy gritty mid 90s dark ambient/dungeon synth especially if it somehow relates to the black metal scene in a direct or indirect way, so I instantly got excited when I heard that this demo was dug-up in full and was being hosted on a download site. Sometimes I fall asleep to music, particularly chill electronic stuff or ambient, but the problem here is well... I ended up literally partially falling asleep to this ... and not intentionally either.

Supposedly this demo tape features sounds of a man being tortured. I'm almost positive they're not authentic torture recordings because the grunts and yelps sound very exaggerated; something you would hear out of maybe a video game... not an actual torture. The laughing that is displayed in reaction to the supposed torture is even worse; over-exaggerated dumb evil laughs are all over this cassette and they appear whenever whoever is pretended being tortured isn't groaning or whining. Oh, and uhh they also appear whenever there's no music playing which isn't very often....

It's kind of sad that this is supposed to be a musical recording but I had to first comment on the "torture" sounds gimmick before any actual music. That's the problem though; there's barely any music here, it's maybe 2/3 of torture sounds and 1/3 of actual synths and dark ambient material and that just straight up sucks. Sometimes the two are played together simultaneously but not that often. To give an example of what I mean though; the first track is about 30 seconds of synthesizers and track 2 is just a full 4 minutes of the torture sounds and cheesy laughter and then track 3 comes in which is a music song that doesn't last long. Track 3, is however, the best this tape probably has to offer.

Track 3 (I also forgot to mention none of these tracks have names which is why I keep referring to them as such) sounds a little bit like ambient-era Burzum with a bit more grim atmosphere. It's nice but the enjoyment doesn't last long. It stops about a minute in just to start presenting you with more annoying fake torture sounds and cheesy evil laughter for almost a whole five minutes. I really wonder what the point of this tape is. It left me confused by the time this part of the tape arrived. You can find this type of evil-sounding stock sounds at Walmart on CDs for like a few bucks, so what is the point?

Track 4 is about the most creepiest sounding song on the whole release and is probably my personal favorite especially since it actually sounds like a minimalistic dark ambient song and has none of that torture-sound/laugh bullshit. Then track five comes in and I'm not even going to tel you what this track consists of, you guess it yourself, genius. It's at this point in the tape that I actually began to doze off, my eyes closed while these annoying fake-screams and laughs were playing in my ears as I grew bored as I would have hoped to be. I went into this tape expecting something totally different and I knew I wasn't getting what I wanted. Oh well. The final song then starts and I slightly open my eyes to the sounds of synths and faint yelps. Not a bad ending to this whole release, but not a great one either.

Basically if you're interested in some weird experiment that came out in the mid-90s black metal scene, I would say this is worth checking out. Do not by any means go into this expecting a legitimate dark ambient release cuz you'll be disappointed like I was. There are moments where this release sounds legitimately creepy and somewhat disturbing such as songs 4 and 6, but the good moments don't last long enough and their torture/laughing stuff is just drawn out for way too long and outweighs any actual ambient material. I really wanted to like this, but I don't think I'll bother listening to this again anytime soon.