hands cd cat. D241. 2016. germany
release date: 14.10.2016
time: 62 min.
cd comes in hands pack
+ available on online music stores worldwide (around 250!)
AH CAMA-SOTZ . Exorcise – Murder Themes III . cd . HANDS D241
After the sensual downbeat fantasy “State of Mind”, Ah Cama-Sotz releases a full dark ambient album that’s widely devoid of rhythm: A meticulously crafted hour of music that may well serve as an exorcism. Electronic sounds and synthetic strings paint a sonorous background, cryptic samples and angelic choirs conjure up the enigmatic. For the dark-minded, this promises highly cinematic entertainment, purification in eleven movements.
The eviction of a demon, the resurrection of the possessed is a mythical subject of almost all cultures. References to religious fanaticism have been the source of inspiration for many of Ah Cama-Sotz’s dark ambient works, of which the Murder Themes series is an ongoing example. Nevertheless this is quite different from the 2013-released 2nd part, as “Exorcise” only makes rather subtle use of industrial sounds, and the topics dealt with are very ambiguous; this style of dark ambient is composed in the classical sense, and as such relates to a tradition of electronic avant-garde music that predates the industrial genre.
Soundtrack-like in the best sense, “Exorcise” leads the listener from the unsettling bleakness of the opener “Absterge” through the lighter tones of “Burnside” and understated rhythmic structures of “Diaspore” or “Cicatrix” to the discordant organ sounds of “Epsomite”; en route we are exposed to a continuous contrast of the intangible and the mundane.
Whatever you make of it, you can’t deny the overwhelming effect of “Exorcise”, a masterful depiction of a dim place where Ah Cama-Sotz obviously operates in a class of his own.
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AH CAMA-SOTZ: Exorcise-Murder Themes III CD HANDS
Herman Klapholz steers away from rhythms and beats, on this third in a series of albums that have intermittently appeared in-between other releases throughout his long and prolific music career.
Concentrating his efforts on a collection of songs that source Dark Ambient as a foundation block; AC-S plays with a variety of near Sci-Fi futurism sounds, to add a touch of polish to the near Satanic overtones of this release (I have yet to determine just how serious or tongue in cheek this all is).
I actually prefer ‘MTIII’ when it concentrates its efforts just on Black Ambient alone; and tracks such as Resistor’ and ‘Burnside’ lurk ominously in the dank gutters to great effect. I am less as enthusiastic by other interferences when it comes to this genre; and luckily, Herman keeps these to a minimum.
Some obligatory vocalisations and chants along the way are not misused and are kept to a minimum. What I am most impressed with, is that on this 11 track-strong album, he has managed to keep a grasp of pace and placement, which is sometimes the failing on any number of DA albums. This is then, by and large, an engaging piece of work, even if it sadly lacks the potential to reach out to anything but a limited audience.
REVIEW for SIDE-LINE by Stef Coldheart
Ah Cama-Sotz – Exorcise – Murder Themes III (CD Album – HANDS)
Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, soundtrack.
Background/Info: Belgian electro-industrial sound guru Herman Klapholz-Verhuyck is back on track unleashing his latest opus, which in a way completes the “Murder Themes”-series he started in 2013. This 3rd volume got a bit more importance being released on CD format and revealing 11 new cuts driven by dark-ambient sounds and themes about religion and fanaticism. All the titles feature an 8-letter word.
Content: Previous Ah Cama-Sotz was driven by transcendental rhythms, dark electro atmospheres and even dub elements, but this album clearly sounds different like showing the other side of the artist devoted to haunting atmospheres.
The tracks aren’t stereotypical dark-ambient cuts, but clearly inspired by the genre. Klapholz takes care to create glacial sound atmospheres mixed with subtle electronic treatments and passages featuring sacred chants. The work was clearly conceived as a soundtrack accentuated by some mysterious and chilling atmospheres. I noticed only one cut featuring a slow cadence.
+ + + : The least I can say is that Ah Cama-Sotz is a project that never really repeats itself. The “Murder Themes”-concept reveals a less familiar –although an old, side of the artist. The tracks were accomplished with some minimal approach in writing while according a real importance to the mystic chants parts injecting a true soul into this work. It’s an overwhelming production with a strong visual appeal.
– – – : Ah Cama-Sotz is used to composing albums with climaxes and that’s maybe what this new opus is missing. It’s a fully entertaining opus, but I don’t find that little orgasmic moment.
Conclusion: “Exorcise – Murder Themes III” is a dark and frightening opus that will appeal to ambient lovers and, which could have been the soundtrack for an obscure movie dealing with religious fanatics.
Best songs: “Demonize”, “Cicatrix”, “Absterge”, “Burnside”.