The Haxan Cloak - The Haxan Cloak
Aurora Borealis
Ambient, Neofolk
8 songs (45:52)
Release year: 2011
Aurora Borealis
Reviewed by Goat

This is interesting. Mixing field recordings with cello, violin and the human voice, this one-man project succeeds very well at the mystical vibe it attempts. Apparently the artist behind it has also created backing music for art installations as well as working for Toyota, Sony Playstation, Google Chrome, Samsung, Vimeo and Swarovski, and whilst The Haxan Cloak is a little more upfront, it has a wonderful film score vibe that’s quite spooky at times. I listened in broad daylight, but could clearly feel the ominous vibe of the likes of Burning Torches Of Despair, creaking and tapping with distorted human voices leaving you disoriented without quite knowing why. The melancholic folk drone of Disorder’s violin is on the edge of music, nearly falling off into noise, but the underlying eeriness keeps you listening. Clearly an expert hand is behind this – it’s a rare talent that can at once repel the listener but keep them listening.

What really makes The Haxan Cloak work wonders is the variety, Fall’s Dead Can Dance-esque distant wailing and buzzing reacting nicely with The Growing’s noisy clattering and almost trip-hop finale. Parting Chant’s mixed voices are enjoyably freaky behind the violin, and An Archaic Device’s initial arch violin fades to near-silence in a startlingly subtle manner. Although the album doesn’t seem to have an overriding story to tell, the lack of focus is in its favour – all too often ambient albums verge on the boring, something you can’t accuse the varied and interesting The Haxan Cloak of. It’s easy to listen to, hard to get away from, and suggests rather than shows you the various atmospheric vistas the music conjures up... I’m looking forward to hearing more from this project.

Killing Songs :
Burning Torches Of Despair, Disorder, Fall, The Growing, Parting Chant
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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