The Black Lodge

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Band Name Musterion
Album Name The Black Lodge
Type Album
Released date 2006
Music StyleDark Ambient
Members owning this album1

Tracklist

1. I - Passing
2. Yang Tul
3. The Third Man
4. Visit in Tibet
5. II - Trapped
6. Unknown Kadath
7. Tannerhauser Gate
8. The Tower of Koth
9. III - Lost
10. Fire Is the Devil
11. Grotowski's Last Journey - Apocalypsis Cum Figuris
12. The Arm
13. IV - Dreams
14. Beatnik
15. V - Released

Review @ Irma

19 February 2007
Musterion is made up by Simon AA Kölle of Sweden. He is known from before for his efforts in the band Za Frûmi.

The Black Lodge is really one in a kind!

I must say that I never really get scared in films.
Horror never does anything for me...In fact it usually ends up being funny.
However, I can say that the only time in my life that I have ever been scared while watching a film happened when I was a kid. When I listened to Musterion for the first time in my headphones it was dark outside my house and it was raining. And guess what!? I felt scared. Maybe not like when I was a kid but something hit me as creepy beyond normal black metal or dark ambient music. I loved the feeling!

The album consists of 15 tracks in which Simon and his cohorts thrash around in the tried-and-untrusted formula of “dark music”.

The album is inspired by David Lynch and the role known as special agent Dale Cooper played by Kyle MacLachlan.
Also inspired by H.P Lovecraft, William S. Burroughs and Jerzy Grotowski. The last one I do not know of but the others are all kind of heroes to me.

The music is mostly instrumental even though sometimes people talk, screem and do other strange sounds.
There are moments of sanity, when you can detect the theme, but Musterion soon descends again into the anarchic noise which bedevils the best in dark ambient and black metal. Simon AA Kölle seems to be the instigator of much of the weirdness: pouring all kinds of effects into mix.
The results sometimes sound chaotic (which only a few times is to much for me), sometimes brilliant!

Blending elements of ambient music, minimalism, gentle rhythms, spoken word, field recordings and melodic fragments, Musterion manages to somehow bring together disparate ideas in ways that not only make musical sense, but echo the paradoxical nature of film as well.

"Trapped - In The Black Lodge II" (part of in an opus that create the red thread on the album even though it is only 5 songs out of 15) mixes a haunting vocal sample--complete with vinyl ticks and pops—with a soft wash of orchestral darkness, gradually layering snippets of varying lengths of the vocal sample, resulting in a kind of magical confluence.

Simon AA Kölles use of modern technology is so organic that when a soft, piano pattern blends with the sound of engines on “The arm”, "Trapped", "Unknown Kadath", "Tower of Koth" and "Release" it makes perfect sense. In many ways genious!
"Yang tul" is something that should be considered as drone ambient but otherwise typical drones are out of the question. Film soundtracks are often presented as short and discrete sound bytes, but the beauty of "The Black Lodge" is that it’s a more-or-less continuous 70 minutes of music, with its own emotional and narrative arc. It’s not necessary to understand the occasional snippets of dialogue to appreciate the general melancholy that pervades.

Simons visual approach to the music and his innovative ability to combine the most contradictory of sounds prevent it from ever becoming ordinary or commonplace.

This is an album for those who have an eclectic and open-minded approach to what they call ‘black metal’.

This is already on my CD’s of the decade buy without hesitation!

Irma S. Mandel

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