AMN Reviews: Allseits – Chimäre (2016; Cyclic Law)

artworks-000139232561-08y69r-t500x500Allseits is German dark-ambient artist Nina Kernicke. After a six-year silence, she is back with a new offering of discordant soundscapes. Chimäre begins with pulsing drones, reminiscent of guitar feedback, overlaid with ominous electronic waves. By the third track, In the Hills, the album takes on a slightly lighter tone, with a rapidly-shifting, sequenced melody surrounded by deeper chords.

This interlude is gone by the next track, Monster, which features acousmatic scrabbling with distorted drones and a throbbing rhythm. On the other hand, the 17-minute October includes ponderous industrial drumming and washes of metallic scraping. The final offering, Sink in Sideways, includes wordless vocals over a slowly boiling and evolving dystopia.

3dd24974e6ec4e3288e188cfb16bc34fChimäre is a journey that begins in a bad place, provides a few twinklings of hope, and ends in insanity. Kernicke is not in a rush to get anywhere with her music – the pace is relaxed even if the mood is not. Each piece is tightly composed, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Comparisons could be made to Lustmord, the darker, late-90’s works of Robert Rich, with a touch of post-rock on the side.  A very solid and enjoyable release.