Sometimes I randomly acquire metal (or what could at least tangentially be considered "metal" albums), without ever having heard anything about the artist beforehand. Of the four or five times I have used this method in the past, disappointment always followed, not because of my unwillingness to absorb new genres or methods of presentation, but because the products in question (all of which are reviewed in this archive) were mediocre at worst or average at best. The one exception to this trend, at least in my experience, has been Aghast's Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternis, which is more than likely the most haunting and immersive ambient album to come across these ears.
There is a small group of albums I own that I use to submerse me into the dream world at night, that is to say, regardless of how energetic or tired I am at any given time, and no matter my mood or general disposition, these albums will almost always help me to fall asleep within 15 minutes. While some would say that any album which possesses this tranquillising quality must surely be boring (for it IS sleep-inducing), there is quite a difference between an album which bores one to sleep, and one which inspires wildly incredible dreams and thoughts. Every time I listen to this album at night, I have dreams which can be classified as memorable, at the very least, to report the next morning. Furthermore, the other reason why this album cannot be considered snore-inducing is because when one listens to it (and devotes full attention to it) while fully awake, a state of near-hypnosis is induced - consciousness is retained, but thoughts become somewhat amorphous, and should someone enter the room and startle you, you will feel as though you have been yanked from a different place, as though you have been interrupted from an engagement in a different space, even though you have not actually travelled anywhere.
The music itself is perhaps the pinnacle of minimalism - sure, the term has been used to describe other landmark albums such as Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon or Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger, but those albums, by comparison, involve a flurry and multitude of activity which is simply not to be found here. No, Aghast has here chosen to rely on a few synthesizer notes per track, with the occasional vocal passage that exists solely to add to the ambiance, not to distract the listener with lyrics or any word-based message. There are hundreds of albums that are somewhat comparable to Hexerei, as anyone with a creepy basement and a synthesizer can compose their own spooky "masterwork", but what separates this one from the rubbish is the masterful sense of atmosphere which on every track evokes imagery of ancient rituals, of desolation, of fear, and generally of pure evil.
I do believe that every human being (with the exception of those that are chemically imbalanced or otherwise defective) has the capability of discerning right from wrong, in various forms, and from an aural perspective, Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternis must truly rank as one of the most engrossing, haunting and evil albums ever recorded. - Metal Archives
|3.||Enter the Hall of Ice||05:02|
|4.||Call From the Grave||06:03|
|6.||The Darkest Desire||05:12|
Aghast (Nor) - Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternis