KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Herbst9 – “Usumgal Kalamma” – [Loki Foundation]

lexi glass   8/6/2017   A Library, CD

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Herbst9 is the dark ambient project of Henry Emich and Frank Merten from Leipzig (they also work under the name Land:Fire). This 2011 release from Loki Foundation is a 2X CD concept album inspired by the Sumer and Akkad, the world’s first civilizations – from the cuneiform symbols and mythological imagery that make up the cover art, to the vocals in the ancient Akkadian language, to the ceremonial rhythms and instrumentation. The first disc opens with “She Filled the Wells of the Land With Blood” (T1), with ringing gongs and the chants of a vengeful female spirit (Andrea Sinclair provides vocals in Akkadian, also on T7). “Napissunu Mutumma” (T2, “Their Breath is Death”) is a 15-minute epic with a dramatic battle scene bookended by beautiful, mysterious passages with harps and chimes. “Ludlul Bel Nemeqi” (T3, “I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom”, the title of a poem that reads like a Babylonian version of the Book of Job) is a fitting soundtrack to your upcoming solar eclipse sacrifice. “The Sage Lord Asimbabbar” (T11) is another highlight, with violin, lute, and chimes. Along with the dark ambient shadows and the acoustic instruments, loops of spoken word are used – some times well, but other times to confusing and even annoying effect (like the guided meditation spoken word on T2, for example). But that aside, there’s hours of excellent dark, mystical atmosphere on this release.

you heard it 16 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 348 days ago, Christless Eve played Mutum Kima Imbari Izannun Elisum
  • 781 days ago, Gram Sayles played Usumgal Kalamma
  • 798 days ago, Cousin Mary played a Sacred Dwelling
  • 798 days ago, Mitch LeMay played Napissunu Mutumma
  • 802 days ago, Cynthia Lombard played She Filled The Wells of The Land With Blood
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