REVIEWS: 


"The Starwheel"

From the Somewhere Cold webzine (U.S.A.)
Hailing from Sweden, Kammarheit is a dark ambient artist that paints lush soundscapes that are both ominous, beautiful, and breathtaking. The Starwheel is a brilliantly moving album that has a depth to it that is meditative in quality. The album begins with the apropos "Hypnagoga," a track that starts off with what sounds like winds and the eruptions of volcanoes mixed with a beautiful drone. The mood is more of resplendent marvel than one of ominous foreboding. The track is deeply layered and complex with keyboard type voices coming up through the mix at regular intervals. This is followed by the windy distortion of "Spatium." Space like elements float along upon a breeze of thick ambient textures and rumbles. This track has a much darker tone than the pervious track, making the mood of the album eerier as it progresses. "The Starwheel [Clockwise]" begins with some klanky, reverberating sound on top of a flowing drone. Reverb and loud sound move in and out of the mix as a dark soundscape develops. The drones hum in the speakers while ominous sounds move across the treacherous soundscape. "Klockstapeln" is an eerie and perhaps darker than the prior track. The sounds remind me of flocks of carnivorous birds flying amidst the haze and smoke of a volcanic landscape. Ok, so the visions I see through the music probably aren't the artists, but they certainly prove that the music evokes very strong images. "The Starwheel [Counterclockwise]" begins with the sounds of what might be giant cogs churning. The drones are still dark, but they resume their spacey feel. Bangs, pops and clicks work their through the drifting soundscape. This track almost reminds me of breathing as it pulses and drones throughout its 4:46 time. "A Room Between the Rooms" is a quieter track with brief moments of elevated volume. There are what seems to be distorted water dribbles in the mix and dark drones flowing throughout the track. The mood continues the surreal dream that is soundtracked by Kammarheit. "Sleep After Toyle, Part After Stormy Seas" begins with a more subtle and hopeful tone. Eventually, very cool melodic samples echo midst the drones. This is joined by a loud drone that comes into the mix and develops as the track progresses. As the soundscape builds throughout the album as a whole, you really get a sense of change throughout, as if the theme of an altered landscape permeates the album. "All Quiet in the Land of Frozen Scenes" finishes the album with a soft drone, feedback, and underlying rumbles. The wind once again blows over the soundscape and ends the disc on a peaceful and beautifully dark note. 5/5

From the Moving Hands webzine (Sweden)
In the vein of Swedish Dark Ambient project; Raison d’être comes Kammarheit, also from Sweden and the dark melancholic child of a Mr Pär Boström. Even if “The Starwheel” reminds me of Raison d’être this is quite different on the same time. Quite hard to explain but this has a more mystic and melancholic feeling to it. It’s a very complex kind of Dark Ambient with lots of different sounds and noises and with great diversity between the tracks. I wonder where he gets all those sounds and I really would like to see into the mind of this composer.
I like the fact that the sound grows in some of the songs and gets a bit louder and breaks out a bit from the ordinary dark ambient low-pitched sound. The artwork to the album is also great and for those who buy this CD a poster is enclosed with a really dark and sombre painting of a dead tree and some birds which also is the cover to the digipack which it is released on. Of course you see a very small sample of the cover here but check it out in full size instead.
I can talk on and on about what inner visions I see when I hear the different tracks on this release but that is up to you to do yourselves. Mr Boström has captured the dismal and dark feeling in a great way and I get extra caught in myself when I hear the track “Klockstapeln”. Mmmm, great stuff.
8/10, Johannes van der Meer

From the Re:Gen magazine (Sweden)
Kammarheit is Pär Boström, a dark ambient composer in the same vein as many artists on the Cold Meat Industry roster. His latest release conjures up a range of sonic environments, from foggy, gull-flecked ocean skies to desolate wastelands. Many of these compositions are less grim and ominous than quietly mournful. “Hypnagoga,” for example, begins the album with soft fuzz, reminiscent of distant locomotives heard from across windswept plains, and then eventually adds clearer, higher-pitched tones; the effect is lonely, yet peaceful. “All Quiet in the Land of Frozen Scenes” is similarly tranquil, with tidal rumblings that fade into soft waves, evoking the stillness after a thunderstorm has passed, while “A Room Between the Rooms” starts out epic and menacing, but ends with gentle buzzing and tinkling chimes. The ebbing and flowing layers of “Spatium” are more foreboding, while “Sleep After Toyle, Port After Stormie Seas” is almost abrasive at times, with echoing clangs and harsh whirring sounds interrupting the bleakly hypnotic arpeggios of muffled string pads. “Starwheel (Clockwise)” evokes decaying piers and rusty ships in the harbor as foghorns drone and seabirds wheel on the horizon, while the moans and echoes of “Klockstapeln” summon up scenes of a deserted central European village, empty of any sign of life but for the muffled clanging of church bells. Despite the minimal nature of this kind of music, Boström employs his limited palette of reverberations and endlessly sustained tones to paint soundscapes that are wonderfully expressive, if dreary. A masterful album, The Starwheel exemplifies the potential of the dark ambient scene.

From the Funprox webzine (Holland)
Two years after “Asleep And Well Hidden”, Kammarheit from Sweden is back with a new dark ambient cd on Cyclic Law. An album with a evocative and melancholic style. It contains over three quarters of an hour of accessible dark soundscapes, with not too heavy drones and melodic layers of sound washing over you. Various subtle percussive details and field samples are added to create a rich and mysterious framework. "The Starwheel" is very serene and very atmospheric, It reminds me of some work by Raison d'Etre, for instance on a track like 'Klockstapeln', which has a solemn, almost religious atmosphere. One of the best Cyclic Law releases so far. Comes in a suitable black&white digipack with a small poster.

From the Virus Magazine (U.S.A.)
Kammarheit’s “The Starwheel” is another in a series of great dark ambient releases from the Cyclic Law label. This is Kammarheit’s first release in two years. First off, I always find it incredible as to how some of the higher-echelon ambient artists are able to approximate organic sound via electronic means. Pär Boström is one such artist, and he accomplishes this amalgamation of organics and electronics effortlessly on “The Starwheel”, using a maelstrom of subtle textures, cavernous echo, and low-end geo-rhythms. This music on this CD is both spiritually inclined and physically strong, as both aspects are reinforced by the powerful elements of earth and sky. My impression is that Boström sought to capture moments in space/time where/when the subterranean and the atmospheric collide, with neither element dominating the other. As to be expected with ambient music, there is the usual repetitiveness. This repetition is a necessary evil because with any successful design, there must be a pervasive element that creates structure, reference, and law, otherwise ambient would be just a string of abstract sounds. Consistency is key here, and although there are no tracks that stand out from the others, poetic titles such as the Lovecraftian “A Room Between the Rooms”, “Sleep After Toyle, Port After Stormie Seas”, and “All Quiet in the Land of Frozen Scenes” mark the end of the CD in vivid fashion. But the CD lends itself to the concept that life never really ends, as the stark landscape that remains will eventually rejuvenate in time.

From the Maelstrom webzine (U.S.A.)
The Starwheel takes a refreshing approach to its music: short and sweet. No twenty minute tracks that tremble on and on – not even a song that crosses the seven minute mark. A quick fix of ambience, just what the doctor ordered. Kammarheit ultimately lets us see that dreams don’t need to last a full night. You need to pay attention, but once you get into the groove, the slick and "10cc – I’m not in love" sounding groove, you’re hooked. Hold on, its none of the pop antics, but rather the lush synth intermezzo of that slow dance disco hit track that closely resembles the sound this record is going for. It is gently washed away in reverb and immense sounding sonic landscapes. Perfect for late night meditation sessions. No need for me to go on and on about something so simple: Kammarheit delivers a short, rich and utterly beautiful album. If you are an ambient fan in any way shape or form, this is a record that you need to buy. (8.5/10)

From the Ventrilocution webzine (Portugal)
Cosmic-tinged ambient music is indeed the epithet for the exquisite and outlandish. What it hinders in the pulsating and vibrating drones is far more disquieting and disturbing than the blatantly dark and obscure-tagged music, in view of the fact that this genre, as I see it, is merely an interface for your mind to drift from, and to consider it as an end in itself only restricts the power of its evocative nature. For this reason, one can assume there's a certain intellectual ritual commonly associated with this kind of music and, consequently, only an adequate state of mind can provide all the latent inherent potential to flourish. This is what somehow sets the deliverance of artists like Kammarheit apart from ambient music in general, particularly that derived from Eno's school.
'The Starwheel', Pär Boström's Kammarheit's second offering, is a definite case of superior layer arrangement of the long, peaceful yet somehow disquieting drones. Intertwining many sublime sonic elements moulded into one immense and gargantuan aural gravitational slab, divided in eight pieces, the slow and eerie progression of the tracks speaks volumes for itself. 'The Starwheel' immediately prompts to a scenario of vast unknown and apprehensive proportions - probably dubbed by some as motionless and therefore uninteresting - requiring one's ability to depict cinematic sequences while fuelled by the music itself. I believe this album has the full potential to serve as a platform for a contemplative and explanatory introspective mindset if the listener carefully allows himself to it, meaning that this is, strangely enough, the kind of music that demands an active approach, and yet that's the utmost quality I can pinpoint in this release and others with the same class. Take the Aural Hypnox artists for instance, and that's what I mean about eminent odd ambient music.
There's a small amount of albums of this kind I can endure with pleasure, and this is undeniably one of them. Recommended.

From the Chain DLK webzine (U.S.A.)
The first thing you notice on this album is the visuals. Before you even open it up, you know that what you are in for is dark and bleak. It comes in a grayscale digipack with dreamlike imagery. And the music does not disappoint. This is really good, solid dark ambient drone music. The most fitting comparisons are Inade, older Lustmord, and fellow Swede, Ovum. What more can I say? This is really good stuff. It’s the kind of music that fades into the background, emerging at times to make its presence known. This is a wonderful mix of drone with other elements such as noises and barely perceptible voices bubbling to the surface just long enough for you to notice before they submerge again. This is perfect music to relax or read to. The only one problem I see with this album is that at 46:10, it’s a bit short. This is the kind of album that you sink into like a hot bath. I would like it to last a bit longer. Highly recommended. Review by: Brett "Eskaton"

From the Heathen Harvest webzine (U.S.A.)
Those familiar with Canada’s Cyclic Law records have come to know that each release produced by Cyclic Law records is given the utmost attention and scrutinized in its entirety in order to deliver their audience only quality music. As Cyclic Law has grown as a label, they have carefully chosen the artists they choose to produce and this has resulted in confidence amongst those of us who rely upon Cyclic Law to supply our musical needs. Following in this tradition of music and quality comes the highly anticipated second full-length album by Swedish dark ambient master Kammarheit. Cyclic Law follows up the initial Kammarheit release of two years ago with the stunning new release of Kammarheit – The Starwheel. Kammarheit’s hibernation of the past two years has accumulated into a stunning dark ambient album filled with delicate, absorbing compositions that delve deeper than previous recordings. Most dark ambient music falls into one of two categories either it delivers stunning insight and is completely absorbing or else it is a jumbled mess of drones and eerie sounds thrown together without much talent. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with talent less musicians jamming rumbling noise together without a real focus or clear intention. Fortunately, there are highly talented musicians such as Kammarheit who selectively use sound, atmospheres, and drones to communicate elusive feelings, thoughts, and impressions that often remain beyond the captivity of art and expression.
“The Starwheel” is one of the rare accomplishments within the dark ambient music genre that has successfully expanded beyond the rattling sounds of metal objects emerging from dense layers of reverberating sound. Kammarheit has achieved a very delicate and finely tuned balance of dark ambient atmospheres created by layering sounds and exploring the possibility of the subtleness of drones and ambient atmospherics. Where many artist lay it on heavy Kammarheit has retreated allowing his chosen sounds and atmospherics to expand and swell into long passages of sound that gently carry the listener within the music with obtrusion or force. Rather than overtly seeking an esoteric focus the music rather invokes the listeners own sense of spirit as you drift outward from your center gently guided upon the soft waves of sound. “The Starwheel” is bathed in subtlety and nuance as the music opens like a crack of light in smothering darkness. First small and almost undetectable, then gradually growing to become engulfing, the music progresses like a slow sunrise leaving little wake but supplying great illumination. Kammarheit expertly constructs song after song capable of suspending the listener between the world of consciousness and dreams. With eyes closed and the music playing at a moderate volume you quickly feel yourself tugged away from your moorings and set adrift in a soft void. The journeys need not be defined by destination or intent but rather it is one of openness and exploration for its own sake. Permeating every song is a spiritual fragility that is hard to form words around. Like those too brief moments in life when you feel you mind and heart nearly embracing the infinite the music of “The Starwheel” skirts the edges of the infinite threatening to loose the listener into the stars themselves. This sense of spirituality or heightened awareness comes naturally through the music as opposed to being promoted. With eyes closed and body relaxed, you will find yourself reliving moments you had thought you lost.
Whether the music of Kammarheit transports you into the endless depths of the starry universe, across mist-covered moors, or deep into your own soul you can trust that the journey will be led with finesse. If you are looking for music to relax into or seeking to embark on an inspirational journey not driven by an overt narrative then “The Starwheel” is waiting for you. Allow Kammarheit the opportunity to engage your imagination and loose you from the confines of your rational mind as you are given the opportunity to experience this shimmering voyage of sound.

From the Music Extreme webzine (Argentina)
This is a dark ambient release where each sound is delivered in order to create the darkest of atmospheres possible. The melancholic "Hypnanoga" opens this album with a dark atmosphere sound that is joined by some sort of breathing and wind noises and also by other sounds that soon will transport you to the world of Pär Boström the mind behind Kammarheit. The music here is deep and slow with always evolving ideas that mutate on each composition in order to transmit the listener a coherent idea that is behind each of the tunes here. With no doubt this is an ideal album to listen with your eyes wide shut because in tat way you can listen all the elements that are appearing and disappearing on each composition creating multiple ideas and environments. The keyboards and samples here construct all the music and you will be soon surrounded by this multiplicity of ideas that each compsoition here has. This is pure dark ambient with the best elements of the style and with Pär Boström limitless imagination.

From the Les Acteurs De L'ombre webzine (France)
A l'instar de l'effet d'un Requiem For Abandoned Souls de Raison d'Etre, le dark ambient profondément épuré de Kammarheit mérite paradoxalement (eu égard à cette fausse simplicité justement) de nombreuses écoutes pour déverser sa subtantifique moelle à votre entendement. Le nectar délivre des effluves très spacieuses, le suédois investit un espace atonal dépassant les frontières terrestres. Ici Pär Boström semble naviguer sur des vagues, des ondes soniques. Je parle d'ondes et non de musique car justement le dark ambient confine souvent à un hermétisme musical depuis l'avénement de Lustmord, le maître. Une des principales motivations de ce dernier était justement d'expérimenter via sa musique des armes militaires non-léthales au départ plans de travail de l'armée américaine. Le dark ambient peut se montrer très épuré comme Zoat Aon ou Aeoga en contraste avec une certaine cacophonie gorgée d'industriel d'autres artistes finlandais comme Halo Manash et son superbe dernier opus de dark ambient symphonique : Syoma. Mais ici Kammarheit pousse l'épuration vraiment très loin, certains titres semblant prendre le pouls d'une quelconque planète inconnue sur orbite d'une galaxie tout aussi inconnue de l'homme. Car c'est en cela que les boucles sonores reliées les unes aux autres par Boström sont subtilement oniriques : susciter un voyage qui en étant radicalement audiophile (mieux vaut s'accomoder d'une très bonne qualité de lecture audio) peut s'imaginer comme intersidéral dans l'entendement de l'auditeur. Dans tout cela, comment jauger une telle expérience avec un système numérique ? Le dark ambient est une musique trop en marge finalement pour susciter autre chose que des réactions (de détracteurs ou de thuriféraires) très personnelles et purement émotionnelles. The Starwheel est un espace sonique qui « souffle » (les boucles soufflent et s'étalent délicatement dans l'oreille), qui s'écoute droit et détendu dans un noir complet allongé sur sa couche urbaine. Et de cette couche urbaine et quotidienne l'on pourra peut être pour les plus imaginatifs se laisser bercer par un voyage intersidéral. Farfelu pour certains, ce voyage dans les méandres du cerveau, la maîtrise de l'épuration présentée par Kammarheit le vaut bien. N'est-ce pas tout ce que l'on demande d'une oeuvre d'art ?

From the Neo Form webzine (Germany)
Pär Boström scheint ein sehr ruhiger Mensch zu sein. Nicht nur, das man 2 Jahre nichts von ihm hörte, kehrt er nun auch sehr still zurück. Sein neustes Werk "The Starwheel" präsentiert sich auch sehr ruhig, es scheint gar so, als wolle der Künstler die Ruhe seiner Heimat Schwedens auf CD bannen. Nach mehrmaligem Genießen einzelner Klangfragmente wird einem erst bewusst, dass es sich hier um ein sehr persönliches Album handelt. "In der Ruhe liegt die Kraft“ wäre wohl ein passender Titel, um dieses Werk zu umschreiben. Fernab von jeder Hektik wird ein Teufelskreis durchbrochen. Der Mensch verursacht Tag ein Tag aus Lärm durch Maschinen, Pär zügelte diese Maschinen und macht sie wieder zu dem was sie sein sollen, einen Diener des Menschen. Für Freunde extrem ruhiger und tiefer sphärischer Klänge, deren Geschmack sich in Richtung Tor Lundvall’s orientiert, dürfte dieses Album mit 8 Titeln und einer Gesamtspielzeit von 46,06 Minuten eine Massage für die Seele sein. Optisch ziert ein karger Baum das Cover, welcher zur musikalischen Darbietung eine optisch passende Ergänzung darstellt. Das Werk ist bei Cyclic Law erschienen und liegt in einer Limitierung von 1000 Stück vor.

From the Aural Pressure webzine (U.K.)
Following on…after a two year silence and wait…from the dynamic Cyclic Law records debut "Asleep and Well Hidden" comes Par Bostrom’s latest release "The Starwheel". Building on the success of "Asleep and Well Hidden" Par takes us on a journey of personal discovery. Utilising drones and electronic atmospheres this is a musical trip spread over eight tracks that is neither light / space / dark ambient but in a world of its own making. Music to contemplate and give oneself over to completely. A ritual and spiritual cleansing of the soul. To dream the dream and forget. Forget about time. Forget about worries. Closing the eyes to reflect… The universe created. Planets aligning. Stars formed. Twilight gleaming . Atoms forming. Cells splitting. Rays from the sun giving warmth and hope. The beginning of evolution. Of Gods and men. A celebration of the seasons. Sacrifices made. Blood spilt on hallowed ground. Dreams of a richer existence. Nightmares of a future to come. Lost. Lost in the music. Pictures conjured in the brain of a perfect world which will never exist. Floating. Higher and higher. Through rain. Through clouds. Past the point of no return. Looking at a blue green planet called home. A tear shed for our pathetic destructive ways. The fears of accountability at our selfish stupidity. Thoughts. More damning thoughts…Brought back to earth. The musical cycle completed. Reality bites. The beautiful emotional trip over. For it is now. But is was great while it lasted.
Overblown? Over exaggerated? Been hitting the meths? I don’t think so. "The Starwheel" has a finger firmly on the pulse. It’s only restraint is the power of your own imagination. As ambient sound sculptures go this has met the panicle of excellence. Striding forth as a colossus. Swatting all before it. A monstrous creation unleashed. Stunningly rendered vistas for the mind and an absolutely essential purchase.

From the Dagaz-Music webzine (Portugal)
Kammarheit is one of the most precious projects held by the excellent Canadian label Cyclic Law.
The first thing to be noticed in this 12th Cycle is the astonishing artwork and CD presentation by Pär Boström himself and Frédéric Arbour. A beautiful gatefold cd sleeve printed in dark grey in textured cardboard with silver lettering is the correct approach for the forty-six minutes of not less dark grey soundscapes. Also included is a small poster with the image taken by Mr. Lönebrink used on the cd cover.
This is the second Kammarheit release in Cyclic Law [for me unfortunately the first, as I missed the first one – Cyclic Law 3rd Cycle] and I must say that it became one of my favourite CDs at the moment. It caught all my senses. “The Starwheel” is composed of eight tracks of the purest and most well done dark ambient I ever heard. The first track [hypnagoga] is an excellent introduction to the whole edition; four dense minutes, very melancholic and intense are, at the first listening, more than enough to catch all our attention and enjoy the complete CD. Aside the marvellous quality of the compositions, full of nuances, drones and shading landscapes, this Kammerheit’s CD also stands out for the quality of the recordings. The sound is always full and powerful even on the emptiest moments. For those who do not like very much dark-ambient sonorities this is definitely the right project to listen to; after this one you will know that dark-ambient can be much more than boring soundscapes. And those who are acquainted with these sonorities will give to this Pär Boström’s second meditation the much deserved special place on their collection.

From the Absolute Zero webzine (U.S.A.)
To begin with the packaging and presentation is brilliant, lovely cardboard textured case with Silver leaf on it. Inside comes with a poster of the cover art. Cyclic law puts much care into what they do and this i respect as its no small feat. The Music is more of the Drone/ Minimalist Neo Ambient work of composers like Raison D Etre or like what artists like Robert Rich or Steve Roach create. Lush dark drifts and swells. Small bursts of cymbals and chimes with distant strings and neoclassical/soundtrack works that would fit well in movies like The Sixth Sense or The Ring. Kammarheit will surely appeal to fans of the following labels Cold spring, CMI and Memento Mori. Its the kind of release for a cold dark winters night with the candles lit reading your favorite book or relaxing in the tub. It takes you to places of solitude and your oneness. Truly one of the new composers of the 21st century you need to take notice and watch as they grow.

From the Gothtronic webzine (Holland)
“Starwheel” is plainly perfect. Kammarheit is Par Bostroms project. After “Asleep & Well Hidden” we had to wait two years to get blown of our feet by his melancholic soundscapes and dark ambient. The limited edition of 1000 copies comes in a gatefold cd sleeve with a poster. This packaging is really beautiful and makes this a recommendable album just because of this piece of artwork. Personally I like the fact that Par also is responsible for the pictures. And there is so much more. With opener ‘Hypnagoga’ the tone is set: well thought through and slowly climbing to a perfect ending. The drones presented by Par are, contrary to some of his fellow droners, not very long, but perfectly arranged. Eight songs are put on this album of approximately 45 minutes. The song ‘Starwheel’ has two versions: ‘Clockwise’ and ‘Counterclockwise’. But this wasn’t my opinion the first time I heard it. "Starwheel" is definitely an album that slowly grows on you. At first I didn’t really hear the separate songs: it seemed like one long drone to me. Now, every time I put this album in my stereo, I hear new tunes, moments, tones and spheres.“Starwheel” is also a perfect night album. The mood is very calm and serene and gently rocks you to sleep. Yes, this second mediation - the words with which this album is presented - works wonderfully.

From the Guts Of Darkness webzine (France)
Deux ans après le superbe 'Asleep and well hidden' le suédois Pär Boström s'attaque à ce qui semble être un concept sur le temps et l'infini. Les variations créées par les 8 compositions de ce 'Starwheel' sont beaucoup plus évidentes que sur l'album précédent, les nappes se font à la fois tristes et intemporelles, se rapprochant par moments des sons utilisés par les russes de Reutoff dans leurs incursions mystiques. Toujours aussi onirique et mélancolique, la musique de Kammarheit transporte au-delà de toutes frontières visibles, et se plait à perdre l'auditeur dans des dimensions insoupçonnées, inquiétantes bien sûr, mais également rassérénantes pour peu que l'on soit sensible au moindre changement de tonalité et d'atmopshère. Nappes douces et profondes, basses présentes sans être prédominantes, bref un équilibre parfait pour s'immerger pendant trois quart d'heure dans un univers ésotérique, au sens premier du terme. 'The starwheel' propose une vision plus personnelle de la musique de Kammarheit, plus inspirée, s'accrochant implacablement aux tripes et au coeur. Une vision venue du froid et qui pourtant n'empêche pas que l'on puisse y trouver un refuge inattendu. Génial et inépuisable.

From the Morpheus Music webzine (U.K.)
STYLE: Beatless, cinematic, dark-ambient of an epic nature. Heavy swells and oozings of tone suggest a crawling viscosity, whilst minimal throbbings within the mass of the music hint at a living entity. Although ambient beds form the bulk of the sound, surface details in the form of tappings, wind sounds, muted chimes and echoing percussive structures add to the complexity of The Starwheel - often these are at their most distinct during the intros and outros. Pieces often seem to sway slowly or to rise and fall like an enormous breathing thing. Rumbles and dense currents of harmony create a powerful gravity throughout.

MOOD: Weighty, shadowy slabs of sound - thick with layer upon layer of texture. Kammarheit's sound is a brooding, almost eerie one, yet not disturbing, in fact there is a serenity, a comfortableness here in this dimly lit world. The Starwheel is a suite of eight ponderous pieces mixed seamlessly into one, portending an unseen vastness, a monumental scale. Perhaps influenced by Kiktor Kvant's the inner cover art, associations with immense machinery, colossal wheels come to mind.

ARTWORK: Lovely classy artwork in a gatefold sleeve made from quality board. No plastic anywhere. On the front cover the moody ashen greys of a monochrome sky backlight a sinewy dead tree that looks to have been just left by a group of birds in flight. Silver embossed lettering sits regally within the broad black hillside below. This very attractive image is reproduced inside the package as a poster - again on quality paper. Minimal text interferes with the photography outside - track titles and credits being placed on the inner right panel. Here too all is grey, dark and heavy. Viktor Kvant's montage inside creates an impression that fits so well with the music ... you might well enjoy a visit to his site Dreamhours.

OVERALL: Hailing from Sweden, this is Kammarheit's second album - released on Cyclic Law. A consistent CD with a profound mass full of emotive drones. Pär Boström produces aural environments that feel like soundtrack material - track titles 'A Room Between The Rooms', 'All Quite In The Land Of Frozen Scenes', 'Spatium' carry the same sense of the enigmatic that the music embodies so well. Whether the overall effect is one of melancholy, foreboding or simply drama depends as with much ambient) very much on the outlook of the listener.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM: Ambient fans who prefer no beats and like their landscapes bleak, impressive and moving. Kammarheit maintains a similar mood throughout The Starwheel and so try this CD if you prefer music with a strong focus rather than a ranging variety of sound. If you fancy checking this CD out pay a visit to Cycliclaw.com.

From the kuolleen musiikin yhdistys webzine (Finland)
The Swedish Kammarheit's second album shows that a lot of progress has happened since the rather boring debut. the style is still essentially the same: large-scale, soundtrack-like melodic dark ambient dominates the entire disc. It is massive and scenic, and while the material may not be of the most original kind, Kammarheit is very good at what it does. Throughout the album, the music is very theatrical, in both the good and the bad sense of the word. On one hand it is closer to performance than to mood-creating, but on the other hand its precisely that show-like quality which makes it possible to create clear images for a listener. This is an ambient record that is obviously listened to, not experienced. When that point is accepted, Starwheel's good traits - its really, really good traits - start to become clear. While there is nothing really new on it, it is extremely enjoyable to listen to. The album is a singular sonic whole, the pieces of which still differ from one another. And this is its true strength: Starwheel is an extremely well-functioning album despite not being special per se. It sounds intriguing every time one listens to it, and is not easily forgotten into becoming just background music. It is not a particularly wonderful work, yet is so pleasing that those buying it will certainly not end up
disappointed. The critic in me would like to say that The Starwheel is just a well-made, "nice" album, but for some reason I've liked it very much from the moment I first started listening to it. Therefore I'll call it the ambient equivalent of pop music in the most positive sense possible - it's not necessarily very original, but has been made with a lot of skill and is very easy to like. I highly recommend it to those who can enjoy their ambient without too much criticism. As long as you do not try to be too analytical, this record will be a source of definite enjoyment. It may seem familiar at times, but has been created with as much skill and care as possible.
-Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys

 

 


"Asleep And Well Hidden"

From The Sekuencias De Culto webzine ( Spain)
From deep within the realms of the superb Canadian label Cyclic Law comes the new offering of this brilliant Swedish act called Kammarheit. This is officially the first album by this very convincing one-man project, though he has already released some material previously in CDr format; to be precise, four discs. Also, Kammarheit took part on the essential and never enough recognised compilation “Nord Ambient Alliance”, also on this same label (see review on these same pages). This is a first edition of 500 copies and comes in a six-panel sleeve with a textured cardboard surface including a poster, and presenting nice black and silver tonalities that help very attractive photographs convincingly going hand in hand with the interpretation of sounds. Once more, Cyclic Law, in this its third cycle, is demonstrating both in terms of luxury presentations and high quality music that is an outstanding and first class music label, with a growing reputation after each new issue.

I have been increasingly and constantly listening to this album since I received it a couple of months ago, and from the very beginning I perceived it as too short. This is highly positive, simply because I think this is a consideration based on the fact that the intensity of this music is surpassing and when you appreciate second after second of a release it does not matter its duration, you always feel it short! Six tracks and forty one minutes of music connected with the Dark Ambient style but with more than enough subtleties and masterly treated melodic layers to not simply link this album with restrictive labels. Of course, this is Ambient at its bleakest and darkest definition, but I feel every time I listen to this CD that it offers something more, it goes deepen and adapts the style with a special and personal perspective. The composer delves well enough into real sadness and attractive monotony, creating beauty from pure ugliness, and digging equally inside emotional and harrowing states of mind. This is an album to concentrate on, and that serves the listener when recapitulating his/her dreams and nightmares, visions of a grievous existence not lacking in alluring visions.

“Hiding” is the first gate that slowly opens as it subtlety shows its varied sound tools, and droning ambience predominates. This first track provides serenity and static atmospheres and soon dreamy soundscapes appear. Extensive melodies flourish, meanwhile, a nice characteristic, already practised in the compositions included on the aforementioned compilation, is again employed here: sound layers are frequently adorned by cunning minimalist noises here and there while, main melodies gain or lose importance. Later on, and through nearly half of the track the atmosphere intensifies for a moment, and fading weak harmonies return cyclically, even we perceive a feeble impression of sacral loops nearly unnoticeable. “The Ruins And The Serene” is an eloquent title, that defines partly the Kammarheit’s style. Drones are here stronger and the ambience tormenting and darker. Main layers intervene as large and thick tides that come and go as an eternal process with little modifications, except that of a shorter presence like passing fleeting shadows. This second piece is more focused to create states of concentrations, perhaps, like a pleasant mantra. We are now further from the gentler early atmospheres of the album, now “For The Innermost” is a flow of stronger black ambience with the sporadic presence of short interludes where intensity decreases and metallic-like distorted instants emerge from nowhere to provide even more restlessness.

Turn the volume up and you will perceive vibrating low frequencies, which are the strong tools of the next, under the title of “The Poignant”. It creates a void where spectral sounds have its place, like falling eternally into a spiralling infinity. At least this is how I perceive their interventions, like desperate voices of the unknown, expressions of unnamed beings. The shorter track of the album, but with no doubt one of my favourite compositions. From the active spaces of the previous, towards the latent and dormant condition of “Epitome”, a cold and nearly ethereal piece that seems to evolve lifeless, but that contains an inherent force revealing tranquil layer-melodies almost unappreciable, and a rather sinister evocation. “Dreamhours” starts the last eight minutes of this great recording with a soothing sound stratum over which the composer adds different drowsy atmospheres. All is calmed down, some are nearly unappreciated due to their soft presence, and others show real melodies, misty and blurred.

What I mostly like of this project is the capacity of offering desolated landscapes through the power of beauty, portrayed in varied forms, and by hypnotic ways represented in monotonous sound expressions. The wide range of possibilities is only appreciated increasingly after a reiterative listening, and I think one of the main virtues of Kammarheit’s music is the possibility to evade reality, and to invent a new one that obviously is built over the ruins of the previous. It is equally evident the inducing power of this music, as the composer tries to offer it as a medium of inner concentration and meditation.

Well, enough said, I just wanted to end commenting that this has been mastered by Peter Pettersson (Sophia/Arcana) and that I hope to hear more soon of Pär Boström and his creature in the near future.
F. Paco González

From the Twilight Zone webzine (Italy)
Kammarheit introduces its six inner dawns, darkambient slopes and sources photographed with true tones and solemn diffusions. The music of Swedish Pär Boström lingers on bewitched and magical details, like the birth of an energy, the journey of a vocation, the flight of an instinct, the reproduction of a spell, the passage of a tradition. Ruins and the environment of Scandinavia once again prove themselves to be a fertile soil for these refined atmospheres, as the origin of ancient and sage cults, and always appreciated source of inspiration. We experience from the first track the impact with this arboreal ambience, visited by different effects and rustles, flown over by lunar omens, observed by obscure presences. Powerful cyclic overlapping influences, "Asleep and well hidden" is the mirror of rotating seasons and the witness of invisible metamorphoses. All is quiet but all is changing in these tracks, all is born again carrying eternal symbols and proof of immortality. Precious material to muse upon and to elevate the spirit; another splendid darkambient portrait by the shining Canadian label Cyclic Law. The solitude of spirituality.

From the Heimdallr webzine (France)
Kammarheit is the Swedish project of Pär Boström. Already known for his participation on the 'Nord Ambient Alliance' compilation, this unipersonal formation renewed their confidence with the Canadian label Cyclic Law for the release of a full length debut album 'Asleep and Well Hidden'. This homogeneous dark ambient album is composed by six pieces where abandoned, desolated and dark soundscapes combine with minimalist waves of drones, organic sounds to create a dreamy, melancholic and post apocalyptic ambiance...
The atmospheres are quite close to Raison d'Etre and Kammarheit's compositions would perfectly suit images of lost, abandoned, ruined places... Mastered by Peter Pettersson (Arcana, Sophia) this CD is limited to 500 copies and comes in a luxuous six panel textured cardboard sleeve illustrated with a few very suggestive black and white photos... and a 9" by 15" poster as well. Like the two previous Cyclic Law releases, 'Asleep and Well Hidden' benefits of a particular care relative to the artwork and packaging. A pure captivating dark ambient album recommended to those interested in a journey into their darkest dreams... Nathalie F. Summer 2003

From the Funprox webzine (Holland)
Cyclic Law, the fast upcoming label from Montreal, delivers another dark ambient gem. Cold Meat is really getting competition. Kammarheit, a project of Pär Boström from Sweden, was already present on the Nord Ambient Alliance compilation. This official debut album was mastered by Peter Pettersson (Arcana, Sophia). "Asleep and well hidden" is filled with desolate ambient soundscapes, full of melancholy and solitude. The mood is comparable to Raison d'Etre or Lustmord, with a more minimal sound, consisting of deep drones and stretched out dark tones, taking you to a shadow world of ancient ruins, barren lands and rumbling machines. The album is very coherent, if offers serene brooding music for about 40 minutes, fine melancholic background music. It is minimal and monotonous, but not boring. Nothing very innovative here, but very pleasant to listen to if you appreciate melancholic dark ambient.

From the Ortus Obscurum webzine (Sweden)
KAMMARHEIT is a project by a Swedish guy named Pär Boström. The project was born in March 2000 as a way for Pär to express his feelings for dark ruins and desolate places. The project eventually evolved into for escaping the realities of the modern human world and all of its burdens. "Melancholic harmony" is something central to KAMMARHEIT's music and often the themes for the tracks derive from stillness, darkness and melancholy.
Review:
Hiding and Dreamhours remind very much of the last two tracks on RAISON D'ÊTRE's Enthralled by the Wind of Loneliness but even though a parallel between the two projects exist, KAMMARHEIT's ambience is deeper and more minimalistic with less serene elements. The basis of the music are some really dark drones which gives it a very dense feel. Recent albums I have heard which I find can be sorted into the same folder as Kammarheit are DENSE VISION SHRINE's Magic and Mystery and SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY's Nostromo. Those of you who have heard the Nord Ambient Alliance compilation CD will also know what to expect here. KAMMARHEIT's music is excellent to just have in the background while relaxing with closed eyes. It is homogenous and it almost completely lacks noisier sections or elements of shock. No vocals emerge from the music, nor is there any violent percussion, just a seeping flow of dreamy ambience. Carefully as a spider's web, the music unfolds and soon the listener finds himself trapped in the middle of it, halfway through dream and reality. I think the strength of KAMMARHEIT lies in that they have a certain golden formula in their music, it not being too minimal, nor too extravagant. Small musical events are placed in the foreground, yet there is always a very rich feel to the music and it is excellent to just have in background while lying down visualising. Another parallel which can be drawn to RAISON D'ÊTRE is the use of screeching metal sounds. Much of Asleep and Well Hidden resemble the final tracks on RAISON D'ÊTRE's The Empty Hollow Unfolds. KAMMARHIET may benefit from some more originality, yet it must not in any way exploit their sound since the atmosphere generating ability of their music is absolutely brilliant. I presume their music will appeal to fans of very minimal, obscure, yet not too noisy Dark Ambient. Ectonaut.

From the FluxEuropa webzine (U.K.)
KAMMARHEIT "Asleep And Well Hidden" CD Cyclic Law 3RD CYCLE
Kammarheit (the work of Pär Boström) delivers a dark ambient soundscape conjuring a melancholic dreamland. The shadows and cold atmospherics suggested - and achieved - by the drones and rumbles have a particularly brooding and distinctly Nordic quality. Asleep And Well Hidden was mastered by Peter Pettersson and is released on Frédéric Arbour's Cyclic Law label.
RIK - 11 May 2003

 

"Nord Ambient Alliance"

From The Sekuencias De Culto webzine ( Spain)
A must!!!. I know this is a reviewer cliché, my friend, but this is what it is. This second reference under the black wing of the Canadian label is really a perfect example of what the generally speaking "Dark Ambient" genre can bring nowadays. Because this is not an ordinary compilation, I mean, this is not a bunch of bands for the mere fact of compiling, this is a reunion where the superb quality dominates over quantity. And the artwork!, very nice looking indeed: the CD comes in a special packaging, designed in an oversized textured cardboard sleeve along with 5 inserts in black and white, one for each of the participating acts. This is limited to 1.000 copies only, so act fast and get more info at www.cycliclaw.com But let us start with a general review of what to be found musically here. Each project contributes 2 compositions, and here is the list: Northaunt (Norway), Predominance (Germany), Instincts (Canada), Kammarheit (Sweden) and Svartsinn (Norway). Northaunt opens the gates of what is called a 2nd cycle inside the Cyclic Law process. The Norwegians have a first piece titled "Barren Land", a land smelling wet under the rain, a land made up of a beautifully arranged dark melody that appears calmly but powerful in its slowness. Controlled and slight industrial far noises help the process of a very good composition, open land of isolation forming a depressive but comfortable view of quietness and cold air. "A Shadow Among Shadow" is their second contribution and, while keeping an atmosphere of similar plainness, this is focused under a more tense ambient surrounding. Still producing several noises and well constructed experimentation, but a track with a more rude result and a static ambience floating permanently. Really, a band to follow due to their proper way of developing the "style". The well known Germans Predominance have already a deserved reputation, thanks to their good albums and releases through the essential L.O.K.I. Foundation label. They bring "Trans-Atlantis" and "Dust Of Lost Paradise". Their personal conception of dark ambient is reflected here, working as usual with a concept inclined to the most esoteric side of the genre, bringing tracks of oblique significance. Probably, after listening their previous albums, these contributions are one of their best works to date. They get a mysterious aura with each and every form, and during "Trans-Atlantis", a voice in German recites while cyclically some sequenced drones reiterate and a calm permanent way advances offering a journey to times immemorial. After the hypnotising previous track we find a harder composition, where some sound layers take a stronger expression expanding periodically and reaching even darker spaces. These are two different forms maybe to induce similar paths. Now we center our aims in entering the realms created by each Instincts composition. You can find a review of the first full album by the responsible of this great label and compilation here in our web site. Reading that, you can get an approximate picture of what this excellent act can offer. "Arise" and "Revelation" get deeper inside an undoubtedly proper concept. Frédéric Arbour composes again two pieces of probably one of the most apocalyptic approach we can find out there nowadays. His special way of treating the sounds and building melodies are quite interesting, the long tracks are really obsessive and show monumental places where everything seems to fall apart, where there is no place for remission, and fate is already decided. No chance of a turning back during the first title, while the latter leads to more indefinable places with no ceased for the suffering either. Kammarheit presents ambient industrials with ghastly noises that come and go under a dark cloak that prolongs its existence throughout the more than seven minute duration of "I Found It Weeping In The Field", a composition that left no doubt that this is another act to really follow. "Ruina" is their second contribution. Here they approach a more tranquil zone, without forgetting a certain industrialised concept introduced through a permanent and unmoveable black ambient. "Devouring Consciousness" is a very good album and Svartsinn has showed with that work that they are also one of the best acts of the genre. They elaborate during "Yearning" static ambient spreading a floating darkness that seem to grow in its effectiveness with the passing of seconds. Another interesting way of developing dark industrials with an almost permanent tension with the good virtue of varying the structure along the track. "The Ashen Dream" is the second title, we seem to fall in a large black hole that announces no end while increasing the power of darkness inside. Sounds are manipulated cunningly and they disperse through the recording increasing the effect of falling under the its inevitable force.
This great compilation shows examples of how these five acts are all different and original and at the same time can form a continued line to get an album more than a compilation, showing innumerable ways of presenting the dark ambient genre. This CD is a joint perception of the more ethereal constructions of Northaunt, the magical oriented of Predominance, the doom industrials revealed by Instincts, the interaction of backing noise and permanent darkness of Kammarheit, and the deep black permanence of Svartsinn. Once more, Cyclic Law released a masterpiece both visually and musically. Congratulations! F. Paco González.

From the Ortus Obscurum webzine (Sweden)
The opening track by Northaunt has a very appropriate title. Imagine a frostbitten landscape under the cold, shimmering light of a pale full moon as blistering snow sweep over a desolate field. Musically, this view is suggested by a hollow drone siding with a low, serene flow of ambience. My impression may of course be individual but it arrived before I had actually checked the title of the track. A Shadow Among Shadows is a less easy piece of equally atmospheric Dark ambient with a more subterranean touch. Creaking sounds, drips, and abrasive sounds play over a hollow drone giving Northaunt’s music a very sublime touch. The Predominance tracks aren’t as sublime as those of Northaunt. As soon as the first track begins, a low voice starts to speak over a slow pulsing rhythm and Noise made by ethnic instruments(?) and synthesizer bank sounds. If you remember the Sephiroth track R’lyeh from The Absolute Supper collection on CMI, then you know what to expect here. These two tracks share a certain relation in sound, the only real difference in style being Predominance use of spoken vocals. The other track follows in a similar direction, though vocals are now omitted. They are a bit more crude than the Northaunt tracks, not as serene and soft but still atmospheric. Instinct presents the most depressive pieces on this compilation. Ultra melancholic and simple music in a melodic Dark Ambient fashion that emanate nothing but coldness and grief. The music finds its appropriate place over the sampled howlings of cold northwinds that Instincts has used as backdrop in the track Arise. The melancholic serenity of the melodies are beautiful, yet I feel that the general atmosphere is ruined by the samples, otherwise the tracks are nice.
Swedish Kammarheit walks in similar Dark Ambient footsteps as Northaunt, though they have chosen to omit the use of serene sounds in favour of a more hollow ones. The sound is constituted by a low murmuring drone that seems to be coming from some dark recess of our world - a visual idea that is further provoked by Kammarheit’s use of crackling sounds, wraith howls and other quite eerie sounds, flirting with the aesthetics of the dark. Both tracks are quite homogenous and I cannot honestly tell them apart except for some minor details. They are atmospheric pieces that works nice when one wants to establish a dark and gloomy, yet harsh atmosphere. For example when reading horror novels. When it comes to Svartsinn’s contribution to this classy sampler, it definitely bestows this compilation with its two most characteristic tracks. The first one being Yearning, a Dark Ambient track that first seems to be ominously soaring down the sky until the music suddenly transforms into some flangered sound alchemy of isolated alien sounds, only to then again mutate into a ominously piece, now with a menacing string sound approach. Definitely computer made, Yearning is the sonic shape shifter of the otherwise rather individually homogeneous material of this CD. Eventually it ends in an unmelodic turmoil of low crackling noise with creaking metal sounds on top of it all. The Ashen Dream, Svartsinn’s terminus to this ten track journey presents yet another piece of hollow Dark Ambient music that just like Yearning evolves in several different directions until it finally ends. This is a nice compilation that presents some of the younger Dark Ambient projects that have sprung out of the North hemisphere during the last year (with the exception of Predominance which - as far as I know - is older than the others). Along with the very exclusive booklet, Nord Ambient Alliance is a nice compilation that maybe not contain the stuff of the ages, nor the most original material but definitely present above average Dark ambient music. Ectonaut

From the Seven webzine (USA)
This is the second cycle of a label that proves to be starting a foundation point of strong dark ambient material. it comes packaged in a fold-out heavy black card stock sleeve with five lush cards each representing the bands that appear on this compilation. the participants are as follows: northhaunt, predominance, instincts, kammarheit, and svartsinn. each of those wrote their respective material in early winter of 02, taking the listener into their own realm of abysmal atmospheric soundscapes. the norwegian musicians known as northaunt open this ten track compilation with two frozen soundscapes that arise from the depths and slowly ascend with intimate transparent tones and serrated movements. the awesome entity known as predominance unfolds very deep atmospheres that encompass distant mystical spoken word and waves of phantasmic air choirs with a track entitled "trans-atlantis." gerd's second track "dust of lost paradise" moves even deeper with foreboding and eruptive drones that descend upon desolate soundscapes and twisting dark swells. this artist never disappoints, and always represents some of the very best there is in serious dark ambient composition.
instincts, which i believe is also the label founder, presents two very dark neo classical soundscapes that envelope feelings of misery with sad undertones of organs, distant church bells, fading strings, and piano drops driven with an illusory sense of despair. swedish kammarheit pulls us into some very hazardous and dense textural cinematic backdrops that would perfectly fit into any noir horror film, especially something to the extent of elias merhige's work. svartsinn, also from norway, presents immensely rich avalanches of brooding soundscapes, liquid turbulences, and beautifully descending tones with the track called "yearning." while the second track, "the ashen dream" works with more warm drones, swirling transparent undertones, and the distant echoes of abrasive ghosts.
this label shows us many promising things on the distant edge of the future shadowy horizons. next to what loki foundation has been releasing for past eleven years, i would say that this label is making all the right steps with excellent choice of bands, artwork, and overall presentation.

From the Funprox webzine (Holland)
The new Canadian label Cyclic Law ("providers of dark soundscapes") has not made a modest start. After an album by Instincts/Bustum, this compilation is their second release. And again it is a remarkable item. The music is of very high quality, delivered by five promising acts in the dark ambient field. This ' 5-way split' contains exclusive tracks from these northern creaters of dark soundscapes; Northaunt (Norway), Predominance (Germany), Instincts (Canada), Kammarheit (Sweden) and Svartsinn (Norway). The packaging also is very special. "Nord Ambient Alliance" comes in a luxurious A5 sleeve, which contains, apart from the cd, some splendid looking A5 cards, one for each act involved. The music on this compilation has a lot of atmosphere. Northaunt brings us two very calm soundscapes, with a very cold mood, which make you think of a desolate place in Scandinavia, during bad weather. Their second track holds your attention, because their are many undefinable sounds in the background. Predominance, which I know from the Saturn Gnosis compilation amongst others, creates a more ritual, doom-ridden atmosphere, with mysterious whispered vocals and slowly pulsating rhythms. Their second contribution, 'Dust of lost paradise', sounds a little more threatening. It is a rather minimal, industrial soundscape, reminding of older Lustmord material.
Perhaps my favourite pieces on this sampler come from Instincts. Highly atmospheric, combining ambient with neo-classical. The speech samples and the sounds of storm fit in very well with the melancholic background. The second track from Instincts is a little slower, but very solemn and majestic, with church bells and some desparate voices adorning the music. Next is Kammarheit, a name I knew through mp3.com. This new Swedish act already sounds experienced. Their two tracks are very bleak soundscapes, especially the second one is very nice. I imagine it being used as a soundtrack for an apocalyptic movie, in which the earth has collapsed and you are watching shots of dust and debris. A whole Kammarheit album will appear on Cyclic Law later this year. The last act on the cd is Svartsinn, just like Northaunt from Norway. Deep drones and scary sounds arising from the shadows, but combined with more melodic, atmospheric elements, makes this interesting listening material. A very dark sound, with some extreme frequencies. Earlier this year Svartsinn released its debut album on Eibon Records. This compilation brings together some very talented dark ambient artists, and gives you a splendid dark trip for over an hour!