la hora del lobo
sabbat III [the dark path]
hungrr-ah [final xcit]
mantra [review by seven]
this album, despite its limited play time, displays the amazing variety that ah cama-sotz is capable of. in this respect it reminds me of “terra infernalis” – one of my favorite albums in the genre.
“mantra” starts out with almost beatless cinematic “la hora del lobo”. it slowly rolls forward ornamented by orchestrated strings, spoken female vocals and short bursts of heavily processed bass and static. this track possesses this majestic atmosphere I have always admired the band for – tribal, dark, mysterious, cold, monumental; both mechanized and organic.
a striking contrast is following “sabbat III [the dark path]”, hitting with raw industrial rhythms, supported by what seems to be a distorted guitar riffs. cold minimal strings and muffled frequencies contrast rhythmic textures.
next track, “hungrr-ah [final xcit]”, is even a bigger surprise. built upon bouncing bass-heavy rhythms, few frequencies, and processed guitar-like samples, it is quite unlike anything else I have heard from herman. it is raw, powerful, hypnotizing, but so infinitely energetic, and (I feel strange saying that)… dancy. this is how ah cama-sotz live set sounded like.
power rhythms continue on “mantra-xx” that could be loosely described as a mix of minimal, stripped-down, almost technoid, rhythm&noise and tribal intensity. this time it is even several layers of percussion and grating synthline.
“whitewitch” closes the album with its quieter, downtempo, percussion-based textures.
“mantra” packs quite a few surprises for any ah cama-sotz fan, as well as “traditional” high-quality recognizable treats from the master. the diversity of material presented on this release might be unusual for those that got used to very “focused” ah cama-sotz releases – be it aquatic themes of “u-boot” or refined ambience of “house of the lordh.” in any case, this album is something definitely worth getting.
submitted by anton on 18-Jul-2001