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MP3 Ahasverus - Evocation

Ahasverus presents us with a very worthy addition in the annals of dark ambient history with a release that has a lot to say. “Evocation” manages to capture and preserve a piece of time, even our own personal history, within its very construct. This is an

7 MP3 Songs in this album (48:10) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: Industrial, AVANT GARDE: Experimental

People who are interested in Lustmord Atrium Carceri should consider this download.


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Praise be! At last an artist who understands the needs of his intended audience. I get sent so many sub-poor CDRs from fledgling record labels to review that I despair when they arrive. I''m tired of the lack of care and attention that has been spent on these releases. Crap amateur covers inside flimsy single slim line cases just infuriates me so much. Why can''t they take a leaf out of Henrik Summanen''s book? This artist knows how to sell his music. This artist understands the meaning of quality over quantity. Limited to 100 copies "Evocation" presentation-wise is faultless. Coming enclosed in a hand made linen cover, which also has an eight page booklet inside, it was a joy to receive and revel over. I''m one of these people who likes to feel, look and read the packaging whilst the music plays. It adds greatly to the overall experience in my eyes. If only others would learn this. The personal touches count so much.

Not only is the presentation faultless but the music... well the music... is simply divine. I first encountered this artist back in the day when he released the "Ten is the number" recording [read review here]. A recording that all dark ambient / sound manipulation purists should have in their collections. His approach to setting up his own label to distribute his music showed that this method was a feasible alternative method, without having to make any compromises, and was within easy reach to every budding musician with the self belief in themselves.

"Evocation" is the natural follow on (or sister work as he calls it) of "Ten is the number". Dealing with the great dismantling of ancient monuments and temples from Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica and Egypt in the 1900''s, in what can only be called theft, these artefacts were shipped and reassembled in European capitals. This venture could be called a genuine act to protect and preserve a piece of history or an act of wanton criminal vandalism that had, at its heart, monetary reward. Utilising all his musical experience these 7 tracks attempt to recreate that point in time. Once more Henrik delves deeply in the sound sculptures he''s so proficient at creating. The dynamic electronics and drones lay on the dark atmospheres along with additional vocal and other instrumental effects. The result is a recording that is a sheer delight to experience. Haunting in its refrain the emotional impact it produces cannot be denied or ignored. The music perfectly recreating the dank, dusty and claustrophobic confines of an underground chamber as it is slowly taken apart stone by stone. Tools scrape away at the ancient foundations as the sense of darkness at the heresy committed prevails The walls echoing to the sighs of spectral ghosts aghast at the unwanted intrusion of their domain. The unnecessary voyage of these sacred relics awash with remorse and regret. Bells toll in humble respect and grief for the wrongs being committed in the name of so called respectable science.

"Evocation" is a highly charged emotion filled release that really needs to be experienced first hand. The sounds that Henrik has created are an absolute and total pleasure for those who hanker for the darker side of sonic manipulation. An unqualified success that you can download from his website yourself. Audio purists and collectors would be best advised to purchase the full product directly from him. The costs are minimal but the rewards even greater. If only other DIY labels would follow his lead.

ANM - Auralpressure

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(20070201)

Band: Ahasverus
Album: Evocation
Album Year: 2006
Label: Ahasverus Records
Genre(s): Dark Ambient



Rating: 8.5/10

It''s like catching the tail end of an echo made in the not too distant past. I found myself examining artifacts preserved through sound created by the hand of the masterful Henrik Summanen with his Ahasverus project. After being introduced to “The Destiny of Fabian Kazmierski” I had to look deeper into this artist’s catalog, which ultimately brought me to “Evocation.” I am very glad to have arrived here.

“Evocation” is a piece of work that proves to be intrinsically deep in its homage to archeology and its effects on culture and humanity. Is it the sound of ancient relics pining to be left alone? Or is it the soundtrack to a greedy materialist’s excavation? The answer lies in the space between the sounds…

It is quite apparent right off the bat that there is something special about this release. The CDr and accompanying artwork are mummified in a case of cloth, which does an excellent job of setting the stage for the auditory story to come. Presented as if it were a treasure trove from some long lost civilization, the packaging of this release is nostalgic and modern. It is the ultimate paradox and it works.

The sound-work in this album is as adventurous as I have come to expect of Ahasverus, but the trip is a lot darker this time around… It’s almost completely desaturated. “Evocation” takes us into the sparse corners of the past with expansive pads, fluttering field projections, and some light digital experimentation added in for good measure. Once again I am hypnotized by the subtle use of chord progressions and melodies, which provide as a solid backbone to some very interesting soundscapes.

There is a particular flow to this piece that remains constant. This may or may not be viewed as a downfall, depending on your perspective. The tides of atmosphere continue to wax and wane throughout the entire album without ever becoming too obtrusive or offensive. We’re talking about classic ambient darkness here. I also noted some minor clipping/distortion issues toward the last third of the album; nothing too detrimental but noticeable enough in headphones. However, the majority of the album is produced with an exceptionally clean hand and most listeners are likely not even to notice the minor imperfections.

All in all, Ahasverus presents us with a very worthy addition in the annals of dark ambient history with a release that has a lot to say. “Evocation” manages to capture and preserve a piece of time, even our own personal history, within its very construct. This is an album that should not be overlooked by any ambient enthusiast. There’s something hiding in the walls and we must listen to find it.

-Jason

January 2007

Wounds of the Earth



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(20061208)

Présenté comme le pendant du précédent album, "Ten is the number", "Evocation" poursuit la veine dark-ambient minimaliste de Ahasverus, avatar du suédois Henrik Summanen. Un pendant ici plus expressif et affable, s''éloignant de l''abstraction pour un discours certes posé mais qui laisse s''échapper ça et là des éléments mélodieux absents jusqu''ici. Les nappes communient avec une réverb'' assez envoûtante, effleurées par des basses discrètes et discontinues mais que l''on devine même lorsqu''elles ne sont plus qu''un pâle murmure. La thématique axée sur les civilisations et les croyances anciennes est ici illustrée par quelques reproductions de statues et autres bustes de divinités et le design du packaging lui-même, une sorte de toile de jute sur laquelle est agrafé le livret, donne l''impression de manipuler un document historique. Tour à tour énigmatique, inquiétante et mystérieuse, la mystique païenne de "Evocation" évite les canons du genre par une sobriété à toute épreuve, judicieusement relevée de passages d''une rare beauté ("Gamhanned"), esquissés sans pour autant sombrer dans un minimalisme absurde. Un disque intriguant et assurément un artiste à part.

Guts of darkness



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(20061117)

Henrik Summanen follows up his excellent slab of dark ambient from earlier in the year, Ten is the Number - reviewed elsewhere in Sonomu - with an equally shrouded "sister work". If we are indeed to consider them sisters, then Evocation is the more emotional of the siblings, more given to (literal) cries and moans and more distinct narrative.

The narrative in question may also be followed in the seven titles each accompanied by it own ancient mask or carving in the accompanying booklet, eerie and evocative enough in themselves.

"Seven tracks in honor of true belief", writes Summanen, which both celebrate and execrete the archeological plundering of Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica and Egypt by colonial Western academics and adventurers at the turn of the last century. In desecrating thousands of temples and graves and crating up their contents to take back home with them, these exploreres with degrees both contributed to the greater understanding of ancient civilizations while crushing them to dust on their original sites. Perhaps this is the soundtrack to the unease of the disturbed dead.

In contrast to the Plain Jane jewel case packaging of Ten is the Number, Evocation comes in a digipak covered in handmade linen cover, making the artefact as tactile and unique as the music within.

Stephen Fruitman - Sonomu



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(20061005)

Ahasverus is the musical project of Swedish archaeologist/linguist Henrik Summanen. In the stunning booklet of his second work "Evocation", we find images of pagan (Mesopotamian?) gods. As for the music, there is a meticolous and ever-evolving mixture of dense "old school" dark ambient background mixed with distant chimes, bells and more environmental sources. The intricate network of sounds added to each dronework gives a less static feel to the compositions. An intrepid work that would definitely suck you into mystical depths, a must-hear for fans of Moljebka Pvlse and other non-conventional dark ambient artists.

Chain DLK



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(20060919)

Stockholm-based Ahasverus equals Henrik Summanen, a man who already has created something of a career in the field of electroacoustic music. Together with the likes of Moljebka Pvlse and LEAK, Ahasverus is one of those artists trying to bridge a gap between electroacoustics and post-industrial. His newest piece, titled "Evocation", is available for free in electronic format on his website, however, the lavish (albeit smelly) cloth covers make the physical edition more than worth getting (as long as the edition lasts, that is).

On Evocation Ahasverus moves in deep, organic waters. I can find no trace of the (to my ears) "intelligent" or "academic" structures or cold distance that often plagues electroacoustic music. Instead, the music flows and breathes almost like a living being. Very deep, low drones (might there be a cello as sound source?), ghostly echoes and sudden clatters and clanks are among the dominant sound elements. Superficially one might call the music creepy, like in a horror movie, but on closer scrutiny it is more deep and calm, even meditative in character. It brings two comparisons to my mind: old Lustmord and new Raison D´Être (mostly the album Metamorphyses from this year).

Thus the album has a strong physical and organic feel, and it flows with such a coherent palette of sound that there is no point in separating individual tracks from the whole. One exception, the fifth track Shesphergisti, does fail to fit into the whole with its distant melodies and bells. Apart from that, I have nothing but praise for a record that flows so beautifully and has such a real and physical sound world. Definitely one of this year´s highlights and a record which many "ambient" musicians could learn from.

-john björkman / https://www.tradebit.com



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(20070418)

Overall Rating: B+
Composition: B
Sounds: B
Production Quality: B-
Concept: B+
Packaging: A

Ahasverus is the new project from Sweden''s Henrik Summanen a dark ambient artist based from the electro-acoustic scene. If this is the direction he''s going in then I applaud him because things have improved in all directions from the previous mp3 release that I have reviewed. First off this is a CDR in a gorgeous hand-made package, a digipak wrapped in heavily textured cloth with a sticker on the front and a booklet pasted onto the inside providing some information, but mostly photographs of esoteric sculptures that look like they were taken from some art history book or something. The presentation is cohesive and focused and reminds me of some relic strait out of a museum. Not to mention it''s consistent with the music.

Although the album feels a lot like one continuous journey it is actually broken up into 7 tracks of various lengths. The music of all of the dark ambient realm and keeps a wholly organic edge, with perhaps the exception of a few synthesized drones, but nothing sounding very electronic here. It''s possible this all could''ve have been sample horns or something. But the more “natural” elements here are quite strong, the gritty clay textures, the glassy hits, and deep breaths are all effective in re-enforcing the feel that is presented in the package and instead of providing more answers it merely widens the breadth of the questions in my head.

The production is overall well taken care of, but missing a bit of extra “oomph” that becomes effective in dark ambient music. It''s quite heavy on the mid-range which makes it pretty burdensome to listen to at louder volumes, and there isn''t a lot of really low end. The low-end isn''t even necessarily missing in the mix either, it just seems like there weren''t a lot of sounds used that contains loud frequencies much lower then 300 hz. It does feel a little bit like something is “missing” in the recording and that would be my first guess as to what it could be.

Despite the small shortcomings in the production, the tracks are interesting and well-composed. Asasverus keeps introducing new material and has a general knowledge of what it takes to keep the listener on edge. The style kind lies somewhere in between the heavy electro-acoustic dark ambient of Bestia Centauri, and the synth drones of Northaunt, too artists that keep good company. This is definitely a large step in the right direction for Summanen and an overall solid release. Good work.

Blood Ties Webzine



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