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Depther : Altar State

This is yet another side-project from one of the guys in I.Corax. Which one of them is in it? Well, since this project has no homepage and no credits on the sleeve, it's really hard to tell. However Anti Ittna Haapapuro, the man behind most side-projects of I.Corax (and together with another member from I.Corax, he also plays in Dolorian) has always released his stuff through the Blue Sector label or his own label, Aural Hypnox. Hence I'm tempted to rule him out. This release was, though, limited to a mere 150 copies, making it no less obscure than Haapapuro's.

[edit by author: After the review was written the project Zošt-Aon released their first release on the same label. From the information contained on the homepage of that project it turns out that I.Corax member Jaakko Vanhala, which is the one of the three that's not involved in Dolorian, is the man behind Depther (as well as Zošt-Aon).]

The music itself holds many similarities to I.Corax. The stretched out noises from wind instruments, heavy use of echoes and the dirging metallic noise in the background, make this style of dark ambient/industrial sound familiar to those who have heard anything by the main band. But there are differences, of course. Depther's style is much quieter and fills the tracks with larger voids. It has dark voices that come out from the void like the words from a radio, which is quite dissimilar to the whispers used in I.Corax. It also gives me a slight tribal image. Sort of like a shaman who's in a trance, reaching out with his/her mind towards the infinite astral lines in the universe.

The track 'Live 25.5.2001' puzzeled me at first. It has a very good recording quality so it would have been really hard for a private person or small label to record this quality on a live show. Nor do I find any evidence at all that there has ever been a live show by this project. I suspect that the live part really means that the track was recorded "live" in a studio, playing the music all at once with no second takes.

The rarity of this release might be something that will come back to haunt it. I believe that this is something that most fans of dark ambient would come to enjoy. It is very disturbing, but that's not really a surprise considering which bands are directly linked to this project. So if that warning doesn't scare you off, it would be wise to check this one out fast. There might be a few copies left somewhere.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Shadow Gazer
2. Altar State
3. Live 25.5.2001

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Depther bandpage.

Reviewed on 09-02-2006 by Arnstein Petersen
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