An obscure artist, limited and already sold out in physical media of just 300 copies here from Van. The Eternal Dance… is our introduction to German atmospheric and ambient black metal entity RAAUMM. There’s very little chance of anything to waffle on about here as information is fleeting and the only thing we have really to go on is that this is a one man project from MK of the equally mysterious and hard to pronounce Häxenzijrkell.
What we have here are 4 tracks ranging between 12 and 7 minutes each, although one of these on our preview download is apparently an extra. To Wander Beyond Lunar Seas takes us on a trip to the moon and despite lack of info, obviously wordy and poetic song titles show an imagination at the heart of this release. Sombre and maudlin tones take us in and drums mournfully beat a slow tattoo along with the ambient strains that are integral to this release giving a strong sense of spacey atmosphere. A guitar cuts in and weaves away, there’s a threat of space rock here considering this and the title and a bit of a Krautrock vibe. Blackness is at the heart of it though as the plodding beat extends and hoary croaks rise from the deep depths of space, almost vacuum packed in their distance. This definitely feels like the work of one person, it’s pretty simply constructed yet effective and although I was quick to almost dismiss at first this is a grower and bears similarities in some ways to other equally obtuse artists such as The Ruins Of Beverast, Darkspace and Urfaust. The plod of the mainframe is interspersed by some occasional guitar twangs that help drive the pace along, the length and repetitive nature does at times feel a little too much but I guess the more ambient parts help things stretch the way they do and prove suitably eerie. ‘Spiral Black Vortices’ is of similar length but despite title don’t expect a rapid descent into a maelstrom, we float in space untethered in its vastness. A lone guitar chord dramatically tolls and it is as though we are suddenly docked on a mysterious craft floating aimlessly itself in the black confines of space. Long periods of inactivity from the ambience are good if you don’t mind exploring the cosmos and unharnessing your imagination in a minimalist fashion, the totality is massive and there is lots to feed off on this journey which definitely strikes far from earthbound. The motion is never far away though and turbulence jolts back to life corrupting any dreams you mind has taken you to.
The bonus track ‘Out Of The Aeons’ has more definition than previous, perhaps it is a newer track, there’s more ballast and motion and vocals although still very much indistinguishable have a bit more violence about them. There are also a few very odd sounds and sampled voices calling out in this, distress beacons perhaps luring to doom before it tails off to ambience once more. The title track comes last on my copy and has an immediate guitar and drum mid-paced stomp about it. This is the track that is going to be the focal point for anyone in search of a quick fix and captures the sound and overall cosmology of the artist perfectly.
Early origins dissected to a large extent, this is a work that needs time spent with it for everything to unfold and one is left looking to the future and what could come next. Sure there’s plenty of RRAAUMM for improvement but as a solo studio project this has done its job and has scope to possibly expand into full band and live excursions in the future; that or fall back into the obscurity whence it came from.
(7/10 Pete Woods)