Saturday, October 1, 2011



Welcome the Ethereal soundscapes, a personal music recommandations blog centered on post-rock, neofolk, and black metal. This blog is, let's say it, trying to have an elitist approach on those music genres, sharing what I'm considering the best, and if of course this is only a matter of points of view, I've often been told that my recommandations were interesting enough to start a blog. By "elitist", that means I'm posting albums I consider perfectly produced, rich, well-executed, and so on... I don't want to share so-called "underground" music which is just some rough black metal recorded by teenagers' in grandma's kitchen.

Ethereal soundscapes doesn't give any marks. It's a matter of choice. Choosing the albums I enjoy most would make any rating useless, as I'd give from 8/10 to 10/10 to pretty much anything around here. Also, reviews being short doesn't mean there's not much to say (and to feel) on these releases, it's just that some people don't enjoy reading long things, and that's why these kind of reviews can be a good deal for them. Keeping it this way is not a matter of laziness, and anyway, there is still much work to keep this blog like I want it to be.

As some people may argue about the musical "genres" I use, let's just say I don't want to have millions of categories and every band labelled in an own genre, as it'd be pointless to make connections between artists. That's why it goes this way:

- Folk black metal gathers every black metal release that relies on folk instrumentation, mainly acoustic guitars, and set a nature-bound atmosphere. It's actually any black metal release somehow related to nature (Agalloch, October falls, Waldgeflüster,...).
- Post-black metal is a tricky genre, which I'll use for modern black metal in general, often the brand of "urban-related" black metal,. Most of the time, it's linked to shoegaze, although this genre is still quite hard to define too (Lantlôs, Altar of plagues, Woods of desolation,...).
- Atmospheric black metal are releases that doesn't feature a raw black metal, yet doesn't fit in the previous genres. Think to black metal that uses ambient sounds, pianos, or depressive black metal (Summoning, Wolves in the throne room, Coldworld).
- Neofolk is used for any fully acoustic release that is linked to nature in some way. It can be instrumental or it can feature some vocals, but in no way it would have metal elements into it. Still, it can have some martial or industrial influences, as those genres are somehow related (Tenhi, Vàli, Neun Welten,...).
- Post-metal is the middle between post-black and post-rock. Although it can have some growls or typical metal vocals however you call those, I will include in that genre the albums I consider too heavy for post-rock, yet not featuring black metal elements, which also include the sludge branch (Long distance calling, Russian circles, Omega massif,...).
- Post-rock is the softer vein of the genre, which will include, here, mostly chilling and calm releases, a great part of those being instrumental, or including non-metal oriented vocals. I won't go in a debate of what post-rock really is, as it would lead to way too much arguing (God is an astronaut, Caspian, Sigur rós,...).

Also, there is one rule in my reviews: no comparison between bands. I know that this is very usual when reviewing to state "oh damn, it sounds like xxx", but I try to avoid this, mainly because musicians still create their own music, even if there are similarities, and because readers may not know about some so-called "reference" in the genres.

Samples on YouTube are not of the best possible quality, so please take this into consideration and be sure that the actual releases sound much better.

Enjoy your stay & listens!


  1. Dear staff,
    I wish to submit my album for a review.

    The album is titled "Ombre", a short concept in neofolk/ambient style.
    Here are the details:

    Artist Name: Ishtar
    Release Title: Ombre
    Release Date: July 2012
    Label: VKRS / Haunted Klinik / Interplanetary Floral Star Records
    Musical Style: Neofolk / Acoustic/ Ambient

    The following link will give you a free press package containing the high-quality MP3 files, booklet and bonus materials:
    I'm at your disposal for any further info.

    Kind regards

  2. Mara - Even Darker Days 2012 submission request

    atmospheric ambient black metal with industrial influences