Ringarë - Under Pale Moon review




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Band: Ringarë
Album: Under Pale Moon
Release date: March 2019


01. Under Pale Moon
02. Sorrow Under Starry Sky
03. In Nocturnal Agony
04. Through Forest And Fog


If you are a frequent visitor around these premises, you probably have noticed this lad's adoration of Alex Poole, a very busy and talented musician involved in many projects such as Krieg, Skáphe, Entheogen and Guðveiki, to name a few. Of all his bands, it's Chaos Moon that clicks with me the most, especially the first couple of albums, so the release of material that has been exhumed from that era is pretty exciting news to my ears.

Ringarë, originally going by the moniker Ringar, formed in 2004 and much of the material composed was used in Chaos Moon's Languor Into Echoes, Beyond. The remainder of the never-released Ringarë debut stayed buried for nearly 15 years and just recently saw the light of day. Not a very bright light, that is.

The cover art is a black and white image of mountains with a pale yellow moon on the top right corner, looking like it was made by a dot matrix printer and the way it's designed reminds me a little of Resurrection Extract. The logo is unreadable, as it should, and the music is synth-ridden, second-wave worshipping black metal that relies heavily on its cold and grim atmosphere. The album blends primal hostility and grave ambience, and sounds completely Bergen-originating rather than Pennsylvania-based. If someone told you it was recorded back in the mid-nineties in a cabin in the woods under the northern lights, you sure as hell would have been convinced.

Under Pale Moon is a throwback to the time when Dimmu Borgir unleashed the magnificent Stormblåst and had not yet become the demon cheeseburger of the 21st century, when Emperor were a symphonic black metal band that was at the same time trve and kvlt (Alex Poole talks about Emperor's influence on him in this interview), and when Varg was creating majestic dark and atmospheric soundscapes instead of delusional YouTube videos.

The album sounds like it was recorded with equipment not much more sophisticated than my vintage Toshiba boombox and this only adds to its nostalgic character. Despite this, the music can be fully enjoyed and even though the synths are the focal point here, the bass is equally gorgeous, especially if you listen with headphones, and the vocals are terrifying shrieks and howls that scare the shit out of your lost soul.

Shortly after the exhumation of Under Pale Moon, Ringarë also released a couple of ambient demos from 2003-04 and 2018 under the title Where Cold Dwells And Winter Once Lay, which serves as a fitting, mood-setting accompaniment to the corpsepainted, frostbitten, forest-dwelling Under Pale Moon.

If you dig the first two Chaos Moon albums, you really should check Ringarë's debut out.


 



Written on 08.04.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 100 users
08.04.2019 - 10:43
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
For some reason when first reading about this album I had the impression that these were Wrest demos not Esoterica demos. Can't complain, both amazing.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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08.04.2019 - 14:14
Batlord666
I absolutely love this album. It's got an oddly beautiful and upbeat feeling to it.
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08.04.2019 - 14:31
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Awww, thanks for the mention Nik
Yes, I'm a bit of a Poole fanboy, nice to see someone else tackling some of his stuff on the front page though. Great job at that as well. I admittedly haven't gotten around to this one yet, but I've seen Poole share news of it a few times on FB over the past few months, so I've been aware of it. Might give it a spin after work today
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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09.04.2019 - 03:31
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Giving it a whirl now, just halfway through but pretty good. It definitely makes sense that some of the material from this was eventually used for Chaos Moon. Indeed, big similarity in sound between the two, although this seems a bit rawer.

I'm with you on the poor production quality but in a way I think it serves as a nice complement to the more "pretty" sounding keyboards and melodic guitar bits. Kinda like Alex said in that interview you linked to, he was inspired a lot by Emperor and their ability to be raw as hell but also epic and atmospheric too, and you can see how he does the same here himself.
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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09.04.2019 - 11:28
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 09.04.2019 at 03:31

Giving it a whirl now, just halfway through but pretty good. It definitely makes sense that some of the material from this was eventually used for Chaos Moon. Indeed, big similarity in sound between the two, although this seems a bit rawer.

My favourite Chaos Moon release is Languor Into Echoes, Beyond so this album is totally up my alley as you can understand. It's different from what you normally enjoy from Alex, but the thing is that whatever the guy does, one has to admit that he has so much talent and passion for music. I can even see it and I'm not a fanboy by any means but I totally appreciate what he does.

You might want to check out the ambient stuff I mention in the last paragraph. I know you like your ambient and I do too, and Where Cold Dwells And Winter Once Lay is a bit of a journey
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10.04.2019 - 03:32
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Batlord666 on 08.04.2019 at 14:14

I absolutely love this album. It's got an oddly beautiful and upbeat feeling to it.

I'm not sure I'd use words like "beautiful" and "upbeat" to describe it but I think I get how you mean them.
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