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The music was inspired � at least in spirit � by the Russian film of the same name, but it�s certainly not necessary to view that film to appreciate this recording. From the back cover: �A guide to possible interpretations on an ambivalent reality; a non-Euclidian geometry as yet unmapped, inaccessible through linear perceptions; to illuminate, decode and decipher this landscape of fractured density, ultimately to reconstruct these unfolding dimensions, where dreams are only whispers.� It does all that and more. As I stated above, it can be experienced in an ambient way � but I recommend listening to it at fairly high volume on a nice system.
Now we have Lustmord, who produced such stark, creepy dark ambient albums as "Heresy" and "The place where the black stars hang", collaborating with Robert Rich on a concept album, that had the Russian film "Stalker" as source of inspiration. The Andrei Tarkovski movie, about three men entering an undefinable "forbidden zone", had a terrific soundrack of its own, by the acclaimed Russian composer Eduard Artemjew.
But although one might expect that Lustmord and Rich have a huge admiration for both the film and its original musical design, they completely went their own way with their record, producing an eerie, chilly mood and giving us a sense that something frightning is lurking in the dark.
Sizzeling sounds, diversed iron scraping noises, musical tones that sound like psychotic whispering, hollow chants, everything is in place to put our minds and sanity to the test.
But like the best (and darkest) moments of Lustmord, the music prevails. It succeeds in taking us on a journey into the unknown, into the undesirable, into a place that is filled with loathing and despair, through an all embracing sacrilegious void, and yet, pulls us out at the last moment, to let us emerge again to the surface, and give us a new sense of brightness and illumination, as though we went through some kind of musical catharsis.
The music itself (and it is music) is very typical of Rich and Lustmord's ability to illustrate time and setting accurately and beautifully. Like the film (and I link this work inextricably to the film as a necessary companion piece), Stalker creates a dense atmosphere of knowing and unknowing, the mysterious and the obvious - both works lend themselves to many interpretations.
The dialog of the film makes one point fairly obvious. This work, face value alone, may be considered dark ambient mood music. But like the visuals of the film (especially wind and water) there is much more to be experienced by looking deeply into the art. Those who look to the surface only will see something dark and scary (and hopefully well crafted). Those who stay with it and really listen will hear a distinct time, place, etc..
The fact that I find it hard not to write about this work (and all of both Lustmord and Rich's other works) without confusing the visual with the auditory, speaks to its real impact.
Like the best ambient (Eno, especially), the music here lends itself to many different interpretations and emotions. Unlike most ambient, the music here is frightenly visual, dense, and not to be ignored (I do not recommend that anyone listen to this while doing the dishes and it is woefully inappropriate for airports).
Beautiful in execution. Frightening in impact. (Like the film).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great music to meditate or work on guided imagery. It helps one to relax and disappear inside, where all the assigners are .Published on April 18, 2013 by Victoria Sadoff
I even went back and watched the movie it was inspired by due to the awesomeness of the music on this album. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by Amazon Customer
An excellent example of the Dark Ambient genre. I listen to it constantly. I was listening to it when Amazon asked me to write a review.Published on December 2, 2012 by Glenn Wilhite
somehow I got turned on to the work of robert rich some time ago. His work is all very impressive, and more than not it is amazing. Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by Jared Jennings
I've essentially been listening to this album for the last 5 hours straight. It's good enough that I came to amazon. Read morePublished on April 23, 2012 by Shawn Vantol
This is a classic "dark ambient" album, and is probably one of only a few that can be rightfully called a masterpiece in the genre. Read morePublished on January 14, 2012 by Keith Shepard
If your looking for something that is not pretentiously gothic as most dark ambient albums are, then you must own this album.Published on December 16, 2010 by Sector
This is really a master work, inspired by the Tarkovsky movie Stalker, the compositors done well in capturing the feeling of the "ZONA" and rendered it into music. Read morePublished on August 13, 2010 by A. Sobanski III
In combination with a more than worthy player in this 'tandem release' easily giving you more than you are expecting when listening to all of the tracks on this release.Published on August 30, 2009 by Curtis Sulaski