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NIMH / NEFELHEIM: Whispers from the Ashes (CD 2004 - Amplexus)


Ispirato al tema delle grandi inquisizioni "Whispers from the Ashes" è un concept che nasce dalla collaborazione di due oblique entità artistiche quali Nimh e Nefelheim. La cifra chiaroscurale incontra il carattere dello psicodramma nello stile narrativo delle cinque tracce, già giocate sul riflesso emozionale che esse possono produrre nell'ascoltatore. Gli ingredienti sono quelli di una ricetta chimica a base di drones e impulsi metallici, di canti liturgici e di ritmiche marmorizzate che sconfinano nel solenne-sacrale. L'impiego dei plettri in alcuni episodi è risolutivo perché conferisce un tocco di liricità al respiro altamente noir del lavoro d'insieme.
- Aldo Chimenti - Rockerilla

"Whispers From The Ashes" is the sound of the Abyss, the catacombs, the moats, the sound of doubts, fear, suffering pain in front nothingness. Made in collaboration with the crepuscular ambient project Nefelheim, "Whispers From The Ashes" is a vibrant, static music that reveals an intimate experience, crucial instants without words. The goth-esque electronic soundscapes are deeply rooted in physical resonances, playing with duration and with the sacred harmonies of expressive drones. "Last Hours Of The Heretic" is a supreme elevating, ethereal soundscape. "Age Of Stakes / Crying Bard" is a creepy electronic ritual for cavernous fragmented piano sounds and demonic synthscapes imitating the sound of the crypt. This composition is excessively sinister, beautifully haunted and plaintive. It ends with an astonishing, spaced out epic melody for guitar arpeggios, featuring a fragile medieval mood. "Sounds From The Ossuary" is a sumptuous, tonic & pessimistic electronic prelude with doom-like accents (the presence of very low echoing frequencies). A true musical, saint splendour. "Malleus Maleficarum" is a vigorous dark soundscape with the use of liturgical, spiritual chants and lugubrious electronic scintillations. A majestic, contemplative elegy. Without any doubts one the most sulphurous, melancholic & creepiest experimental electronic album. Absolutely bewitched. A personal favourite.
- Philippe Blache - Progarchives

Spooky ambient industrial works from two Italian projects collaborating. Fantastic, simply couldn't have been done better. Combine Amon with Shinjuku Thief, insert lots of dark European nights, with rain and stricken forests. Very dramatic and ominous. The first two tracks could've been the soundtrack to some silent vampire movie from the 20's. But then as we progress, the rain and wind goes away and beautiful if melancholy acoustic guitars sing brilliant phrases, subdued, sorrowful but glowing. And this is a common method on this work; going from ominous and grand ambience to masterful interludes of instruments or chanting voices. Later on in the disc, we slip into a surreal Medieval choir, heralding the arrival of dark clouds above the roofless cathedral they chant within. Really, there is too much to describe here, the images and visions are legion. But the music itself is rich with possibilities. Closes on a subtle, sad and beautiful acoustic guitar piece. Recommended to anyone who likes an ancient-sounding, orchestral ambience heavy on recent and early European influence.
- Manifold Records -

Nimh (Giuseppe Verticchio) e Nefelheim uniscono le forze per questo bel progetto, che pur rimanendo all'interno dei canoni di una dark ambient spettrale e droning, muove in paesaggi altri, malinconicamente contaminati da suggestioni folk.
Accade nella bellissima "Age of Stakes/Cryng Bard" per esempio, con i dolenti arpeggi di una chitarra memore di arcane poesie celtiche. Simbologie nordiche e mondi sotterranei sembrano convivere felicemente, tra oscurità ed improvvisi bagliori. Come preghiere da un universo parallelo.
- Gino Dal Soler - Blow Up

Inspired by the Inquisition and witch-burning periods, "Whispers from the ashes" is a great collaborative effort by Roman artists Giuseppe Verticchio (Nimh) and Nefelheim. The work is now luckily made available by the ever active Amplexus, which has also re-released Nimh's "The Impossible Days". "Whispers..." is an inspired, flawless work which combines the best features of Cold Meat Industry-inspired dark ambient and a bit of acoustic folk, managing to avoid the n.1 problem with this genre, i.e. sounding cheesy and cliché. From the very beginning of the solemn, gregorian chant-driven "Last hours of the heretic", the listener is plunged into an atmosphere which is at the same time gloomy and epic, depressing and soothing - a quality which is common not only to good dark ambient, but also to the best black and doom metal, where Nefelheim's roots probably lie. "Age of stakes / Crying bard" rises into a menacing melody and heavy mechanical percussions, before dissolving into dripping rain and a melancholic guitar arpeggio. "Sounds from the Ossuary" is utter bass-heavy droning darkness, reminding of Nimh's solo "Frozen", but a funeral melody emerges from the final layer of distortion. "Malleus Maleficarum" goes back to the initial Raison d'Être-sounding fusion of gregorian chants, swirling drones and electronic throbs. "Peaceless Rest" closes the album with more gentle guitar picking and a thunderous underlying ambience. A very successful and cohesive work from start to end, which could reconcile many to the CMI/Northern wave of dark ambient, definitely not that thrilling over the last few years.
- Eugenio Maggi - Chain DLK

This album can be simply described as dark ambient, but frankly, there is no real gloomy thoughts and painful emotions behind it. Moreover, it's really relaxing and will bring you back to the natural world, away from everyday life in urban concrete jungle. It will turn you to the ring of eternity, purify your mind of information overload, toggle your attention to the pure listening pleasure: soft rustle of rain, deep echoing voices, impregnated acoustic melodies and omnipresent mysterious amosphere will tune your mind for the trip through one's dreams and memories. Blurred soundscapes and sad choir chanting remind me about most heartfelt Raison D'Etre works, and cinematographic structure of compositions makes me think about early epic albums of Shinjuku Thief. It's really beautiful and exciting album, enchanting you just like the shy ray of sunshine in the depths of eternal forest.
- Dmitry Vasilyev - IEM

Ritroviamo Nimh e Nefelheim all'interno di "Whispers From The Ashes" (pubblicato dalla Amplexus) dove sviluppano cinque tracce atte a creare stratificazioni di drone lentamente cangianti e tali da consentire loro di disegnare fraseggi elettronico/raggelanti, ancestrali e naturalistici, pur se, tra le righe, emergono persino affinità con un certo post (molto post) rock ambientale. E senza trascurare le suggestioni liturgiche che fuoriescono da un pezzo (bellissimo) come ‘Malleus Maleficarum' e la malinconia infinita della conclusiva ‘Peaceless Rest'.
- Roberto Michieletto - Music Club

Flash vi aveva parlato di Nefelheim in occasione dell'uscita dello splendido mini-cd "Earth Purification", che seguiva a breve distanza il full "Shadows Dwelling" (2002), un magistrale lavoro di ambient che combinava le tinte più oscure del filone CMI con un gusto mai celato per la pagan music. Oggi lo ritroviamo su Amplexus con "Whispers from the Ashes", un full nato dalla collaborazione con un altro oculato sperimentatore, Nimh. Chi ama la dark ambient di Caul e Lustmord, rimarrà incantato dall'opener "Last Hour of Heretic" e dalla mastodontica "Sounds From the Ossuary", due song di lunga durata che rielaborano l'ambient oscura e atmosferica presente in "Shadows Dwelling", ottenendo una proposta ormai personale e definita. Del sound di Nimh non rintracciamo i soliti forti richiami all'Oriente, presenti su molte delle sue produzioni, bensì alcuni loop e ritmiche - decisivi nella prima parte di "Age of Stakes/Crying Bard" - e quel particolare utilizzo dei samples che caratterizzano la sua raffinata electro-ambient. In evidenza anche le consuete parti strumentali che vanno a sovrapporsi alla predominante struttura ambient, impreziosendo un album che mi sento di consigliare, soprattutto a chi ancora ritene che alcune sonorità vengano espresse ai massimi livelli solamente all'estero.
- Francesco Gemelli - Flash


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