HALO MANASH - Par-Antra I: VIR - CD - 9 tracks - Aural Hypnox - 2004

Aural Hypnox is a new label from Finland presenting the work of the Finish dark ambient newcomers Halo Manash. Last year, Halo Manash released on Blue Sector (another Finish label) their first work 'Se Its En' dedicated to seven specific dreams the project's instigator. This time, their work is inspired by 'the triad formation of night, sky and time, a Par-Antra trilogy concentrating on research of parallel forms and primal pathways'. 'VIR', featuring nine pieces, is the title of the first part of this trilogy. The mixing of shamanic percussions, hypnotic e-bowed guitars, cymbals, windbones and chanting voices amongst other elements give rise to a very original and intense work. From organic dark ambient to ritualistic sonorities, this album creates a very meditative atmosphere despite the presence of electronic elements and a constant rythmic. They could also explain why this approximately 60 minute length album never sounds boring.
The long first powerful track 'ast unTA AKSElin' built upon guitar drones, strong percussion and ritualistic voices gives the tone of the ensemble. I would say that at times Halo Manash music evokes to me a sort of cross between Predominance (latest period) and Karnnos (that would have electronic elements integrated in their music, if only this concept was possible…)… To get to the essential, this is an excellent album that I highly recommend to amateurs of dark/tribal/ritual ambient music. It is going to be a long wait until the rest of the series is released by Aural Hypnox. Part II titled 'TAA' should be released in January 2005 and the third part 'INA' is planned to be out in January 2006.

The CD comes in a nicely realised 8 black and white page A5 booklet including visual material and texts to assist the listener in this experience… This release is limited to 1000 copies and the first 200 include a VIR wall canvas (50cm x 40cm) made by using colour-removal technique. Collectors will be satisfied to know that each canvas is unique, of course.

Highly recommended!

Nathalie F.
Winter 2004

Halo Manash: halomanash.cjb.net
Aural Hypnox: www.auralhypnox.tk