Album: Nosferatuovi Hladni Dvori
Release date: 12/03/2021
In recent years since the fading of the light cast on by the popularity of works by Stephanie Meyers and Anne Rice, and the over- fetishized form vampires have taken on in the popular gaze has seemingly run its course, and the pale skinned bloodsuckers we knew from hushed whispers by superstitious peasants of yesteryear have receded back into the shadows of our collective subconscious. But in that subconscious, like a weathered and abandoned chateau overgrown with foliage and cobwebs, these creatures find the most comfort. Gaudy multi-million dollar Hollywood romances come and go, and whether they wear the blood soaked garments of the undead is irrelevant to the masses who just want their pound of flesh before returning to mundanity. But in the subdued shadows of our history and legends, in the corners of our eye is that superstition which seems to flow through our blood like a virus, the vampire myth will always thrive. Where shimmering skinned, models fail to maintain relevance, the sharp eared and much maligned artists of the vampyric dungeon synth sub-genre will always have access to something inherent within all of us, and I can think of no other artist who captures this essence better than Talog.
Darkness and forgotten lore are themes within this compilation of projects from the Croatian dark ambient artist Talog. Keeping instrumentation to a selective minimum, the 16 tracks on this release will take you to cold, gas lit streets and dark forlorn castles in the Carpathians. Much like the voyage of the ghost ship that bore count Orlock into the lands of Wismar, this collection of droning ambient vampyric dungeon synth tracks will leave you haunted by a forlorn spirit.
Despite being a collection of Talog’s various releases, this album follows a pretty consistent tone throughout. The flow between tracks is seamless; silence feels as much part of the experience as the reverb heavy synths. Mixed to sound distant, there’s a cold drone that plays in the background to a lot of these tracks that serves well at placing the listener onto the gloomy beach front of Wismar. Higher pitch synth notes on tracks like “Povratak Kvroloka” almost resemble a distant feminine voice that lulls the listener into a sort of somber trance, like a ghostly figure waiting in the shadow to claim its victim. The length of tracks like “Miris Krvi” and “Vrijeme Je Stalo” may be intimidating but once their melancholic repeated notes hook you in it’s hard to not grow attached. Each of the 16 tracks serves to immerse the listener, allowing the imagination to conjure a story upon it’s nearly 2 hour run time.
Unfortunately it looks like the physical release of this album was kept quite limited to a few dedicated acolytes, but for the rest of us the beautifully rendered cover image of Count Orlock will have to suffice. I do recommend checking out the artists other demo covers, I find their stark contrasts and Minimalist sketches to accompany the atmosphere of the music well.
These tracks will best serve you on cold, lonesome night. When all that you have to keep you company are the stars and the howls of the creatures that shun them. Let it give you warmth and comfort on this winter season, preferably paired with a viewing of the eternal horror classic Nosferatu or a reading of “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu. Oh, and do yourself a favor and simply ignore that thud you heard from your window, I’m sure it was nothing…
You can show this artist some love on their bandcamp page: