Amber Asylum

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Frozen In Amber

Amber Asylum - Frozen In Amber ©1996 Elfenblut
1. Volcano Suite
2. Riviera
3. Black Waltz
4. Heckle And Jeckle
5. Journey To The Sleepy
6. Water
7. Je Suis Le Chat La Lune
8. Aurora
9. Ave' Maria
10. Romantic Theme

Essentially a cello/violin/string driven outfit with a heavy emphasis on ambient mood settings, the first offering from Amber Asylum was more or less a chamber music gone off kilter work. Most of the tracks are somewhat busy compositions without vocals or too esoteric of instrumentation. As with "Black Waltz", the general movement is waltzlike in places though I'm hardly an expert in that department. As the album progresses, there is a deconstruction of structure as "Journey to the Sleepy" shows. This type of music is, to me, designed for a late night listen, though it is a bit less tranquil and more tense than you might expect. It is overall enjoyable but not quite stirring or emotionally deep enough to make it a favorite late night soundtrack.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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The Natural Philosophy Of Love

Amber Asylum - The Natural Philosophy Of Love ©1997 Release
1. Cupid
2. Exodus
3. Looking Glass
4. Song Of The Spider War
5. Jordina And Joringel
6. Looking Glass (reprise)
7. Poppies

Located on the musical freeway that features Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Miranda Sex Garden as endpoints, Amber Asylum's journey through the airy and wispy sounds of classical based ambient music is a pleasant one. I wouldn't immediately place the Asylum on the same level as the two reference points listed above, but they are certainly finding a niche in their style. The haunting female vocals do indeed remind me of Madra-era Miranda Sex Garden, while the violin/string composition that most of the songs overlay have the Black Tape feel. Needless to say, fans of either will find something to enjoy in the Asylum.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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Songs Of Sex And Death

Amber Asylum - Songs Of Sex And Death ©1998 Release
1. Could You
2. Devotion
3. Luxuria
4. Everything You Touch
5. Vampire
6. Secrets Ions
7. Dreams Of Thee
8. Devotion Reprise

Retreating somewhat from the Miranda Sex Garden/Black Tape influence that marked The Natural Philosophy of Love, the edge of consciousness sparse nature of Songs of Sex and Death is actually quite successful . The violin and haunting neverland vocals mixed with the quiet and undimensional electronics blend remarkably well in the deconstructed arrangements of the music. By the time one reaches the truly ambient excellence of "Devotion Reprise", the effect of the album is fulfilled: tranquillity and thoughtfulness as expressed by this sort of music. Those expecting to be handheld throughout the album or requiring instant gratification might as well look elsewhere. This is music for the introspective.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1999

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