Apothecary's Ayahuasca: 2016 Psychosermons


Essentially a sequel to my 2015 Rituals list, assuming I take the time to keep up with it this time.

Here are the albums from this year, metal or otherwise, that've most taken me on those deep, immersive journeys through the murky waters of the subconscious, plunging me "into the zone" through minimalist composition, spacey, trance-inducing atmospheres, and more. I'm focused primarily on drone, ambient, and psychedelia here, but not necessarily limited to those categories. If it feels meditative, ritualistic, and/or relaxing, it has the potential to be included.

In order by release date and subject to expansion, obviously. Recommendations are, as always, encouraged and appreciated.

Created by: Apothecary | 03.01.2016



1. Trench Devils - The Signal
Warm and spacious synth-fueled ambient, at times feeling bright and uplifting, and at other moments taking a darker, more mysterious approach. The contrast between the two is quite pleasing, to say the least. http://tinyurl.com/jlkar2z
2. Nonsun - Black Snow Desert
http://tinyurl.com/z5a5azj
3. Atom Made Earth - Morning Glory
http://tinyurl.com/j23hvfs
4. Serpent Dream - Serpent Dream
http://tinyurl.com/jykzgsf
5. Manunkind - Manunkind
This album's definitely a ritual, but not in the relaxing, serene, and mellow way that many other albums on this list are. On this album, Manunkind subject listeners to a painful combination of drone, noise, industrial music, and death metal. What results is a vibe kinda like the one you get off of Gnaw Their Tongues: yeah, the music is entrancing alright, but it's also abrasive as fuck and downright terrifying. And if that album cover is any hint, once it has its way with your body, what remains of your corpse will go to Ammut. http://tinyurl.com/zxg3h3s
6. Alone In The Hollow Garden - Temple Of Clear Light
http://tinyurl.com/hehjhmp
7. GRIST - Hathor The Slaughterer
GRIST play a style that could almost be called "oriental drone," drone music infused with Middle Eastern (specifically Egyptian) folk influences. The result is nothing short of an entrancing ode to the gods of the Nile, and also a very important reminder that many of the historical antecedents of the drone genre are indeed rooted in Asian folk music. Fans of Bong and Dark Buddha Rising will be right at home here. http://tinyurl.com/gkqzo76
8. Auriga - VII - Dimensions Of Asymmetry
I'm biased about this band, as they share my own heritage (Lebanese!). Auriga are ambient black metal, but they have a habit of leaning far more towards the ambient than towards the black metal... think something along the lines of the latest Midnight Odyssey album, where the ambient music is more in the forefront and the black metal is used more as an enhancer for atmospheric effect than to actually dominate the composition. Occasionally, however, the BM DOES dominate the composition, and things can get a bit more intense and in your face than relaxing and serene. Very interesting songwriting variation here http://tinyurl.com/z7sdl8u
9. Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP
There's little more that can be said of this album other than that it's simply Ulver doing Ulver again, creating lush, hypnotizing, dreamlike atmospheres for you to fall back and get lost in. There's some drone in here, some psychedelic influences, even a bit of folk, but it all combines into an amazingly mesmerizing ambiance that, as usual, is both relaxing and emotionally intense. Some of the band's best work since Perdition City. http://tinyurl.com/jjxcpaw
10. ZÖN - Mount Gaash
http://tinyurl.com/hcbcybl
11. Forndom - Dauðra Dura
Deeply transcendent and meditative folk/ambient from Sweden that takes you on journeys straight to the heart of the snow-drenched Pagan forests of Scandinavia's past. Highly recommended for fans of Wardruna. http://tinyurl.com/jl4u3eq
12. Aluk Todolo - Voix
http://tinyurl.com/h3p2ty8
13. Circle Of Noose - Eschatological Gnosis
http://tinyurl.com/zyavcgt
14. Blackwood - As The World Rots Away
http://tinyurl.com/z7sms59
15. Necroennui - In The Shadow Of Narcissus
http://tinyurl.com/jaw68rt
16. Skáphe - Skáphe²
http://tinyurl.com/ja8af32
17. Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä
The latest effort from these Finnish psychonauts continues in the direction of Valonielu, in that overall it's far more oriented towards psychedelic and krautrock influences than towards BM. But where Valonielu felt something like "blackened space rock," Värähtelijä sees a more seamless fusion of the psychedelia and the remaining BM influences, and could be the closest to a true "psychedelic black metal" album that the band have come. There's also a very riff heavy sound on this album as well, that approaches almost stoner-ish vibes at points http://tinyurl.com/zdpyyk7
18. High Priest Of Saturn - Son Of Earth And Sky
http://tinyurl.com/zkgw49w
19. Black Blight - Crimson Ghosts
http://tinyurl.com/jsw8blc
20. Wolvserpent - Aporia:Kāla:Ananta
A complex and thoroughly intriguing fusion of drone, folk, doom, classical, and even some subtle extremity with shades of black metal and some quietly lurking death growls here and there. A very intense ritual that goes in many different directions and blends its influences wonderfully. Sometimes heavy as shit when it gets into more doomy territory and those extreme elements begin to come out, at other times more meditative and relaxing when the folk and classical side rears its head. Impressive release. http://tinyurl.com/jbejs7j
21. New Keepers Of The Water Towers - Infernal Machine
This new album is a bit of a twist for New Keepers. While their previous efforts leaned more towards a heavier, stoner-based sound, Infernal Machine throws that out the window to a certain extent, instead focusing on more of a psychedelic rock almost krautrock-ish sound. This change of pace isn't necessarily a bad thing though, demonstrating that these musicians also have a very jammy, somewhat improvisational personality to them as well, which I always welcome. This is definitely one of those types of albums that you can just throw on and get lost in, through all the various twists and turns of the music. http://tinyurl.com/hurm62l
22. Nadja - Sv
http://tinyurl.com/jxgbvh5
23. Almyrkvi - Pupil Of The Searing Maelstrom
http://tinyurl.com/z9jyxvl
24. The Body - No One Deserves Happiness
This new album from The Body could possibly be their best yet. As with Manunkind, the music here is indeed ritualistic, but it's a terrifying ritual, like a psychedelic trip through Hell. Returning to their thrones of darkness, Chip and Lee once more conduct an ominous ceremony that blurs the lines between the black metal, sludge, drone, and industrial worlds, and that seems to tap into the absolute best from each. The production here sounds crisper than ever, especially in regards to the drums, and once again, the presence of some dark, resplendent female vocals is the absolute icing on the cake. http://tinyurl.com/gnzc7na
25. Horse Latitudes - Primal Gnosis
http://tinyurl.com/z5g6oug
26. Nibiru - Teloch
http://tinyurl.com/h4adwsb
27. KAMNI - Чучхе / Juche
Russian stoner doom, heavily psychedelic, minimalist, and hypnotizing. At times conjures thoughts of Acid King. http://tinyurl.com/j3zgj7y
28. Conjuro Nuclear -
http://tinyurl.com/jcjyy7o
29. The Poisoned Glass - 10 Swords
A new duo of G. Stuart Dahlquist and Edgy 59, from the legendary doom band Burning Witch. Yet The Poisoned Glass are not focused on oppressively heavy, crushing doom in the way that Burning Witch were back in the 90s. Instead the music here is more of a slow paced, imposing, and painful brand of drone doom, not too far off from the sound of Khanate. The vocals of Edgy, sounding better than they have in years, take command over the steady bass lines of Dahlquist, coupled with eerie keyboard effects for a truly haunting experience. Highly recommended for fans of the more evil side of drone music. http://tinyurl.com/jc2jvbv
30. Atomikylä - Keräily
Atomikylä is a collaborative project with members from both Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. While the debut, Erkale, struck a pretty fine balance between the sounds of each band, this sophomore album seems to lean more towards the sound of DBR. An Oranssi influence is still present as well, albeit a lot more subtle than before. Overall, however, this album still succeeds in being exactly what Atomikylä are all about: psychedelic, ritual tributes to the city of Tampere, Finland and its peculiar history. http://tinyurl.com/jmbhpky
31. Schammasch - Triangle
This may be a surprising pick for this list, but this triple album deserves inclusion solely for its third disc. Discs 1 and 2 are more or less a continuation of the black/death metal approach taken on the previous album, but Disc 3 is a pleasantly unexpected journey into some interesting, droney dark ambient. Often formless, guitars and drums occasionally appear to give a slight sense of structure, while additional, chant like vocals create a haunting, mesmerizing vibe. A very pleasant surprise for this year. http://tinyurl.com/zxrba8j
32. Thanatoloop - Nadaísmo
A relaxing ambient project from Chile, the solo work of Michel Leroy. Thanatoloop employs a very melodic, almost "wavelike" brand of ambient music, at times reminding me of Nadja or even some of the more recent material from Earth. The acoustic guitar work here is especially solid. http://tinyurl.com/zayne3e
33. Voidless Form - I, Nihilist
This album reminds me a lot of Sunn O)))'s Monoliths & Dimensions, in the sense that it's mostly drone, but a wide variety of other styles are combined into it with the inclusion of a number of nonmetal instruments. In addition to the usual bass, drum, and guitar, you'll find sax, trombone, duduk, kanun, and other goodies here. The lyrics also seem to tell an interesting story of an individual pondering reality itself, taking an interesting narrative approach. A complex, but thoroughly intriguing release. http://tinyurl.com/je58caf
34. Phonothek - Lost In Fog
http://tinyurl.com/zub6pj6
35. TAUUSK - Ridges
http://tinyurl.com/z28two2
36. Alone In The Hollow Garden & Nam-Khar - A superb lesson in ritual ambient from the two artists after whom this collab is named. Extremely hypnotizing and unrelenting with the degree to which it plunges you into the shamanic realm. The percussive work here is particularly impressive. http://tinyurl.com/hwojkt6
37. Circle Of Unexisted - Kettery
http://tinyurl.com/zr6em4o
38. Blut Aus Nord - Codex Obscura Nomina [Split]
I suggest just listening to the Blut Aus Nord side of this split and leaving it at that, as the Aevangelist track here is rather poorly produced and nothing to write home about. The BAN side, however, contains 4 new, highly ensnaring tracks. They bear slight resemblance in sound to The Desanctification and even some moments off of MoRT, but also ooze of a strangely psychedelic atmosphere, both in guitar tone and in the background effects that create a "swirling vortex" type effect. Another pleasant surprise of the year. http://tinyurl.com/zhrsg45
39. Nibiru (GREECE) - Dry Rot
http://tinyurl.com/guvaoj9
40. Floating Glasses - Fabric Of Disquiet
http://tinyurl.com/j8wf36x
41. Black Sun Void - Ancient Tales
http://tinyurl.com/j2snr62
42. Plague Of Carcosa - The Color Out Of Space
http://tinyurl.com/h3uqsud
43. Horseback - Dead Ringers
44. Mound - The Four Fundamental States Of Matter
http://tinyurl.com/zg5er4n
45. Darsombra - Polyvision
http://tinyurl.com/hmnovsq
46. Muff Trek - We Are Also
http://tinyurl.com/htoszvk
47. Pylar - Pyedra
http://tinyurl.com/j6f4vyf
48. Sektarism - Les Voûtes
http://tinyurl.com/h8t6lz4



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 39   Visited by: 105 users
07.07.2016 - 15:54
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Maratha on 07.07.2016 at 14:31

I can see you have included 2 albums of Alone in the Hollow Garden here. Usually you don't do that in your lists. But I must admit, both albums are worth it.

I'm willing to break the rules a little bit in the case of a collab
I want to investigate the other band on that collab though, Nam-Khar, and I haven't been able to find anything of theirs. Know anywhere to look?
----
Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
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07.07.2016 - 16:59
Maratha
Written by Apothecary on 07.07.2016 at 15:54

Written by Maratha on 07.07.2016 at 14:31

I can see you have included 2 albums of Alone in the Hollow Garden here. Usually you don't do that in your lists. But I must admit, both albums are worth it.

I'm willing to break the rules a little bit in the case of a collab
I want to investigate the other band on that collab though, Nam-Khar, and I haven't been able to find anything of theirs. Know anywhere to look?


Well, the one above mentioned, and another collab with Sielwolf https://sombresoniks.bandcamp.com/album/atavist-craft Apart from that haven't got any lead anywhere. Another mix of Ritual and Industrial. Have to check it out tonight.
Same with Halo Manash as well, can't find any of their new material as well of which they have released a couple this year..
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08.07.2016 - 08:50
Maratha
I also think this could be one of the toppers here https://commoneiderkingeider.bandcamp.com/album/extinction
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27.08.2016 - 11:25
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by Maratha on 08.07.2016 at 08:50

I also think this could be one of the toppers here https://commoneiderkingeider.bandcamp.com/album/extinction

Great find I am enjoying it.

Edit: stunning. And these guys have a lot of stuff. Needs to be added asap.
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27.08.2016 - 14:47
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 18.05.2016 at 13:05

Wrekmeister Harmonies and Wolvserpent are quite alike, try them. They are obviously not here as most good bands. JOOE said it wasnt metal enough last time I asked him why they arnt on MS.

Don't remember saying anything like that; if I did I was probably speculating on why they wouldn't be here (I don't submit or approve bands so not sure why the onus is on me all of a sudden). Wrekmeister Harmonies aren't a metal band though, that's observable fact. They're a vague experimental music collective that occasionally incorporates metal into their sound (typically maybe 3 or 4 songs out of 10 featuring distorted guitars, and even then they are often only tenuously metal because of the shapeless drone-like nature of them). Them being on MS would be entirely discretionary, even if they would be a good addition. I love metalcentric people that think if there's a heavy guitar in a bit of the music then its defining characteristic is therefore metal
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27.08.2016 - 22:26
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 27.08.2016 at 14:47

Written by Guest on 18.05.2016 at 13:05

Wrekmeister Harmonies and Wolvserpent are quite alike, try them. They are obviously not here as most good bands. JOOE said it wasnt metal enough last time I asked him why they arnt on MS.

(I don't submit or approve bands so not sure why the onus is on me all of a sudden).

Wrekmeister Harmonies aren't a metal band though, that's observable fact. They're a vague experimental music collective that occasionally incorporates metal into their sound (typically maybe 3 or 4 songs out of 10 featuring distorted guitars, and even then they are often only tenuously metal because of the shapeless drone-like nature of them). Them being on MS would be entirely discretionary, even if they would be a good addition. I love metalcentric people that think if there's a heavy guitar in a bit of the music then its defining characteristic is therefore metal

This was probably written when I thought you could add bands here. So thats probably why. My bad.

And if its metal or not is a quite complicated discussion. But lets put it this way, they are better metal than many bands here.
https://wrekmeisterharmonies.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-your-ascension

Listening to this again and I cant see how this isnt metal?
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28.08.2016 - 04:13
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 27.08.2016 at 22:26

This was probably written when I thought you could add bands here. So thats probably why. My bad.

And if its metal or not is a quite complicated discussion. But lets put it this way, they are better metal than many bands here.
https://wrekmeisterharmonies.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-your-ascension

Listening to this again and I cant see how this isnt metal?

Have't been able to add bands for like 2 years I'm personally for adding even non-metal bands to the site; I don't give a shit about the site's ethos.

I hear a band with a drone / ambient base that incorporates distorted guitars into its music, for some of it (not even necessarily metal either even though they clearly have doomy metal sections). Doesn't make it "metal" to me. That's pretty reductive and ignores the larger portion of what it is. They're far more nebulous than that to my ears. Bands being here on the site doesn't improve their enjoyment for me, not do I think it really gives them more exposure, to any real degree so I guess I'm not in any rush to pigeonhole them in that bracket, though I would be more than happy for them to be here.
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28.08.2016 - 11:47
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 28.08.2016 at 04:13

Written by Guest on 27.08.2016 at 22:26

This was probably written when I thought you could add bands here. So thats probably why. My bad.

And if its metal or not is a quite complicated discussion. But lets put it this way, they are better metal than many bands here.
https://wrekmeisterharmonies.bandcamp.com/album/night-of-your-ascension

Listening to this again and I cant see how this isnt metal?

Have't been able to add bands for like 2 years I'm personally for adding even non-metal bands to the site; I don't give a shit about the site's ethos.

I hear a band with a drone / ambient base that incorporates distorted guitars into its music, for some of it (not even necessarily metal either even though they clearly have doomy metal sections). Doesn't make it "metal" to me. That's pretty reductive and ignores the larger portion of what it is. They're far more nebulous than that to my ears. Bands being here on the site doesn't improve their enjoyment for me, not do I think it really gives them more exposure, to any real degree so I guess I'm not in any rush to pigeonhole them in that bracket, though I would be more than happy for them to be here.

It would be better if you could add bands as my guess is that more of my favourite music would end up here in that case Bands being here probably doesnt boost their enjoyment, but I wouldnt be here if none of the music I think is good wasnt here.
There is a site ethos? I would love to see a (crumbling) definition of metal
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18.10.2016 - 21:33
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
This is spending time in a haunted house music https://commoneiderkingeider.bandcamp.com/album/extinction
Maratha reced it earlier as you see above and I think its up there with Ws for best drone this year. Didnt like it or missed it?
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