According to Elegi’s website, the new album “Varde” tells the story of pioneer polar explorers who risked their lives to overcome the elements. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to consider the intensity of such trips. Elegi’s album explores the emotional depths of the people that went on these trips, and manages to capture some of the bleakest, most forlorn music imaginable. Which is to say, I think he exhibits his theme extremely well.

Elegi’s music falls somewhere between dark ambient material and modern classical. The pieces are slow with an amazing amount of atmosphere. A lot of the sounds in the mix, besides the instruments, sound old, decrepit and lonely. The instrumentation, which is largely orchestral strings and piano, slowly flows piece to piece, painting the human emotions to these grueling environments. I mentioned it already, but this is really bleak work. Not to suggest in any way that it is not beautiful, as it most certainly is. There simply is no comfort here.

“Varde” is not like traditional dark ambient like Lustmord. There is actually a lot of instrumentation, and I would be more inclined to say this falls into the modern classical area. The very slow nature of the pieces makes it feel like dark ambient, and it certainly has that style of sound design. That this comes from the Miasmah label is no surprise. I maintain that Miasmah is releasing some of the best music out there today, and Elegi’s “Varde” definitely is some of the best work I’ve heard yet this year.

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