Predominance – Dark stars unfolding

This release is a must have for fans of dark ambient in general and of Predominance and the Loki label in particular. The digipack of “Dark stars unfolding” contains two discs: one with rare material like outtakes and compilation tracks, the other with live material from two German festivals in 2000 and 2001.

Predominance does not have that much material released, so this double cd is a welcome addition. The first tape release from this one-man project around Gerd Zaunig appeared in 1995, the last album was the Hindenburg cd in 2003, which was in fact a reissue of an earlier LP. In 2005 Predominance performed a farewell concert at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, which was quite impressive.

Most of the tracks by Predominance are dark and dense industrial soundscapes, with steady rumbling machinery, cold winds that are blowing and manipulated speech samples. Good examples are ‘Unconscious ruins’ from a split single with Ex.Order or ‘Thermonuclear Winter’, from the deleted Obliteration LP. Ritual, occultish elements like chanted texts often play a prominent role, like on the aptly titled ‘Final chants’ or on the excellent ‘Quantum statics’ from the “Statement 1961” compilation.

Sometimes the project could also be surprisingly melodic and rhythmic, with vocals you wouldn’t expect in dark ambient music. Examples are the heavy, doom metal-inspired ‘Nails of Christ’ and in particular the almost catchy ‘Luftschiffe’. This piece with gloomy synths and an accessible vocal line is included in a nice live version. Another striking track is the symphonic tune ‘Aurora Borealis’.

All in all this is a fine collection of dark atmospheric material, of which especially the live disc appeals to me. “Dark stars unfolding” is a worthy tribute to the career of Predominance.

artist: Predominance
label: Loki Foundation
details: 2 x cd, 2005 [LOKI 40]
tracklist @