*Excerpts from the album. Now available from Experimedia.net.* "Ambient/Ruin" may be the most aptly named album in some time and anyone who knows the work of Stephen O'Malley will instantly know why. And because of that comparisons will undoubtedly be made to Sunn O))), but Gravetemple is more abstract, less composed, and even more raw than the last couple Sunn O))) releases. It's a truly awe-inspiring display of psychedelic black metal and cauterizing guitar feedback from O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi, Attila Csihar, and Matt Sanders that features sound collages, full band improvisations, and field recordings from around the globe. Blackened squalls of distortion do dominate the four sides of "Ambient/Ruin," but the quartet is much more varied than you may expect, with bouts of Ambarchi's shimmering motorized cymbal heard on side B, pummeling thrash drums on side C, and doom-laden guitar drones on side D. Truthfully, any regular listeners of all the names mentioned above will want to pay attention to this engrossing 55 minute journey. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Gravetemple was formed in 2006 as a side-project of the band Sunn O))) by Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley and Attila Csihar. The group formed initially to tour in Israel in the summer of '06, creating several recordings which eventually became The Holy Down album, which was released on Southern Lord Recordings in 2007. At the time of the Israel tour, the Lebanon War started and was in action. In summer '08, the trio reformed together with the addition of Australian drummer Matt "Skitz" Sanders for a short European tour culminating in a headlining performance at Supersonic Festival in Birmingham. In late 2009, the original trio reconvened for a special one-off concert at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. April 2013 marks the first set of live action since that period, and a new chapter in the ongoing system of the related network. Ambient/Ruin was created with the 2008 quartet -- elements of tape collage, concrète, and field recordings blend within a strong, geographically-diverse (parts were recorded in Japan, Australia, Paris and Israel) suite of heavy minimalist/maximalist music, black/death metal and drone. The culmination of these efforts become the music, literally, of Sadistik Exekution meeting Phill Niblock. Gravetemple clearly adapted the more abstract and experimental aspects related to Sunn O))) and have continued from that point, with ongoing focus on metaphysical construction of free music and will. The music became a geographically and metaphysically-based effort. Attila (chants & percussion & Fuji sounds recorded on location in Kamakura May 08); Stephen (guitars & Korg Polysix recorded in Paris & Saalfelden June 08); Matt (drums were recorded at 3 Phase studios, Melbourne by Sam Johnson March 06); Oren (guitars, motorized cymbal, electronics, bells, tympani, atmos recorded at Jerker House, Melbourne & BJB, Sydney 06-08). Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin February 2013. Drawings by Justin Bartlett/VBERKVLT. Art direction & backline design: SOMA. Housed in a gatefold sleeve.