Genre: black metal / dark ambient
Black metal and dark ambient go hand in hand, apparently, and, while many artists play either one genre or the other, som, like the French experimental black metal band Spektr, play both styles of music.
Cypher features a collection of instrumental, and quite experimental, black metal tracks with a strong inclination towards industrial black metal. With some tracks featuring blastbeats and tremolopicked fast parts, there is no doubting that the core sound is that of black metal. The fact that the music is instrumental might not appeal to all listeners, but you definitely cannot accuse Spektr for not being experimental. Drawing on black metal, Spektr include several elements from dark ambient, ranging from atmospheric but musical passages to soundscapes and experiments with noise.
This type of music does not particularly appeal to me, but I applaud Spektr for their innovativeness and experimental approach. If you are into the likes of Denial of the I, Blacklodge, The Magik Way, and perhaps Mortiis, then chances are that you will enjoy this album, too.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)