HDR - 013 : Exiled From Light - There is no beauty left here... (2CD)
Released: July 22nd, 2010
Details: Pro CD 8 Page Booklet/Double-CD Jewel Case - Edition of 500 Genre: Depressive Black Metal
From : Lunar Hypnosis
Exiled from Light is a depressive black metal band hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Now, when I think of New Zealand I think of two things and neither are actually black metal. First I think of that old Nintendo came called Kiwi Kraze (AKA ‘The New Zealand Adventure’), which was probably one of my most cherished games when I was a little kid, and I also think of the classic kick ass horror movie, ‘Evil Dead,’ which was directed by Peter Jackson. That’s what I think of. Not black metal. Nevertheless with two albums behind him now, Exiled from Light’s one and only member, Mort, may very well get me to start thinking about his band when New Zealand is brought to mind.
Anyway, ‘There is no beauty left here…’ is the latest release from Mort and it comes packaged as a special two CD version. The first CD contains three new songs, which run for no less than thirty eight minutes while the second CD contains three additional new songs as well as three songs from one of Mort’s other side-projects called, ‘Funereal.’ Speaking of side projects it would seem Mort is quite the prolific musician as he has no less than eight other solo side projects (yes, you read that correctly), which at least according to metal-archives are all within the depressive black & ambient black metal genres. Talk about repeating yourself. Anyway, carrying onwards.
Musically as already stated this is depressive black metal and therefore that means slow doomy fuzzed up electric guitars, ominous synth melodies, painfully screamed vocals and a rather crude production job to boot. Admittedly, I don’t listen to music like this very often or even at all since generally I like to feel optimistic in my day to day affairs and because music like this also brings to mind horrible bands like Xasthur, which I was very pleased to see finally gave up and retired, but that’s another story. On the other hand I can honestly feel Mort’s extension of emotion he puts in to his music and that I can totally admire since if you’re labeled a depressive black metal band than you best be able to carry such emotions through your music. Not many bands within this genre are able to do this, not in my opinion at least, and it’s pleasing to hear an artist who actually lives up to his defined genre.
The three bonus songs from Mort’s other band Funereal are (surprise! Surprise!) actually very similar although they seem to have a slightly cleaner production job though the atmosphere is just the same. There doesn’t seem to be any info out there on this band so I have no idea if it’s still going, but considering all of his bands are very, very similar then why not, you know, maybe just do one solo band? Lastly I must also admit the grim artwork created by Neils Geybels is totally spot on and truly reflects the music herein.
So, all in all, if you’re the depressive type or just the sort that enjoys this style of music then I’d really have to recommend this one since it’s surely one of the best I’ve heard out the genre thus far. Now excuse me, I need to listen to something a little more cheery before I feel the need to go and kill myself.
Reviewed by: Joe Mlodik
From: Alternativ Musik
***Original Version in German - This is an English version from 'Google Translator'
Already the debut album 'Descending further into Nothingness' of the one-man project Exiled from Light of New Zealand was in the range of slow and depressive black metal to get some encouragement. Certainly one can also assume that this will not probably be different with the second work There is no beauty left here is. Especially since this will be released as a double album: Besides the album, there is an additional CD with three songs of the same project, as well as three unreleased songs from Mort's funereal side project, which extends the length of the album to over one and a half hours. Thank God, however, without being too boring here.
No, it doesn't get boring on 'There is no beauty left here...' never really, instead you dive into the sometimes over 15 minutes long pieces into different depths. How to pack a maelstrom of an oscillating dark keyboards, while giving the cold riffs and monotone one can not seem to get out again. When then suddenly tighten even the drums and the riffs, everything seems to collapse on one, which one can then remain in the agonizing final song structures.
Without discussion There is no beauty left here a wonderful album that brings a mood of despair and hopelessness wonderful. What surprised, however, the three songs are from the side project. Actually, as one would expect that this sound somehow different than the rest but just that they do not. Not a problem because they fit so well, it's a bit strange but then. This reduces but the quality of this publication in any way, so we can speak of a successful work of depressive.
Reviewed by: Tristan Osterfeld
From:Nocturnal Cult Webzine
The Sophomore effort from New Zealand's one-man lord of depression, Exiled From Light is a two disk set comprised of six new compositions as well as three from Exiled From Light's predecessor, Funereal. To open this epic funeral procession is We Writhe As Worms. Clean guitar and haunting synth float towards swelling black metal riffs creating a fog of suicidal depression. Ghostly shrieking vocals lurk like a ghost in the mist, distant like a fading memory. Trembling melodies, like fingers caressing a razor, create an atmosphere of apprehension on The Bitter Taste of Tears. The song, even when cresting black metal riffing and surging drums rise, exhales sorrow so moist that it coats and clings to every note. Clean guitar, reminiscent of something you might encounter on Katatonia's Brave Murder Day gets Clarity View Through Dying Eyes underway. A sharp melodic lead paints the sadness before repetitive black metal riffing is ushered in, like a gust of cold air. As with the songs that came before it, Faded Are my Memories begins with melancholic guitarwork which awakens a chilling memory of Burzum-ish riffing. Slowly shifting synth forms a pulse of depression, pumping through the track's hypnotic system, covering it with a forlorn oppressive blanket which smothers all hopes. The title-track brings the Exiled From Light portion of the album to an end. It slowly drifts along, like a slumbering victim, before crying out in agony, black metal riffs bursting like blood from sliced veins. The three Funereal tracks are up next and deviate, not at all from the emotional and stylistic formula of the previous compositions, though the vocals are deeper, deathlier in tone. They sound as if the singers throat were made of stone and being scraped by boulders. One thing though, the tracks are significantly shorter and therefore more compact in their delivery. A Dream In Illusion concentrates slightly more on pronounced keys and despairing melodies. Thick doomy riffs lend a more traditional feeling to Of That Which Lies Beneath. Deep riffs of doomy death crush the listener under their sheer weight. The final gasp of hope-smashing metal is Through Twilight. It sticks much closer stylistically to Exiled From Light's clean guitar and foggy riffing than the previous two tracks. On There is No Beauty Left Here, Exiled From Light once again crafts a blade of cold and merciless depression. The morose quality of the album is unrelenting and permeates your mind, stamping out all flickering flames of joy.
Reviewed by: Bradley Smith
From: Schwarz News
***Original Version in German - This is an English version from 'Google Translator'
Depressive Black Metal is quite a difficult issue, especially when it comes to reviewing an album by this division. It may well may musicianship and skill required, but it is probably one of the genre, by produce with less resources because good pieces . The result of the fact that many pieces follow a certain pattern , at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, Exiled From Light reinzuhören not entirely immune , whether it is still worth it find out here !
Exiled From Light in 2007, from solo artists Mort founded to run which - typically for a solo artist - a whole series of other projects has the necessary equipment and, consequently, the band's history is not particularly long, yet exciting. Two years after the foundation released their debut album Descending Further Into NothingnessThat should remain per se , the only real album. After Mort Exiled From Light for ( temporarily ?) declared dead , appeared on 22 July of the year, a kind of best- of album on Hypnotic Dirge RecordsThat the songs that have accrued over the years and not available on the debut album were summarized and to be quite chic two - CD package hence .
As just mentioned , the album is available as a jewel case edition with two CDs and it is there , of course, also a - strong in our case, 8 pages - Booklet . Although the booklet is quite uninformative , but beautiful to look at! The time of the nine song album is strong in the rest of saturated 1:42:49 !
The problem mentioned in the introduction of Depressive Black Metal is of course in the weighting of man to man
Different from that is why the expression of the whole case Exiled From Light mainly just mentioned and less valued . Almost every song on the album begins with a guitar instrumental , until finally uses the drum machine and ultimately follow the screams at some point . Exceptions such as The Essence Of Hope Drained also confirm the rule. The drum machine is programmed in principle , although good, but there are , unfortunately , especially in the breaks, again quite similar patterns.
If you come to terms with the above problem to some , it offers an incredible album but quite atmospheric density and diversity. Each song in itself manages to inspire in its full length, and who make up about 12 minutes each ! Gems on the album are probably the title track itself and Clarity Viewed Through Dying Eyes, Each of which carry the pure depression itself into your ear canals .
The conclusion of the album is shaped by three bonus tracks, they are of another project Morts Named Funereal (Not be confused with the other Funereal!) . The previous criticism of intros and drum patterns not the case here , but the statements on the density of the pieces and thereby evoked enthusiasm. The three pieces are in themselves but also to be more down tempo Black / Death area to settle than in Depressive Black Metal. The production is quite typical for this genre : The song is quite far back, the guitars are sometimes quite dirty ( but in this case, quite deliberately , as this is the case only occasional or piecemeal ! ) and the drum machine is just such a nunmal .
It is quite difficult to evaluate the album , as mentioned shortcomings depending view weigh heavier. In fact, it 's a tough , if you will enjoy the album as a whole to come to terms with the repetitive drum patterns , you can hear the songs but now metered , so this is less bad. creates , the fact that the pieces for themselves but quite convince and captivate the listener easily and can take it a little cushion but the disadvantages . The biggest plus point cushion in terms of " is "then probably given in the form of bonus tracks that show the Mort can be very versatile, although he still moved in similar climes. The duration of the disk obviously plays into it too , which then leads to a very good summary summarum album, so far as one can live with some shortcomings. Who can appeal to the tracks on the Myspace page to access safe and have the time of this record sweeten something.
Reviewed by: Nilgoon
From: The Inarguable Blogspot
Exiled From Light is a Depressive Black Metal project from the malignant corners of New Zealand from the mastermind Mort. I personally have known him for 3 years now he gave me the first two Exiled From Light albums before either one of their release dates. I have been blown away by all the music he has sent me over the times we have talked and this album will not disappoint. If you know of his first full length “Descending Further Into Nothingness” then once you listen to this you will realize this is much darker and out of all his fantastic albums and projects the best! I would like to clear up something before getting into this review and this the fact this album was leaked/ripped off the Exiled From Light myspace page with 2 wrong tracks which were the first 2 songs from the first album so shame on you rippers for ripping this beautiful album without knowing a damn thing about it the correct track listing is
1. We Writhe As Worms
2. The Bitter Taste of Tears 3. Clarity Viewed Through Dying Eyes
4. Faded Are My Memories 5. The Essence of Hope Drained
6. There Is No Beauty Left Here
Now onward into the review. Here the album opens with the track ‘We Writhe As Worms’ the very minute you play the track very clean guitars with a little delay open the track with the haunting ethereal like synths follow the guitars chord progressions (Note this progressive like element can be heard through out the whole album) then as the drum come in with your standard drum groove while inserting fills just before the beautiful haunting ambient melodies loop back over. The distorted guitar comings in as a rude awaking on the left head phone while the guitar and synth chords match up perfectly as the final fill comes in to bring both guitars in from stereo to mono to double bass grooves as the mournful vocals rise into the mix and that true hopeless feeling truly when you listen to this song and the whole album as you close your eyes in the night and darkness where ever you listen to this the overwhelming power and emotion truly paint a picture for you in your mind and you cant escape the emotion and pain that was channeled into this album it hits you like driving a Dodge Viper going 290 km/h right into a brick wall. As the song progresses you will find it as basic song structures and simple Minor and major chord progressions but while still having the ability to keep interest and really getting into the emotion, atmosphere and music of the song with out going… NEXT. You become very attached to the main melody of the song this song is absolute gold. The song fades out the some tom grooves and open string chord melodies while going into doom metal drum grooves.
The second track ‘The Bitter Taste of Tears’ slow enveloping clean guitar melodies open this track with the ambient synths playing along with the guitar chords as the drum tom groove build up tension then going into a doom metal drum groove when the final drum fill comes in as the heavy parts comes in like an eruption. While playing the main melody of the track the vocals blasting away in your fast as the blast beats bring out the grimness of the track then hence going back into the main heavy melody of the track. The tracks main melody plays through out the whole song mostly. Around 6:57 we are brought back the main opening melody song structures of the beginning of the song with the clean guitar melodies anf tom grooves and the doom metal like drums. Then hence returning to the main heavy melody. Then upon returning to the overwhelming power of the guitar melodies and blast beats and super fast drum fills only to return to the blast beats and main heavy riff. The outro brings up back to the once again main melodic opening of the beginning of the track as it fades out like a shadow fleeing light.
The third track Clarity Viewed Through Dying Eyes is one of my favorite songs off of the album. This track is a depressive epic ! It opens with these major clean guitar melodies as the synths are dimmed down abit while playing along with the guitars. The drum tom grooves fit perfectly long with the opening lead melody then going into a dual guitar harmony then as the heavy part comes in going straight to mono. The main melody is as of the main clean guitar in the opening the different crash and splash going along with the really fast double bass and standrad tempo double bass really bring out the heavy emotions that were put into the song while keeping the song fresh. As heavier lower end power chords come in take us away from the more lighter part into a much darker part of the song. A epic scream and vocal lines sore over the slowed down part here this part is to the trade mark of this song. Once the fill leads us into the next structure of this epic part of the song as Mort screams ‘Clarity viewed through dying eyes’ the weight of the song presses down on your chest you can not escape the emotion and solace of this track once you have passed through that part of the song it is just that powerful. But that is not the end there oh no! after the fill on the heavy dark melody the guitars bend up as the drums are slowed down only making it through one measure then the heavy part just explodes leaving you rendered helpless as the vocals, and instruments parts just crush your chest from the all the build up. Then goes into a heavy melodic part this part repeats a few more times. Which is good because this song is addictive it has many parts you just want to listen to then rewind the track and listen to it over and over again. Half way through the song the song goes back into the beginning of the song and repeats itself then fades out into the next song.
The fourth track ‘Faded Are My Memories’ is my favorite track off of this album I have listened to it for hours on end. The emotion and overwhelming depression and energy from this track is very powerful. As like the first 3 tracks this opens with yet another sad clean guitar melody with the synths playing along with it and some parts the guitars harmonize with each other giving it more feel as it builds up with the lightly tapping of the cymbal bells as the fast heavy guitars blaze on the left head phone as the synth and guitar chords progress then the right guitar comes in as the drum fill leads us into the main heavy melody. It goes into a faster double bass bridge with some vocals spoken. Then it dies down with another clean part with the clean guitars lightly being strummed. Upon returning to a slower DSBM song structure then kicking into a more faster part. As the fill pushes you right into the depressive blast beat on which I can not describe. It goes back into the intro heavy part just before the main heavy melody. Then upon returning once more to the lightly strummed lean guitars then kicking into the slowed down DSBM song structure. Then we are forced back into the heavy melody and the amazing blast beats. The song then goes into a pre-bridge and new melody at 11:15. This part just crushes you with its perfect chords and atmosphere so much hate, sorrow, and sadness expressed just through this part it leaves you utterly drained of all emotions. With a nice transition into a slowed down part while then just jumping right into the main heavy melody of the song as it fades out. I love how this album gets progressively darker as you listen to each track.
The fifth track ’The Essence of Hope Drained’ starts out with this dark ambient monotone with sounds of the ocean blending in with each other. Then out of no where the main heavy melody song structure is right in your face. For the most part there is not much double bass in this track. This is more of the a Black Doom Metal type of track. Most of the main main melody and I guess you could call it the ’chorus structure’ is played through out most of the album. There is still a lot of originality in this track and keeps going from dark to light. At 7:11 is a good example of that the guitars are cut down low in the mix along with the synth while the drums play along to create much bleak atmosphere as that part ends the guitar are brought up in the mix and they play the same melody as before and if you listen closely you can hear the dim guitar harmonies that is the highlight of the track in my thoughts. Then song goes back in the previous structures of the song. The end of song goes back into the best part of the song which is the melody at 7:11 and fades out. This song also is another song on the album you can just listen to on repeat all the time such fantastic atmosphere and emotion.
The sixth and final song ’There is no beauty Left here’. This track is a monster! It opens like most of the song with descending and ascending clean guitars while the atmospheric synths drone along with the guitars while the guitars harmonize with one another. The drums come as everything envelopes over and over and then the heavy power of the track comes in with a monstrous black metal scream with all the of build of the track happening the vocals come in with the both guitars coming on bother sides of your head phones. Both guitars play the same melodies as well as harmonize with each other as the synths give that dimmed drone effect in the track. Then the song goes into a clean overture just before this slow black metal type of structure kicks in then goes into the main heavy melody of the song. At 7:30 we have what I say is the melody that really describes the track very well with its super fast double bass and harmonized haunting synths and machine gun guitar riffs. The song goes back into the main heavy stereo guitar song structure as the beginning of the song, then reverts to the slow clean guitar melodies at the beginning as well. Then just in the last moments the song comes alive again with the Black Doom Metal song structure with the oppressing vocals bleeding through the mix along with the main heavy structure then kicking into the super fast double bass with the haunting ambience as the sound fades out.
Final Thoughts: This album is not for the trendy types or generic peoples of the type. It has nothing but true and pure dark, and mourning emotions like crying out in helpless agony. This is not a generic DSBM artist or album this is real music by a real person. The drums were made on Toontracks DFH VSTi and they sound really good even though there are grooves used over and over again through out the songs. The clean guitars are bright but not to bright and the distortion on the heavy guitars are perfect. It has great chord progressions and structures and haunting dark ambient synths and great raspy vocals everything to keep you listening to this master piece of hours on end. I recommend listening to this album at night in the dark (sorry for being a little corny) but by doing that really and truly brings out the entice emotion, darkness, and power of this album. This a Pure Black Metal gem, it also has originality and keeps it really from sounding like every other 2 million DSBM bands out there.
NOTE: This album comes with 2 CD’s the first 3 tracks on disk 1, and disk 2 contains the other 3 along with a 3 track demo of a project Mort did called Funereal(now split up) with the tracks:
1. A Dream in Illusion
2. Of That Which Lies Beneath 3. Through Twilight
Reviewer: Bjorn Tunsberg
From: Hierophant-Nox Webzine
Exiled From Light, as regular readers will recall, is the project of New Zealander Mort, a depressive black metal fanatic with a penchant for extremely vast and oppressive suicide soundtracks. “There Is No Beauty Left Here…” is a compilation of sorts, collecting together six rare EFL tracks and binding them together in a very attractive double disc package with three cuts from another of Mort’s creations, Funereal.
The first of the discs offers up “We Writhe As Worms”, “The Bitter Taste of Tears” and “Clarity Viewed Through Dying Eyes”, which make a very trio. They work according to a similar template, beginning with echoing, pooling clean guitar over a subtle atmospheric synth, before excellent, loose drum programming and a delicate yet distorted lead take over the reins. “We Writhe” has quite a lot of movement to it, refusing to rely on flat repetition, whilst “The Bitter Taste” works solidly around a few key movements, making each return to the beginning familiar and sadly beautiful. “Clarity” has a different flavour, more aching, with a clearer, soaring lead, but in all, the three tracks complement each other perfectly.
On disc two, there are another three Exiled From Light tracks; “Faded Are My Memories” has busier, fiercer sections, with the programming edging as close to ‘blasting’ as its likely to get. “The Essence of Hope, Drained” is punchier, a more forceful version of the accustomed style, with a flowing, sinuous bassy guitar layer that is truly lovely. The title track maintains the early clean, gentle style for longer, before bursting out with the usual buried, howling vocal and depressively toned lead guitar. The Funereal tracks seemed to me to be definitely distinct; the style is more grumbling, owing more to doom, particularly on the powerful “Of That Which Lies Beneath”. You wouldn’t doubt it was the same artist, but it certainly deserves its own banner.
I know, and have addressed before, that there is a lot of depressive black metal listener exhaustion about, but I also think it’s become trendy to beat this type of music with an overly disdainful stick. If you listened to a greater range of what’s out there, you’d have a real sense of bedroom BM, and you’d also know not to bracket Exiled From Light in with that type of failure. Mort achieves an immense sound, well balanced and executed with poise and an excellent evocation of feeling. Yes, it’s repetitive, but it doesn’t really put a foot wrong, and if you still find perverse pleasure in feeling decidedly gloomy, this is the release for you.
Reviewer: Ellen Simpson
From: Lords of Metal
Exiled From Light is a depressive black metal band from New-Zealand and ‘There Is No Beauty Left Here…’ is my first encounter with them. And it could be a worse one. Exiled From Light creates long songs that contain loads of atmosphere and therefore are quite easy on the ear. Fuzzy guitars, simple drums (programmed I suppose) and a rather constant wall of keyboards ensures that the music can be digested easily. Stylistically it’s very much in the vein of bands like Krohm, Burzum and perhaps Xasthur. Sure, it’s not original and eighty minutes playing (excluding the three bonus tracks!) is way too long, but when taken in small amounts it can be quite entertaining.
Reviewer: Roel de Haan
From: Funeral March Magazine
www.myspace.com/funeralmarchzine Published: Funeral March Magazine; Issue #7
This is a two disc record with previously unreleased songs, something like a compilation disc (including three songs of Mort's other project Funereal). Anyway, it is depressive black metal (if you didn't know). That genre is in my ears not always positive due to some "hyped" bands... but this feels quite good listening to, it is somewhat harmonic in a melancholic way. And I am a fan of melancholic music so this suits me quite well! The songs are long and needs attention while listening to them, I find it quite "relaxing" listening to this actually, as I just sit back and enjoys the ride. It is well played and well performed with a good and deep sound.
The bonus tracks, that are performed under the name Funereal, sounds a little different. It is still atmospheric but they feel heavier, it feels more doom metal. It is still very good and I think it was nice that these songs were included on this album (but good that the was stated to be bonus tracks). The man behind this, Mort, is very talented apparently and it would be nice to see what he comes up with next. This is a highly recommended album!
From: Metal Team UK
Judging from the number of projects and bands he's been involved in, New Zealand based Exiled From Light's sole member Mort either loves variety or gets bored easily. After listening to this 'Best Of/Compilation' I'm none the wiser as to which it is. Coming a year after his début, it might seem a bit previous producing a double CD retrospective, but that's what Hypnotic Dirge Records have done.
Not being a band I'd heard of, what genre is this? Well the record label name is a fairly heavy hint and song titles like 'The Essence Of Hope, Drained' seal the deal. This is Depressive Black Metal of an ambient inclination: Long musical pieces of often simple construction that if done well wrap you in a dark cocoon and let you drift easily further into the quiet dark. I am a bit of a sucker for this style, I know, but Exiled From Light do this so well and are an easy band to slip away to. Mort has a skilful touch to the drawn out, keyboard draped looping riff and the howling voice. I know it sounds strange but these pieces are easy to relax into if you are in a darker mood. This is real mood music here.
There are nine tracks on offer and, despite not being an album, the first three songs and the last three seemingly come from similar projects with the remaining three sliding in easily between. Overall it flows better than some albums I've heard but, in a way that can be the nature of more ambient Black Metal works.
Starting out with a delicate bit of guitar, 'We Writhe As Worms' soon settles into its hypnotic, returning riff and keyboard refrain. Not as far out on a limb as, say, Norrt this is closer to a somewhat gentle mid period Burzum once it finds its path and with some neat drumming rounding it out for a change. Nothing you haven't heard before but done in a way that shows thought and vision rather than aimless musical wandering until fade out.
The title track begins with a soft, gentle tune before being swallowed by one of those cold, roiling riffs spilling frost across the dark. There is an almost gentle touch to this dark ambience throughout. It is sombre, yes, unrelentingly so, but even though this perhaps says more about me I find this collection comforting and relaxing in its slow keyboard sounds. Like drifting in warm, dark waters as the vocals remind you of the harshness you're safe from and take from you the anger you have been feeling.
'Faded Are My Memories' brings to the fore the way Mort chooses to sway tempo and atmosphere through the drums: the keyboard melody repeats untouched, ethereal, but shifts in the drum patterns and occasionally in the tempo too bring a subtle ebb and flow to the piece. A small variation but within this world it is often the ripples that matter most.
And it should not be imagined that Exiled From Light do not have their harsh edge. The final trilogy, 'Funereal' may have the string and piano sounds in passages, but the guitar hisses and buzzes nicely and the voice and drums are occasionally allowed to tear through.
It should be perhaps looked on as three pieces not nine, as these passages are not really to be taken individually. They are parts of a greater whole. At 2CDs of around an hour and forty minutes of music this may be a lot to you-time needed but, hey, you're worth it, right?
The problem is that if you haven't liked this style in the past can I think of anything here that will change your mind and convince you that this is atmospheric and hypnotic rather than boring and repetitive? A lot of people would say that it's all too simple, that even a non-musician could play those keyboards. So how can I convince you? Well firstly don’t confuse simple with simplistic: Not every piece of jewellery has to be an intricate weave of different textured wires, Sometimes a simple curve of silver is as beautiful. The skill in creating this music is conceiving and composing these shapes, recognising which can carry the piece and which are to be laid on them. With the use and the detail of the drums and the rich atmospherics this is anything but simplistic or crudely hacked. So if you do have a soft spot for the odd hypnotic dirge, then Exiled From Light are a rich texture to explore.
I also note that Hypnotic Dirge have managed to get a digital download deal which means you can even pick this up on some of the bigger online sites when the small run of CDs have gone.
From: Pest Webzine
We have here a one man project from New Zealand that adopted the Depressive Black Metal as its artistic expression form. The guy behind this project also plays or played in countless other projects and that usually leads me thinking how serious this one is for him. After listening to these 2 CDs (more than 100 minutes of playing) it gives me the impression he really puts some real efforts in it, but the problem is that although the music is expressive, melancholic and atmospheric (exactly what this style requires), but it's a bit too simplistic in composition bringing nothing new or spectacular to the table. For the ones of you into this genre of metal Exiled From Light could be a good option for when you need some melancholic feelings infused in your mind, but if you're looking for something new, try somewhere else. Now, the good things about this double CD are the vocals (perfect for DBM), and the overall atmosphere that benefits from a very good sound, indeed. The final three songs of the second CD is dedicated to this guy's previous project Funereal where he played the same Depressive Black Metal, but in a more aggressive shape, keeping the same atmospheres close, maybe with some Funeral Doom also involved. Not bad at all, but not extraordinary either. As a final remark, I would have preferred to have the lyrics attached on the booklet instead of useless nature picture, maybe that way me (and the rest of those who will get this CD) would have had a better listening experience.
From: Burning Black Webzine
Exiled From Light is a one man project formed in 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand. The band, formed by Mort only, released a full length album entitled “Descending Further Into Nothingness” in 2009 before this brand new opus… “There’s No Beauty Left Here” consists in six tracks (compiled in two CDs), of a highly atmospheric and melancholic form of Black Metal; the whole music is an ethereal blend of somber atmospheres, full of a melancholic sense of melody, where the ghostly keyboards takes the lead over the 100 minutes this album lasts. The Black Metal elements are present here in shape of slow paced structures; where simple, mid paced synthetic drumming in conjunction with a quite discrete and melodic guitar riffing are nice complements for the ripping and hellish (yet quite standard) vocal work of Mort… The work of Exiled From Light is quite interesting, but there’s a noticeable lack of originality here, “There’s No Beauty Left Here” is a quite generic piece of “Depressive” Black Metal, even when the quality of these six compositions is undeniable, the whole album seems to be a compendium of standard elements we all have heard in some other “Depressive” Black Metal album before… anyway, obviating this issue, this is a pretty enjoyable slab of atmospheric and melancholic Black Metal that will easily please the “Suicidal” Black Metal audience.
An interesting detail about this album is the addition of three tracks from a Mort’s parallel project called Funereal; these compositions are quite different to what we heard at the previous six tracks of this record, the music of Funereal sound much more inclined towards the Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal style, with funeral auras and some Black Metal elements thrown in, which results in three highly effective songs, at these tracks Mort certainly shows how varied, original and convincing his compositions can be… I would really like to hear some of this conviction, variety and strength at the next release of Exiled Form Light.
From: Metal Reviews
So the vile season of summer is upon us (for those us in the Western hemisphere, anyway), and with it comes the disgusting spectacle of human merriment: ice creams, sand castles on the beach, and all the other things that make the elder gods of black metal vomit uncontrollably at the sheer piteous foolishness of it. Except for my birthday in July, of course, to which all readers are invited! But, er, aside from that… what better way to cleanse the sickening sounds of happiness from the ears than with There is no Beauty Left Here, the two CD retrospective compilation from New Zealand’s now-inactive one-man project Exiled from Light? For fans of the niche-within-a-niche that is the depressive black metal scene- and who aren’t already familiar with Mort’s work- this CD could be a bit of a treat: almost two hours of output from a guy who, if perhaps not what you would call an innovator, certainly knows how to crank up the wanton misery.
For what it is, There Is No Beauty Left Here is actually quite accessible. It doesn’t have the murky abstractness that makes projects like Xasthur something of a gruelling listening experience, for one thing. It’s rather more straightforward, based around lengthy expanses of gloomy chord progressions, delivered in a sour-treacle black metal crawl, and often given a wistful gothic sensibility by the keys. The latter sometimes give Exiled from Light’s music the feel of teary-eyed Quebecois Gris, but in general this is rather more straightforward, choosing to luxuriate in despondent but linear buildups rather than spinning off into oblique black-ambient esoterica. The entirety of the first cd consists of three thirteen minute tracks, each opening with ripples of miserably clean guitar, and proceeding to pile on oily distortion and screeching vocals. It’s generally conducted at a trudgingly regular mid-tempo pace, eschewing the ultra-slow floating feel that makes premier acts like Nortt so horrifying.
Given that it’s a compilation, it is no surprise that the tone is somewhat uneven. Indeed, the second disc strays closer to the boundary lines of doleful funeral doom with the last three tracks- drawn from Mort’s previous work in Funereal - starting to encroach on the territory of bands like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost. These- especially Of That Which Lies Beneath- are the most immediately enjoyable numbers here, wheeling out surprisingly meaty riffs that bring There Is No Beauty Left Here to an uncharacteristically crowd-pleasing climax after a long stretch of frail introspection. This is unlikely to have much appeal outside of the dank and unpalatable world from which it drags itself (I mean the DSBM scene, not New Zealand), but those that have acquired the taste may find this an interesting release.
From: Forbidden Magazine
I had saved the double disc behemoth that is There is No Beauty Left Here, compilation album from New Zealand’s Exiled from Light, as the last CD from Hypnotic Dirge Records that I would review. Not being privy to 12 minute-plus songs, I knew I had a plate-full when I took a look at the albums contents. This double disc release also includes 3 bonus tracks from sole-member Mort’s side project, Funereal, providing a grand total of 2 hours and 22 minutes of dark atmospheres and haunting melodies.
When I opened the promo package, something familiar caught my attention in the cover art. My colorblind eyes have always enjoyed the harsh contrast of black and white; the xerox approach to black metal art. The gray mood presented in the minimalist booklet and storm-cloud atmosphere of the recording does well to arouse something familiar, buried in the subconscious…buried but not forgotten.
While I immediately recognized the programmed Drumkit from Hell, I decided not to deduct any points from the albums final score, since I, just like many other solitary spell-casters, made an album with its user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface. Having experienced the album, I often wonder how it may have been received with a more natural drum sound and one not so well produced. At any rate, the mood and spirit of There is No Beauty Left Here is top-notch, creating an inescapable nightmare maze of confusion and despair that the listener will be immersed in from start to finish.
I was expecting a somewhat different feel to the tracks by Funereal, but found that the tracks only varied slightly from Exiled from Light, complete with similar, if not identical drum sounds and foreboding ambiance. Although the vocals occasionally take a more guttural approach and the keyboards become a touch more prominent in the mix, I can’t understand the need for a differentiation between the two band names that sole-member Mort is creating under. ’Of That Which Lies Beneath’, book-ended by church bells, has a all-too-short piano and violin solo passage that would have helped set this collection of tracks apart from the album’s majority and serves as the most memorable passage that contrasts the two projects.