[Playlist] Haunted From the Depths: Ghostly Dark Ambient

Chthonic Cathedral Project by Danica Swanson

Tracklist


1. Heid - Calling the Hidden Ones
2. Lustmord - Immersion
3. Innfallen - Epilogue (Scattered Remains)
4. Aghast - Das Irrlicht
5. Allseits - Gjöll
6. Dahlia’s Tear - Suicidal Notes From Lifeless Ghosts
7. Osman Arabi - Aghartha (Cover)
8. Archon Satani - Heavenly Inoculation
9. Iszoloscope - Your Dark and Ghostly Guidance
10. Brighter Death Now - Necrose Evangelicum
11. Camanecroszcope - Ancient Voices Haunt the Deep
12. Inanna - Besides Eternity
13. Dark Matter - Something Like…Home
14. Satori - Entity
15. Empusae - Fantasm I

Listen to the full uninterrupted playlist HERE. (Total time: 1 hr 42 min.)


Liner Notes


Spooky graveyards, a ghostly presence...is there something hiding down there in the dark musty cellar? If you're in search of a dark ambient playlist for an appropriately frightful Halloween haunted house or a creepy underworld ritual, look no further. Just in time for seasonal celebrations, I bring you Haunted From the Depths: Ghostly Dark Ambient, one of my most popular playlists.

Need some background music to scare trick-or-treaters? You can simply put this playlist on repeat. It’s tried-and-tested. It won’t frighten everyone, of course…but I’ve been listening to this playlist for years and it still has a remarkable effect on me, especially if I set the stage properly: draw the drapes shut, kill the lights, make sure my subwoofer is properly positioned for maximum bone-shaking impact, and boost the volume. If you can listen on a night that the wind is howling outside too, so much the better.

The most reliable of these tracks to ensure goosebumps every time is "Das Irrlicht" by Aghast. One reviewer of the album Hexerei Im Zweilicht der Finsternis ("Witchcraft in the Twilight of Darkness") from which this track is taken says:

"Originally released on the Cold Meat Industry label in 1995, this album by Norway's Aghast still rates as one of the darkest ambient albums ever produced…"

Over 20 years later, it remains among the most spine-tingling, macabre, intense, and original albums in the genre.

Other notable moments I still greatly appreciate in this playlist after many listens:

  • The haunting "howls" in the last two minutes of the Archon Satani track "Heavenly Inoculation."

  • The dramatic sudden shift in Lustmord’s "Immersion" around the 2-minute mark, the gradual build-up of suspense, and the deep thud at 7:40 that leaves me reeling and wanting more. (Many Lustmord tracks are ideal for testing subwoofers.)

  • That primal, throaty voice in Osman Arabi’s cover of "Aghartha," especially as it reaches a crescendo near the end.

Innfallen, in particular, is still quite an underrated project. As I wrote in my first published piece in 2013 for my underrated dark ambient albums series at the venerable I Die: You Die:

Nightmarish and haunting, yet without ever wallowing in the grotesque or slipping into dystopian cliché territory, the album treads in ghostly and morbid realms, and leaves in its wake a distinct taste for more.

“Epilogue (Scattered Remains)” is the most menacing and outstanding track, weaving a tale of dread and destruction in slow motion; I’ve often recommended it for Halloween haunted houses.


Notes about my playlists:

1) Whenever possible, I link the tracks I recommend directly to the artist’s Bandcamp or website to save my readers some search time and make it easy for listeners to support the artists by buying their music directly from them.

2) I accept theme requests! You can reply to any of the playlist emails or comment on the Substack website to suggest themes for a future playlist. I read and consider all suggestions.

3) As part of my Chthonic Cathedral Project to promote music-based contemplative practices, I offer a dark ambient music consultation service through which I put together custom playlists for events, gatherings, meditation groups, and so on. I direct half of any donations from this service to support the musicians whose tracks I recommend. Contact me for details.

4) I gratefully receive feedback on my playlists, whether it’s praise or constructive critique. What did you like? Which tracks were your favorites? Where could I improve? Feel free to let me know.
More playlists HERE.

Want to read more of the Endarkenment newsletters? Check out the archives of all previously published pieces HERE.

Image credit: background art by William Leighton Fisher. Text added by Danica.

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