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Saturday, April 25, 2009


Critically acclaimed Bay Area dark ambient collective AMBER ASYLUM has completed work on its new album entitled Bitter River. The record will see a June 23 release date via Profound Lore Records.

Known for its utterly moving music that blends spellbinding passages of introspective dark ambient, shadowy neoclassical dreamscapes and romantic, avant-garde chamber music, AMBER ASYLUM possesses the rare gift of turning deep feelings into gorgeous sound. Bitter River was produced by front woman, multi-instrumentalist and soprano vocalist Kris T. Force at Knobsnob studios in Pacifica, CA. Piano and Classical guitar was laid to tape by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso in San Francisco’s Mosser Hotel and the record’s bass was captured by Kevin Kipnis in North Hollywood, CA. The album’s bewitching cover art can be viewed at this location.

Joining Force on Bitter River is a small ensemble of some of the most accomplished musicians within the underground experimental music world. The team is comprised of Leila Abdul-Rauf (also of Saros and Bastard Noise) on guitar / piano / vocals, long-time conspirator Jackie-Perez Gratz (Giant Squid, Grayceon) on cello, bass player Eric Wood (Bastard Noise), and drummer Chiyo Nukaga (Noothgrush, Graves at Sea) with guest appearances by Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune) on flute, and narration by ex-SWANS chanteuse Jarboe. The result of the cooperation is an album that takes the shape of an introspective journey into lost love and innocence, conjuring cinematic structures and painting powerful sound portraits of vast lonely landscapes, deep dark chambers, encasing fog and inevitable twilight.

When asked for comment on Bitter River, Force reflects, “"With “Bitter River”, I feel that Amber Asylum has come full circle. I spent a lot of time investigating new territory with previous work and it felt different than “Bitter River” now feels. While previously it may have felt like I was trying something on for size, with “Bitter River”, it feels like I have arrived."

Abdul-Rauf adds, “Bitter River is classic Amber Asylum, referencing earlier work, but with greater maturity and expansion of influences. Straying from the rock feel of [2007’s] “Still Point,” this is Amber Asylum going back to its roots, with elements of early music, dark ambient, experimental and some 80’s guitar effects for good measure.”

The final track listing for Bitter River is as follows:

01.) Twilight
02.) Bitter River
03.) Bounding Main
04.) Winter Winds
05.) Auger of Thrall
06.) Fear and Doubt in the Frozen Dawn
07.) Thee Apothecary
08.) Mountain Haze
09.) Nocturne
10.) Haze Reprize

A taste of the atmosphere that Bitter River holds in store can be heard now as the album’s title track has been posted online at this location. A new photograph of AMBER ASYLUM, brought to life by Taija Lynn, can be viewed at this location.

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