German project Lousberg is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Frank Michael Wins, who also create music under the project names Bahkauv and F.M.Wins, in addition to a past tenure in black metal band EgoNoir. Under the Lousberg moniker he has one split album and 4 albums to his name. “The Death of Humanity” is the most recent of these, and was released in early 2019 through German label Dunkelheit Produktionen.

What we get here is what historically would have been described as a mini-album, clocking in at 26 minutes, and a mini-album consisting of one composition at that. The general style can probably be sorted somewhere under ambient, although the mood and atmosphere of the music as such prevents it by default from being considered new age. Dark ambient is an expression often used, and that one fits rather well in this case,.

A general description can only say so much of course, although a detailed description doesn’t add up all that much in this case. In essence, the entire composition revolves around dark and light toned textures that ebb and flow in intensity, and with subtle and gradual developments in terms of how the different elements dominate and support each other. Fluctuations is perhaps a key word, or wavelike texture patterns if you like. I rather suspect that this is a composition that would have worked quite well for a symphonic classical orchestra, incidentally, as especially the lighter toned textures does remind me of a well manned string section of violins, and the darker textures would have suited the cello fairly well.

This latter description also does reveal quite a bit about the mood and atmosphere of this creation. The title of the album and composition already indicates this of course, but this is a mournful journey. Some moments, especially towards the end, are subtly more energetic, but the mood is never any more jubilant than being at a melancholic state, and for the greater majority of play time the atmosphere is one of mourning, and perhaps deep mourning at that. Dark, bleak and devoid of hope. The use of digital instruments does add something of a futuristic and otherworldly vibe to the proceedings too, which in essence makes the description dystopian rather fitting I guess, at least for those who get the same associations as I get. Other than that, I did note that there are occasional resemblances with Igor Len’s classic album “Here” (1989) on occasion, first and foremost when it comes to mood and atmosphere, but I assume those similarities are accidental and a result of similar instrumentation applied in similar manners more than anything else.

Lousberg’s latest album is a well made affair in many ways, but in my opinion it does lack those subtle details that will give it an appeal beyond a core niche audience. Those who know and treasure dark ambient music in general and this kind of music produced by digital instruments in particular should feel right at home with this album. But I suspect it’s appeal beyond this crowd will be somewhat limited.

My rating: 60/100


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