Psicodreamics is the solo project of Salva Moreno. Hailing from Spain he got his start several years ago composing a relaxing style of new age chill-out music. The first release The Unknown Frontier was released in 1993 and was formed of these dreamier ambient styles. It would be four years before he would put together the next work Mythomusic which explored a bit more of the fairy-world and fantasy music genres. After this album it would be three years in between the releases of The Garden and then Eternal Angel, but would quickly follow up with Azhdark Passion just a year later in 2004. This brings us to the latest release Theatre Des Vampires in 2006 and the re-releases of the remastered versions of Mythomusic and The Garden and a release of tracks composed in 1995 but released in 2008 as Midnight Tales. Salva continues to write and compose music and in 2009 we had Fantasynth and 2011 we received the latest ambient, fantasy work titled Ancient Wisdom.
In this project Psicodreamics uses various genres in creating instrumental music capturing styles from dark ambient to upbeat synth, new age and just a touch of haunting ethereal sounds with the occasional female vocals or spoken work samples. The New Age genre itself covers a very broad spectrum and while New Age in itself is not a genre covered by Gothic Paradise, the darker ambient, fantasy, synth and fairyworld musical styles are. With nearly every album Psicodreamics delves into one or more of these genres which makes them quite enjoyable for listeners here willing to explore something outside the typical sounds, while not jumping right into the pop or new age scene. The inclusion of a guest vocalist now and again shows exactly how the music with certain touches brings it right inline with the ethereal gothic genres.
It was intriguing when I first heard the sounds from Theatre Des Vampires with it's dark, mysterious feeling. That led me to pick up the two remastered works Mythomusic and The Garden along with the previously released album Azhdark Passion, all of which seem to fall on the fine line between instrumental ethereal goth and new age ambient music. We look forward to how the music and career of Psicodreamics will continue to grow and change over the coming years with each new release.
Not too long since the release of Fantasynth and it's slightly more upbeat rhythms and fantasy themes, we're now treated with this work which delves into the more mysterious and legends based on celtic mythology, a theme very prevalent in gothic ethereal realms. It seems we're able to pick up where we left off with Mythomusic or The Garden with the dreamy mystical sounds on this album. The delicate layers of ambient music are presented across well over an hour in this fantasy world and eleven tracks for a nice full body of work.
The album starts off with a rich and dreamy mixture of ambient textures in "Forest Heartbeat" and also with the follow-up piece "True Spirit of Nature" for over fourteen minutes of beautiful, lush dreamscapes. At this point we're launched into a little more up-beat chill-out style with "Samhain Ecstasy" and even more of a harsher tone with some grinding guitars (still in a new age style) on "Sancta Inquisitio". This uptempo rhythm carries on somewhat further into "Druids Trance", appropriately named for it's trance-like rhythms and electronic loops. At this point we get to a definite favorite of mine in "My Beloved Loneliness", with a little more of a classical style with more organic sounding instruments taking the forefront over the interwoven tapestries of the melancholy backdrop. "Ritual of Love" follows in similar light with a little bit more of a ritual sound as the name implies with some percussion and various hypnotic rhythms and loops. "Earth Prayer" is another excellent ambient ethereal piece with angelic vocals gliding over the entrancing music as we drift along into the upbeat trance-like piece "Beltane Moon". The soaring synths and moving, but very New Age rhythms and beats move us into another sweet, dreamy track "Bewitched by the Faeries". This eight minute track drifts along slowly and hypnotically, setting the stage for eight-minute finale "Wisdom of Trees". Ambient, whispering tendrils gently carress the listener in this soft, dreamy piece with it's subtle, layered soundscapes providing a backdrop for a siren song, luring the listener in and holding them entranced and trapped for the duration as the album slowly and softly drifts to a close.
Over all the album is firmly rooted in the New Age style, something I've mentioned before we don't normally feature and review here on Gothic Paradise. However, there is just enough of the lush, ethereal and darker, dreamier ambient styles that take the listener into a beautiful dream-like fantasyland that has always caught my attention. As you listen to our ethereal radio show and a Psicodreamics track comes on, it just fits well within the hauntingly beautiful ambient realm, even with the touch of chill-out New Age styles. This album fits right in that mold as we drift from one piece to another, through the ebbing and flowing of the lush layers from smooth ambient synths to a little more pronounced styles and more upbeat rhythms. For fans of the softer ethereal and ambient soundscapes, this album is a great addition to any collection.
Fantasynth - Review
Introducing the latest new work from this dreamy new age project. After a slew of remastered releases from his back-catalog, we finally have a release with all new material of breathtaking fantasy music. These thirteen tracks span everything from the dreamy, downtempo ambient to upbeat instrumental tracks that fans will love.
The album starts and finishes in much the same way with a slight variation on "Unicorn's Dream" which brings out some soft percussion moving slowly along, providing a backdrop to the softly undulating electronics. It quickly picks up with the diverse piece "Sleepy Sorrow" with a moving beat, not too heavy, remaining quite relaxing and with a definite new age feel, but with some great electronics and instruments spanning celtic, classical and modern electronica styles, making it more accessible and enjoyable by a wide audience. This becomes a solid foundation for this album as other pieces rely heavily on this style to move the album along such as with "Erotronic" and others as the album progresses.
For those that have grown to love the dark and dreamy atmospheres that this artist has presented in the past on Midnight Tales and Theatre Des Vampires among others, this album has some good selections. While remaining fairly homogenous with subtle percussion and moving electronics throughout much of the album, dreamy pieces like "Forbidden Pleasures" and others toward the end of the album starting with "Synthetic Fantasy" and really coming out with the haunting elements of "Palace of Sensuality". Each of these along with the other tracks have their own unique components that make them enjoyable in their own way such as the piano on "Forbidden Pleasures", or the ghost-like whispers on "Palace of Sensuality", but in the end that soft dreamy vibe comes shining through.
The album wraps up with "A Winter Tale" which is appropriately named with it's somber nature including much of the same established song structure, but also includes flute, bells and a myriad of other haunting sounds that are perfect for listening to while curled up in front of the fireplace while the snow falls outside. And finally we're brought back full circle to the ending piece "Unicorn's Dream", finalizing the disc in much the same way we started. Once again we have another great album, spanning genres and bound to please many fans of the different ambient genres.
Midnight Tales - Review
While not a re-release album, this work still takes old material from 1995 and brings it to life in the form of Midnight Tales. This is a nice, dark body of work that is perfect for a rainy and dreary day or night in front of a warm fireplace. The album lasts just over an hour and includes a dozen of these tracks that delve into a darker world of fantasy-laiden new age music.
It just happens that the day I write this review it's been a dreary and snowy October day, the first snow of the season lending a forboding feeling that has driven me indoors to sit by the warm fireplace. So this mix of influences and inward emotions lends to a perfect setting for this album.
As with some of the other older works from this artist, the new age chill-out influence is very strong, though with a theme of darker moods, this does still remain quite accessible to our audience. There are pieces here and there that are quite dreamy or majestic but remain moody and dark. "Damned for Loving Suite" features a two part piece that serves as a sort of introduction to the album with majestic and sweeping synthesized strings and ambient soundscapes. This piece coupled with other selections that keep the music very dreamy and mystical have become favorites for me and I think for the more gothic and dark ambient tastes. "A Tale for the Rain" gives us some beautiful piano mixed with synths for a dreamy feeling along these lines. The dark soundscapes of "My Beloved Shadow" stand out with sounds of thunder and other darker sounds for a somber mix.
There are other more upbeat pieces on this disc that with some heavy industrial beats would lend themselves more to our audience, but as they stand, they are fairly nice chill pieces in the new age style. "Bitter Flight of Cherub" I think is a favorite along these lines with it's sweet melody over the backdrop of the moving rhythm. The heavier bass of "Midnight Voyager" would lend itself more to a darker, fun piece with some heavier percussion, but it's still a decent piece that moves along nicely and mixes well with the fantasy moods of the other pieces.
The album wraps up with a trio of darker pieces with the finale coming out in the form of the nearly 10-minute track "La Pasion de Azhrarn". This final selection moves through several moods, rhythms and styles all during it's span to wrap up the album nicely. With that we have another enjoyable album for fans to enjoy. While this one lends itself more to the new age crowd, I still recommend it to our readers and listeners for a nice fantasy-driven ambient work.
Eternal Angel - Review
For this album we go back several years to 2003 when it was released. After listening to "On The Shore Of Hell" from Ambiethernum and realized I didn't have this album, Salva was kind enough to send me a copy to add to my collection so I decided to go ahead and post a review of it here. I've had it for a while and have listened to it at least a dozen times so I've managed to pick it apart really good and find the favorite aspects of it and put them down into words here.
Like the other works from this artist we're presented with a dreamy ambient world of music and sounds that caress the soul and overall relax the mind and body. There are some excellent darker ambient moments full of haunting soundscapes, but in general the overall feeling of the album is one of space ambient and dreamy moods. The title track kicks all of this off and we drift slowly along from one piece to another as if moving through an array of scenery, driving along from one area to another such as a theme park or carnival display. In one room we have the dreamy, heavenly moods presented on pieces like "A Heaven In Your Eyes", "Labyrinth of Seduction" and "Eternal Ending". These moods are accented by dynamic soundscapes and haunting vocals on "Azrael Tear", or the raw emotion of "Die Sweet For an Angel" with spoken word repeated throughout. With this piece we also have some percussion to help move along, and mixes well with other pieces like "Descensus Averni" with a tribal rhythm and moods.
Absolute highlights and for me include the previously mentioned "A Heaven In Your Eyes", "Azrael Tear", "On The Shore Of Hell", "Die Sweet For An Angel" and "Cherubim Dance". These stand out because of the emotion portrayed and the addition of various vocal samples on a few or in the case of "Cherubim Dance" the lilting waltz of a tune that I've been playing on the piano since I was very young. An extra bonus is the driving electronic piece "Lycanthrope 2001" with the double-time trance-like beat and vocal and howling samples overlaying the music. This wraps up another dreamy masterpiece by Psicodreamics.
Ambiethernum - Review
Continuing on in a series of re-releasing previously recorded works, we have here a sort of anthology, or "best of" album focusing on the space-ambient music of Psicodreamics. This album contains tracks previously released spanning albums from 1993 through 2006. With a total of 12 tracks, there is plenty of music for newcomers to get a good taste of the sort of ambient music that Psicodreamics creates.
We start off with the dark and dreamy piece "The Crypt of Despair" from Theatre Des Vampires. The moody atmospheres presented through the dreamy guitar and electronics are mesmerizing. Though all the selections have that definite new-age feeling, they all invoke a sort of dreamy, fantasy-world theme through pieces like "Labyrinth of Seduction" or "Malicious Children Delight". Drifting on the listener is taken to a dreamworld of "The Beyond" and the haunting piece "The Garden" which has become a favorite from this disc as well as the original album.
For me and probably for most readers and listeners on Gothic Paradise, the more emotionally charged, darker and moodier pieces are the favorites. The already mentioned "The Crypt of Despair" seems to set the tone and benchmark for the other selections to meet. A favorite on this disc also includes "On the Shore of Hell" with the excellent medieval-sounding vocals over the eerie, haunting background music. This selection brings to life the emotions and heightens the senses with the deep and mystical details that come out so well.
Once again we have another fine work in the world of dark and haunting ambient music that brings new age into the gothic realms. It's a great work and a great sampler or intruduction to the many great works this artist has released and hopefully will continue to release in the future.
The Garden - Review
Psicodreamics has been staying busy remastering yet another album, this time it's the 2000 release of The Garden that has been re-released. This disc combines the broad range of haunting and mystical music of the instrumental electronica and new age music across thirteen spellbinding tracks. As I listen to each of these albums I get to thinking I have a favorite picked out and then I listen to the others again and I've decided each one has it's own awesome elements that remain captivating and could be a favorite for anyone depending on the mood you're in when you listen to it.
This disc is a haunting collage of fantasy and mystical soundtrack pieces that speak to the soul and relieves the stress from a hectic world. The haunting begins with "Witches on the Radiowaves" reminiscent of a haunted movie and soundtrack from the 60's. The mystical beauty of several pieces stand out on this album which makes it an equal to the other works. These include the Christmas pieces from the "Christmas Suite" in the form of "Loneliness And Sadness Waltz" and "Christmas Eve Elixir". Presented with angelic choirs and the occasional crashing symbols for an awesome accent to the beauty and majesty of these pieces. These beautiful angelic choirs grace several pieces and coupled with the occasional gregorian chants, one can imagine the quiet solitude of these old-world monasteries or castles echoing the timeless tales of this music.
For the electronica music lover that graces the ambient new age styles from time to time, there are some selections that will be perfect for the listener such as the moving, but equally haunting "Transylvanic" with guest female vocals for an added bonus. There is also a remix of "Sacrifice" and the moving "Lycanthrope 2000" with the appropriately haunted sound of howling werewolves among the driving electronics and breakbeats.
The album comes together with a good mix and good variety of all of these styles and types of instrumental pieces. Several also contain haunting samples of vocals from children or adults, each reminiscent of ghosts long past, coming back to haunt or remind the listener of the good times. As the album wraps up we're brought to a favorite of mine with "Lovelain (Dragonkiller)". This beautifully enchanting piece presents gregorian chants, spoken word with a phrase I catch over and over again "que te quiero mucho" and mystical music to back it all up for a perfect finale to another wonderful album.
AzhDark Passion - Review
Continuing my reviews of much of the discography from this artist we come to this album originally released in 2004. This disc sees the artist at a highlight of his career exploring more haunting moods through new age music. Again we have a dozen tracks that explore the caressing sounds and moods including a special bonus with Priscilla Hernandez as guest vocalist and lyricist on the finale to the album.
The somewhat unique or hallmark sound on this disc is the more upbeat style that is present, not to be mistaken for any kind of instrumental synthpop, but rather an upbeat ambient sound with percussion throughout most tracks. These subtle beats mesh well with the sweet synths and mystical sounding breeze and other haunting elements. From the beginning title track on through several pieces this moving ambient mood permeates the album. About the time we reach "Song of the Living Night", the pace slows down and the listener is enveloped in the warm glow of the sweet synthesized orchestra.
At about this point the mood shifts a bit and after this excellent soft segue we're launched into something of a bombastic soundtrack style piece with somber, yet crashing synths and percussion on "The Sorcery". This then gives way to the more somber, darker ambient pieces though the subtle percussion continues to slowly drive each piece along. With track names previously mentioned and others like "The Garden of Strange Beings", "Sleeping with the Demon", "Floating in the River of Souls", the reader and listener can start to gain a sense of the moods and theme running throughout the album. These vary from the upbeat new age ambient moods to the dark and somewhat mysterious mystical sounds. As the disc starts to wind down we're presented as a finale to the album a very rare vocal piece, something not present on other albums that I'm aware of. This sweet little bonus is an incredible number featuring the vocal and lyrical talent of Priscilla Hernandez with the music of Psicodreamics. So while the ambient moods remain intact on this track, the addition of the hauntingly beautiful vocals creates something absolutely stellar and mesmerizing and something that fans have really voiced their approval of by helping it to be included in the Gothic Paradise Ethereal radio show's top 10 songs.
With that we finalize this review by simply stating that in the realm of ambient and new age music, Psicodreamics is one that has managed to cross genre lines and present something that many ethereal and dark ambient fans can enjoy.
Mythomusic - Review
Celebrating the 10th anniversary since the original release of this album, we are treated with a new remastered version of this work. The album has 13 tracks that portray musically the moods and soundscapes of a mythological fantasy world.
The title track sets the mood for this fantasy world with synthesized strings and electronics weaving a tapestry of mystical and enchanting music. This drifts off and morphs throughout the album through a myriad of ambient and new age electronics and elements. With track titles like "The Poisoned Kiss", "Imaginary Landscapes" and "Moonlight Spell" to name a few, the music comes together in a magical way to portray the meaning or imaginary feeling behind each piece.
The music presented isn't really what you would imagine as a soundtrack for many of today's epic movies, but by chance having pulled out and watched Eragon just last night and recently seeing Legend again, the music that we have on this disc would fit many of the scenes and themes of these and other fantasy movies. I think we can especially draw attention to Legend and the similarities between Psicodreamics and the well-known ambient, new age and rock crossover band Tangerine Dream. These really come out on a few of my favorites that I think those fans of the gothic, EBM and ethereal genres will enjoy. These pieces that stand out include: "Heaven's Gate" which lasts just over eight minutes and drifts through somber moods and dark soundscapes. "Reaching Sanctissimo" builds on these moods adding little bits hear and there in the form of harpsichord, various backgrounds and building up to a fun and moving piece with some nice percussion. In similar form "Dragon Exodus" also takes the listener on something of an instrumental electro-pop ride with some driving beats and melodic synths.
As I've listened to the album a good 10 times or so, these tracks previously mentioned stand out as the highlights of the album. However, the most beautiful and uplifting piece for me has grown to be "Let Me Touch Your Face". That feeling of beauty and longing come out perfectly through the bubbly soft synths and cello, harpsichord and other excellent electronically sampled instruments accented by those little new age touches that send the listener off into that relaxing dreamworld where the music is more of a caress that lingers.
All in all this is a fantastic work for anyone to put on when they need to unwind from a busy day, or just want to sink into a relaxing fantasy world of dragons, fairies and other mythological beings.
Theatre Des Vampires - Review
On this, his sixth album, Salva captures much of the darker and emotional side of the musical spectrum on this concept album revolving around the music of the night and world of vampires. Maybe it could be compared to a soundtrack for an Anne Rice novel, or just mood music for a dark night, in either case the soundscapes are captivating throughout the eleven tracks that last nearly an hour in total.
The album starts off with "Damned for Eternity" which is the perfect dreamy introduction to this album and easily a favorite through the use of the pulsating synthesized strings and somber beat. All of these ambient soundscapes make this piece especially dreamy and soothing. This drifts off through to the title track "Theatre des Vampires" which brings to light more of a new age feel with the included guitar and simple beatmachine drums. The piano, occasional pipe organ and ambient synths are mesmerizing and an added bonus to the track. This pipe organ becomes more and more prominent throughout many tracks, including "Delicious Agony of Love" and "Daylight Belonging", accenting the darker sinister side while still remaining beautiful and uplifting in so many ways. These move along in similar style with the new age style riding atop the dark and mysterious overall ambient moods. The composition of "Delicious Agony of Love" delves a little more into the ethereal dreamscapes with choral synths and soaring guitar making it a favorite and should appeal more to readers and listeners of Gothic Paradise.
The album drifts along through the ambient moods across several captivating tracks, ebbing and flowing through the dreamy soundscapes. The titles describe the moods perfectly as we drift along through "A Life in the Night", "The Crypt of Despair" with the hypnotic moods and on through "Stakes and Garlics" and finally to "Lustful Bites in the Dark". The piano on this piece comes out very strong and beautiful, using textures that are uplifting and superb while remaining with a certain dark aura. This provides a perfect segue to "Sanctuary of Blood", an upbeat semi-industrial piece with distorted bass drum, although the mix of new age and industrial seems odd and not an intuitive mix at first listen. "Bloodsucker" winds this down slightly providing a nice bridge into the finale "La Valse des Vampires". This final piece is a beautiful waltz composed of just about every element previously used on the disc with the addition of notable harpsichord. All of this brings out the feeling of being in a haunted Victorian waltz, spinning round and round, captivated by the magical imagery of the music.
Hopefully this description helps the reader understand what this album contains. While it has a heavy new age influence, I feel that it has many elements that will appeal to fans of ethereal, gothic and ambient music. The overall production is excellent and seems well done without being too cliche with the theme and title of the album.