Originally released in 2006 by Beverina Productions as Silverthread/Cartagra split album. For this was limited edition and all copies are long sold out, we've decided to make Silverthread part available again, but this time as digital download album and with new cover design.
Reviews of split release:
Silverthread / Cartagra – Secretvm Clavsvm Mansit In Ore Constrvctoris Svi / ... Behind The Gates Of Hell ... CD-R (Beverina Productions)
This split CD-R between Silverthread and Cartagra is in fact the long delayed final release from the almost legendary Beverina Productions. This little Latvian distro introduced me (and many others, no doubt) to lots of great UG bands, too many to mention in this short review... Certainly, the packaging exudes quality; pro-printed black CD-R in a DVD case with a nice cover, limited to 150 hand-numbered copies.
As for the music, Silverthread's half of the disc was recorded between 1996 and 2003, but the material still has good continuity. There aren't any big differences in sound quality or volume between tracks, which uniformly sound excellent. Anyway, this is ambient in its most minimal form; more soundscapes than structured songs. They remind me a little of an even more minimal Atomtrakt (without the bombast) or Vinterriket. The compositions don't really evoke scenes of nature to me though, they have more of an occult feel, with a subterranean and foreboding atmosphere. Put this on your mp3 player and visit the local Cathedral's vaults for a deeply unnerving experience.
Cartagra is in fact a side project by Lord Messir, more known as the man behind Latvian black metallers Dark Domination. Some of Catagra's music has been used as interludes on Dark Domination CD's, so some people will know what to expect from this. For those who don't, this can be described as ritual black ambient. Very sinister atmospheres, with some distant and strange noises, similar to acts like MZ.412 in it's subdued menace. Cartagra are not vastly different from Silverthread in style, so these two acts make a fine combination.
A fine listen for anyone interested in dark atmospheres and soundscapes. This release is distributed by Evil Distro, so ask them if they have any copies left. A worthy headstone for Beverina Productions.
Review by Jamie Smith
This dark ambient split release is the final release (delayed for over two years) from the Latvian label Beverina Productions, which has now merged with the Austria-based War Productions to form Beverina Und War. The two projects featured, Silverthread and Cartagra, are both also Latvian.
The disc opens with Silverthread's contribution, Secretvm Clavsvm Mansit In Ore Constrvctoris Svi. This material was recorded over a long period of time, from 1996 to 2003, although this isn't immediately obvious – the tracks display a good coherence and continuity, without the fluctuations in volume and production quality which you might expect under the circumstances. There are nine tracks listed on the sleeve, simply entitled 'Liber 1-9', but in fact there are ten shorter tracks on the CD, followed by one long one which I presume is Cartagra's contribution, so I guess the ten shorter tracks are all by Silverthread.
Opening with eerie chanting layered over synth chords and blackened atmospherics, Silverthread's take on dark ambient immediately establishes a foreboding occult atmosphere, which is effectively sustained throughout their set. As ambient pieces go, these aren't very long tracks, ranging from around three to around seven minutes, but they maintain a consistently subterranean, menacing presence. The Beverina Productions label is noted for its involvement with black metal as well as dark ambient, and there's certainly a discernible black metal vibe about these tracks, reminiscent of early Mortiis, Vinterriket or the ambient interludes on Striborg and Xasthur releases. Certain tracks, such as the third and the tenth, use processed vocal samples, but the majority are instrumental. The ones I found most impressive and evocative, though, were the second, fourth and sixth tracks, all more drone-based than melodic, something in the vein of Nordvargr.
Cartagra is a side project of Lord Messir, who also records with the black metal band Dark Domination. 'Behind The Gates Of Hell' was recorded in 2004, and it's a single 23-minute track. Apart from this discrepancy in length, though, Cartagra's sound is pretty similar to Silverthread's, with densely layered low-end drones, distant, spectral female vocals and skittering, shuffling atmospherics combined to unsettling effect. There's some midnight-movie church organ in the middle of the track for good measure. The greater length of Cartagra's track makes for a more immersive listening experience than Silverthread – since this kind of music is nothing if not all about mood and atmosphere, it doesn't make sense to interrupt the mood too often, so whilst Silverthread's tracks hang together well as a collection, they do feel a bit like a collection of sketches or ideas for undeveloped longer pieces. Overall, though, this is a satisfying dark journey, and a fitting swansong for Beverina Productions.
This pro black CD-R is available in a limited edition of 150 copies, and it's packaged in a slimline DVD case with colour cover.
Written by Simon Collins
Judas Kiss Magazine