White Chamber is a quite recently established side project from Of the Wand and the Moon’s Kim Larsen, aided by Iver Ask Overgaard of My Beloved and the trumpet of Bo Rande of Blue Foundation. The outfit’s first 7″ vinyl was released in 2015, and Pale Tears is the follow-up. Two tracks, seven inches, high quality packaging with foil blocked cover art. Released by Larsen’s own label Heiðrunar Myrkrunar, the EP is distributed by Tesco Germany.
The cover image gives a hint as to what can be expected here, as an unnamed individual poses in camouflage gear with a carnival/Fastnacht style mask covering his face while wielding a ritual knife, but only a hint. The title track certainly has a strong flavor of the Reprise tracks from The Wörld Thät Sümmer, with a wailing trumpet and reverberated percussive noises, but this is still not quite as much about June mortality as the cover might lead you to believe. Referencing John Carpenter and the 80’s as important influences, White Chamber is hardly possible to classify as common neofolk or neoclassical. The synthesizer melodies on the A-side ooze of cheap 1980’s action flicks with a dark sci-fi note, and even as the initial synth line of B-side track “Vacio” carry a strong taste of “Blood Victory”, it soon devolves, or perhaps evolves, into something crushed and quasi-epic with a wholly different feel to it.
Sampled voices add to the strange mood throughout the EP, and you really need to give this a couple of spins to truly appreciate all the little nuances of sound and melody hidden in tracks that, on the surface level, seem quite simple. If you’ve gone around considering whether to buy yourself a vintage jukebox, Pale Tears could and should be the army boot to your bottom that finally pushes you to get on with it. One cliche that is very rarely used in reviews on Archaic Triad will have to be used in this case: the major weakness of this release it is that it is way too short. That, and the fact that it’s 12 Euros, but then you do get that foil blocked cover.
EDIT: From Tesco Germany’s website, the price is actually 10 Euro. Thanks to Klaus for pointing this out.