Desolate Moon Phases is the new Minneapolis based project of multi-instrumentalist/home producer Wrathe (of Outer Gods). After moving to Minnesota in mid-018, Wrathe met Sole Servant at a local record store. A series of conversations about dungeon synth cassettes, 80s black metal and dusty keyboards birthed the small private press label/production house Stormmask LTD. The label would end up acting as a hub for several dark experimental home recording projects from Minneapolis, and the label compilation I am alone, but so are you arrived in the fall. During these sessions, Wrathe demoed extensively with Sole Servant, several sessions of which ended up comprising the heavily noise-leaning debut Desolate Moon Phases album As the Dark Empire Burns Around Them. After producing tracks for Sole Servant’s upcoming dungeon synth project, the two began to talk about doing a more avant-garde album, something that drew from a myriad of players in their growing anonymous collective.
Heathenstones employs the talents of everyone involved in Stormmask, players from Past Dawn, MELOK TYR, Azaael and Decrepit Pit all contributed. Like the compilation from last fall, this album exists at a crossroads of several sounds and individual aesthetics.
Heathenstones is a dark journey through humankind’s great impermanence, a moody atmospheric experience that interweaves blackened drones with shimmering ghostly synths and noisy electronics.
ArtistsDesolate Moon Phases
GenresAmbient Drone Experimental
Release DateMay 31, 2019
Same As Stars
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Desolate Moon Phases is unlike anything else we've yet to hear from the city. We've been blown away by countless Minneapolis-based pop bands over the years. But this one took us by surprise because it's so...different. Desolate Moon Phases is the latest project created by Wrathe (of Outer Gods). Heathenstones features music that sounds something like music created by ghosts inside a large cathedral in complete darkness. These tracks combine sounds from ambience and electronica that are layered over decidedly slow drone-like structures. The single word that probably best describes the proceedings here is...hypnotic. It's very easy to get kinda stuck in a subconscious state while listening to these tracks. And that may just be the point...to freeze the listener in suspended animation while other strange audio elements pass through the mix. Difficult to succinctly describe or explain, this is the kinda album that people either love or hate. If you think all music has to have danceable beats and catchy lyrics, Heathenstones is probably not going to be your favorite new album. But if you enjoy the idea that music can be anything, and especially helpful in creating moods and/or particular frames of mind...well then, you might just get a major kick out of these strange articulate tracks. Chilling experiences include "Obsidian Drone," "Cold Embraces the Crypt," and "Sleeping Amongst Ruins."
Baby Sue Magazine
Some bands make music without any compromise to the outside world or the expectations of others, and that seems to be the case with Desolate Moon Phases and their track Same As Stars. There’s an undercurrent of black metal and drone to the track, though it seems to be almost entirely electronic in nature. For me, one of the drawbacks of this kind of music as that it expects too much of the listener. But rather that forcing you to push through layers of rhythms and synths, the track allows some light into its sombre isolation. Centred around Wrathe from Outer Gods, the Storm Mask collective behind Same As Stars take those darkened tones in a densely melodic direction. The song is not upbeat or leaden with hooks, but within its unyielding sound there’s a real feeling of humanity and movement. The song moves alright, but like a glacier, beautiful to behold but dangerous to the unwary.