« Back to list

Carnival Of Catharsis

THE CARNIVAL IS a wondrous world... Located inside the deepest depths of the subconscious of our protagonist (who is also our antagonist), of course it also is the most dangerous place imaginable that this wounded mind could ever have been locked into. Populated by most mystical creatures, the carnival has an own despotic, merciless personality to itself, an oneiric incarnation of self-mockery and self-destruction, ruthlessly PUNISHING the slightest missteps inside of ME. While I stumble through my dystopian wonderland, I must not make any mistakes, FOR they will cost me too much. Curiously pull loose threads and you might find yourself cocooned in unbearable memories of past dismay and its sensorically recreated carbon copy. Foolishly open the wrong door and it will most likely reveal an army of enslaved, spineless dolls, NOT able to resist their orders, eternally condemned to hunt you down and slit your metaphorical throat. Sent by the mighty puppetmaster himself, the untouchable personification of the internal destruction machine, they all serve one purpose: LETTING me suffer as a way of testing me. Can we concur him, find in our heart the strength to say "No, Sir!" and fight that enemy within? Will I ever wake up from this nightmare? GO away, it's all been a dream, and this is just a dream, isn't it?

ECSTASPHERE returns with another conceptual record which takes the characteristic contrasty sound and dynamics of the project to the next level. Hypnotizingly emphatic soundscapes, deep rhythmic noise surfaces and thrilling beat structures mix with epic arrangements of enchanting, often unsettling and sometimes disturbing melodies to create deliciously creepy atmospheres you might recognize from your own favorite nightmares. By encoding her inner processes in a metaphorical layer for this second album, the artist has distanced herself from her subject just enough to fill this empty space with a wider range of auditory temperatures. CARNIVAL OF CATHARSIS is the neverending tale of a survivor struggling to survive herself.

Ecstasphere @ facebook

Ecstasphere @ soundcloud

  • Artist / Producer
  • Release Date
  • Lenght
  • Available Formats
  • Cat. num (physical)
  • Cat. num (digital)
  • Label
  • Mastering
  • Cover
  • Layout
  • Ecstasphere
  • 10/2015
  • 62:56
  • CDR / Digital
  • raum-cd-22
  • raum-net-54
  • Raumklang Music
  • A. Dietz
  • Lisa Schwabe
  • Ophelia the suffering

Additional information

CDR / Digital

packaged in a high quality CD-tray including CDR + Digital download in your choice of format.
professional produced cdr with silver bottomside in cd-look.

Includes unlimited streaming of Carnival Of Catharsis via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.



Although loads of musicians have used, in the past as well as now, music as a useful tool with which to externalize their discomfort and to self analyze themselves, not all of them have succeeded in creating innovating
and original music, and it’s rather interesting to see as mainly
instrumental music such as the so called rhythmic industrial could transmit so deep messages.

We’ve learned to know Ecstasphere,Ophelia The Suffering’s alias, with her first album – also that released by Raumklang – Feed your head, with the following self - released Klangporträts EP and with her collaboration with Phasenmensch, all works we’ve talked about when they were released.

If we already had the chance to appreciate the way in which Ophelia, in her first album, has succeeded in operating an interesting recapitulation of the
rhythmic genre and in pushing forward the genre’s boundaries with the following EP showing, without any fear of moving outside the genre’s limits,
a possible point of intersection between classical music and mechanical distorted rhythms, without forgetting the fundamental evolutionary step released some days ago as Aphexia, the really interesting Breathe (a deep breathe in a music that needed it), Carnival of catharsis, this is the new album’s title, on the one hand represents an evolution of what’s been already written by the artist in her previous work such as A cure, Liebe freiheit alles and Dissociation reversed, and on the other hand marks a separation from the genre’s classic works to arrive at something new: a definitely more complete work if we think at the previous album, less bumbling, more cohesive.

For Ophelia, the rhythm is the tool through which to operate an inner
catharsis (and the cycle of gigs Katharsis, within which important live acts have been presented, has surely influenced also this album), to understand the origin of her torments and to face her fears, because what terrorize
us is what we don’t know, conscious that it’s not possible to delete the evil
side from us, as the good - evil dualism permanently belongs to the human being. Nevertheless, what the artist can do is to dive into the meanders of her soul to consult that terrorizing “I” that we can’t never fully know but that can help us to know something more about ourselves. The metaphor chosen for this concept album is that of the Carnival: in fact, that’s the moment in which identities merge and everything could happen.

Carnival of catharsis could be interpreted as the sequel of her previous album because, if in Feed your head the musician was showing herself and her inner dualism without explaining herself/us the origin of this (an inner drama clearly perceivable in a particularly agitated music), here she
decides to make a journey that will make her understand the role played by the “I”, to which Ophelia gives human form (calling him “Sir”), that “I” that we tend to push in the distant corners of our mind as we’re not always capable of controlling his primordial instinct, instinct that pushes us to make what we seem not to want to do (but what we would do).

However, it’s not necessary to be experts in the Psychology field to understand the beauty and the completeness of a work that succeeds in perfectly conjugating distorted rhythms, classical music (in particular that of XVII’s century) and a neither too much covertly melancholic mood. Carnival of catharsis has strongly been influenced by the songs composed with the Aphexia’s monicker, and in fact the use of keyboard, piano and violin melodic patterns are elements already listenable in Breathe, even if here they sound enriched and deepened. The carnival awakes is an introduction that floors
the listener and that let understand what will be further listened: it’s a sinister melody that recalls a party, upon which a short distorted rhythmic passage shows itself. Passage dangereux is the first step toward the process of understanding of ourselves, and musically is a song dominated by a groovy, heavy and tarantulated distorted rhythm and by a gloomy melodic motif.
Creeping creatures made of fear is one of the most interesting episodes of the album, in which the use of classical music as well as that of the tarantulated rhythm is listenable, the whole embellished by the evocative sound of the violin. Here it seems to listen to a heavier interpretation of the work recently made with Aphexia.

The noose makes once again use of the violin, increasing the power of the rhythm and introducing the narrative element of Ophelia, who here sings for the first time. The sensation is that of finding ourselves moved in to a distant place, and the tarantulated rhythm suits very well within this context. Even if Broken toy (On her knees) passes by a bit fast without leaving a particular trail of itself, Demedicate the puppeteer (Their dawn of bitterending’s near) is one of the most particular episodes, that plays upon a mid tempo rhythm, melodic ideas inspired by classical music and, in general, an intelligent electronic approach. The best moments arrive with the fast and fiery Catharsis, a song that moves fast and in which the distorted rhythm is heavier and engaging and in which the melodic pattern is free to draw harmonies. There’s even space for more ambient and softer moments in
Army of puppets, a song that recalls Raumklang’s releases, slow, ambient and
characterized by a meta llurgical rhythm sountrack - like, while Dolls with empty eyes twists a rhythm that, however, maintains its slow and heavy temporal coordinates (and using a melodic motif that seems to come from a car

The last three songs are probably the best developed and interesting ones. Once again a carillon opens The shadow play, a long and manifold song that begins with a slow rhythm, that, along its development, becomes distorted until its climax, a rhythmic taran tulated explosion upon which melodic ideas gain the chance to breathe creatively. Illusion of delusion is a dry and fast classic rhythmic noise episode characterized by a rather old school and overbearing development. Farewell, Sir! is the final song, a recapitulation of all the Ecstasphere formula’s elements, here very well synthesized: the use of violin, melodic motifs, ambient breaks, angel - like voce, tarantulated distorted rhythm.

Carnival of catharsis isn’t simply a journey inside ourselves, but above all a huge product of artistic ripeness. Ecstaphere is one of the most interesting and creative acts of the current rhythmic industrial
landscape and it surely will distinguish itself also in the future for its particular approach. If the goal of each artist is to create music that has
its own originality, well, Carnival of catharsis (as previously partially made with Breathe), definitely has caught the point.

Label: Raumklang music
Score: 9, 5
Author: Alessandro “Flux” Violante
go to original review


01. The Carnival Awakes?

02. Passage Dangereux?

03. Creeping Creatures Made Of Fear?

04. Yes, Sir!

?05. The Noose

?06. Broken Toy (On Her Knees)?

07. Why Sir??

08. Catharsis

09. Demedicate The Puppeteer (Their Dawn Of Bitterending's Near) Catharsis?

10. Army Of Puppets?

11. No, Sir!?

12. Dolls With Empty Eyes?

13. The Shadow Play?

14. Illusion Of Delusion?

15. Farewell, Sir!

Buy CD

Buy digital