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Album Review

Oystein Ramfjord's project, Amethystium, creates ethereal, mysterious aural impressions on his debut release, Odonata. Although this album officially came out on August 14, 2001, it had already achieved significant popularity and airplay on his website, where it has been extremely well-received in both the new age and electronica genres. As the offerings from this talented Norwegian composer tend to be melodious and relaxing, and have a pleasant variety of timbres and cadences which maintain listeners' interest, their attraction is quite understandable. "Opaque" could be music for submariners, with its echoing sonar tones. "Enchantment" has a Middle Eastern influence, while "Avalon" offers delicate crystalline chimes. "Arcane Voices" includes Gregorian chanting interwoven with percussion. Ethnic influences can also be heard in the Sanskrit vocalizations on "Opaque" and the Buddhist chanting of the opening to "Lhasa." Yet, all these diverse influences are melded together into a harmonious whole that rings delightfully to the ear. In all, this is an elegant album, and its ambient soundscapes will draw many casual listeners into becoming Amethystium fans. Definitely recommended.


Born: Norway

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An ambient new age/electronica project of Norwegian producer/composer Øystein Ramfjord with world music influences, Amethystium arrived on the scene in 2000 with the self-released EP Autumn Interlude. After signing with Neurodisc Records, he released three albums in four years that all hit the Top 10 of the Billboard New Age Albums chart: 2001's Odonata (its "Odyssey" was later featured in the 2004 IMAX film Sacred Planet), 2003's Aphelion, and 2004's Evermind. The latter featured vocals by Lee Nisbet...
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Odonata, Amethystium
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