As its name states, Vol. 3 (a.k.a. "Muzak for the Final Elevation") is the third dark ambient compilation-CD released by Dark Ambient Radio from Germany. The jewelcase-CD is limited to 500 copies, and its minimalistic booklet includes brief information about each track.

The compilation feels like a rather thought-out album - a fact which is underlined by the professional mastering. The all-around evenly good quality doesn't mean that the album would be monotonal, though: it's just a sign that each of the artists on the compilation handles their craft well. There aren't any openly experimental artists to shake up the frames, but the occasional spoken bits and other more humanly samples create enough variation to help the album carry through its length.

The songs vary from the traditional bleak ambience to both harsh and beautiful pieces, and Sjellos' track has bits that border on rhythmic electro - so, this album is certainly good for more than mere background listening. The variation helps keep the listener focused, and the skilled artists and the well done mastering brings out the songs' best sides.

If you're interested to find out what's the current state of dark ambient, this CD is a very recommendable way to introduce you to some noteworthy names. I would've hoped to hear something more extensive and perhaps more experimental, but as far as the more traditional side of of the genre goes, there's not a lot to complain about on this CD aside of the unimaginative visual side.

8- / 10