Album Title: 
The Lunar Lexicon
Release Date: 
Monday, January 21, 2019
Review Type: 

Pär Boström is known from truly great projects like Cities Last Broadcast, Kammarheit, Altarmang (which he runs in partnership with Kenneth Hansson) or Hymnambulae (with his twin sister Åsa), as well as the Cryo Chamber Collaboration line-up, but apparently he is the guy behind Aindulmedir too. The latter is an outfit which he describes as a project that creates winter music for bibliophiles and hermits. It is like material that can be seen as a soundtrack for a novel that is in the making, written by Pär himself (though I do not know more about that novel, unfortunately).

The Lunar Lexicon is the first official release under the Aindulmedir moniker, available via digital sources (Hypnagoga Press is run, by the way, by both Pär and Åsa), on tape (though this limited one has been sold out in the meantime, after just a few minutes or so), and on compact disc. The latter is a four-panel digipack edition with inlay, though strictly limited to an edition of 200 copies. The result, by the way, had been remastered by Cryo Chamber’s Simon Heath (also the guy, as you know, behind e.g. Atrium Carceri or Sabled Sun, a.o.).

This material differs from what we are used of; I mean that Aindulmedir do not perform droning Dark Jazz / Ambient à la Cities Last Broadcast, Cinematic Dark Ambient courtesy of Kammarheit or Hymnambulae or trancelike stuff in the vein of Altarmang. No, Aindulmedir dwell in rather cavernous spheres. Yet at the same time, the dreamlike, mystic and ethereal atmosphere somehow remains as a characteristic that defines this artist’s heart and soul.

For thirty-six minutes, Aindulmedir bring a very dreamlike and mesmerizing form of Esoteric / Ethereal Ambient, including a mystified, even nostalgic and sad atmosphere. All seven tracks slightly differ from each-other, which is a surplus, yet they are strongly coherent and related too. This isn’t ‘average’ Ambient material is in ‘Dark Ambient’ or ‘Cinematic Ambient’, for the project incorporates its aural magic with elements from e.g. Winter Synth and Dungeon Synth.

Opener Wind-Bitten has something, well, I would like to call it fairylike. Like a soundtrack for some peregrination through an ancient and enchanting misty forest, a xylophone-alike main theme gets accompanied by several layers of beautiful and dreamy synths. It’s an aural translation of memories and wisdom, knowledge and introspection, canalised through hypnotic and spiritual melodies. This opening track deeply captivates by its enlightening sound.

The next track, Book Of Flowers, is much more introspective, bringing pure Winter Synth hypnosis. Build upon a long-stretched and monotone tone, several additional melodic sequences accompany the listener into deep-meditative trance. Fine to notice is that things permanently evolve, by introducing new elements the whole of the time, though be it in a mostly subtle, modest manner. It continuously builds up, slowly but convinced.

This goes for The Librarian as well, though this composition lacks that hypnotising monotonous background melody. It’s a chilly piece, filled with tristesse, overviewing the secrets of life and after-life, diving into knowledge and resignation. In a very subtle way, a basement of floating Winter Synth gets injected by dim, gloomy Dungeon Synth elegance, resulting in a manifest of contemplation and consideration.

More Dungeon Synth oriented, Winter And Slumber opens the gate to a dimension of wonder and marvel; revelation too. Here too, a fairylike world of fantasia and nostalgia gets created by truly beautiful, captivating melodies, created through several layers of keyboard wizardry. Pär somehow succeeds to trespass the limitations of ‘traditional’ Dungeon Synth by using repetition in combination with mesmerizing atmospheres.

Next up is the title track, which is the lengthiest piece on this album with its duration of almost ten minutes. This composition has an adventurous vibe, more than any other, and it is filled with so many hidden secrets. It constantly evolves, draws back, reappears, and evolves further, step by step, climbing up to ecstatic heights. The Lunar Lexicon is veiled in mystic and mysterious spheres, created through a rich pallet of intoxicating melodies and etherizing sounds.

With Snow Above Blue Fire, you feel the cold, the loneliness, the conscious reclusion and isolation. It’s the main theme of the concept, expressed via waves of remote ambience and almost sentimental melodies and structures. Here too, despite a limited length, there is so much so experience, for this hymn too gets penetrated by multiple subtle and hidden melodious elements and progressing additions.

Sleep-Form, at last, is a very floaty, deep sonic story, based on a woeful, sad main theme. It leaves me breathless, for the atmosphere is so asphyxiating, so intense, so overwhelming. This song teases the listener’s senses, caresses the listener’s spirit, enchants the listener’s thoughts. At the same time, it expresses an inner tranquillity, a feeling of quiescence, of reflection and meditation, yet also a troubled, anxious restlessness. Slow drones of dark-spirited Ambient colour the oppressive atmosphere in zones of grey, black and white, obfuscating and shading, then again enlightening too. In a mostly elegant manner, Sleep-Form is like the aural definition of a journey thought the subconscious, translated by simply precious synth melodies and some additional samples (wind) – a  

The Lunar Lexicon is a unique and oh so pure recording, a soundtrack for a secret world beyond imagination, an expression of transcendental Aural Art. Dungeon Ambient is born…