Light.. Darkness.. Death.. Rebirth..
Important news, I think. Last year I came in touch with a project from Cyprian soil, being Idylls Of The Last King, an outfit by some very sympathetic guy, Lawrence. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of reviewing two independently released recordings, i.e. Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves, a magic and mysterious (Dark) Ambient / Winter Synth / Dungeon Synth epic, and Dungeon Drone, standing for a rather mystic Dungeon / Winter Synth injected form of (Dark) Ambient. Twice very strongly related, slightly different as well, yet enormously brain-caressing and ear-drum satisfying.
The good thing is that the first one out of these two has now been printed physically too. Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves has now been released on compact-disc too via the very young yet highly interesting and interesting UK-based label Offerings Of Flame Productions. It’s a limited re-mastered edition in digipack with that stunning artwork designed by Nick ‘Nachzehrer’ Walker. What comes next is more or less a copy-paste from my original review I did, slightly adapted yet mainly based on my initial thoughts.
A journey deep inside the Mountain, a pilgrimage of sorts, in order to find, confront and understand the greatest of all the mythical monsters: the Self.
In a philosophic way – and hay, I am not trying to set up any discussion about it – but mankind’s ‘inner self’ is always like an uncertain travel into one’s identity, a quest to discover, and uncover, your own raison d’être, a confrontation with insidious entities, created and caused by your own thoughts, ideas, beliefs, opinions, and so on. Are there any supernatural powers – gods or deities, if you want – to enlighten the path we’re crawling on to reach the end? Is our inner self, being a ‘dungeon’, able to trespass the limitations, to cross the borders of our personal expectations and conversances? This audacious album tries to give an answer to those questions – and more. Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves, well, this title says a lot.
Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves stands for thirty-eight minutes of ‘Dark Ambient Dungeon Drone’; at least, that’s how the Bandcamp page describes this project. I think, however, that the result is much more than that. Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves is like one lengthy audible adventure instead of a collection of tracks – they smoothly merge into each-other, being individually different yet deeply cohesive. Each single title stands on its own, yet the final result is one huge aural concept.
The album opens by means of Behold, The Mountain, starting off with a dreamlike and softly caressing melody. Soon the recognizable aspects of ‘true’ Dungeon Synth (not that infantile Chiptune or 8-bit stuff) get introduced: heroic and mysterious synths and martial percussion. Step by step it evolves, it grows, and as from half of this opening piece, everything shades into bombastic territories, into a symphony of heroism, pride and fearlessness. Let’s march on!
And it does, it marches on. Next up is Marching Between Two Storm Covered Peaks, veiled with thunder and battling clouds. Purely organically, it continues the quest of the opening composition, yet this one delves into spheres of mesmerizing Ambient, constructed by floating soundwaves and those stormy samples. The several keyboard layers, undulating waves of gloomy beauty, take the listener into abyssal dimensions of both tranquility and tenseness. Descending Into Moss Covered Halls starts with somewhat industrial flair, frightening sounds that weigh intensively down. Somehow it does remind me of a Lovecraftian expedition through unexplored dungeons and untrodden vaults, as if it is part of a soundtrack for a horror story. These ultimately dark soundscapes work almost claustrophobic, leaving you confused, gasping for air. It’s such an oppressive piece, this one, begging for courage and a glimpse of light to continue the journey. Very organically, the wonder of the moss-covered halls go on, and further, with a magnificent piece on piano, Lost In The Depths. Contemporary Classical Music with a dramatic feel, somehow impending, somehow tragic too. It’s a calm before the storm, and the ominous character works surprisingly well. A Shrine, A Place Of Refuge is the next chapter, bringing pure hypnosis and marvel. It’s a precious piece of Winter Synth with a manifestly astounding ambience, based on mesmerizing, almost meditative layers of synth-based grandeur. Than again, it is disturbing when noticing that this seemingly calmth isn’t but a brief passage before getting confronted once more with pure asphyxiating. Entering The Realm Of Dis Pater brings horrific visions to mind, with those ghostly, and ghastly, melodies; first slowly crawling forward, then covering the whole in a suffocating nebula. The many keyboard-lines get penetrated by deep drones and several percussions with a militant attitude. It paves the path to finally discover The Holy Of Holies, the sonic symbolization of the sacral artifacts the protagonist was aiming for. This song returns to an inner piece, a dark yet tender mixture of dim Dungeon Synth as well as enlightening Ambient. Somber and murky, and at the same time levitating, before touching the abstruse core once more of traditional Dungeon Synth, Martial Orchestra and bombastic Cinematic Ambient.
Where The Gods Whisper Your Name Amongst Themselves represents a temerarious adventure, literally and symbolically, but for sure also audibly. The whole album enthralls and captivates, invoking the listener’s fantasy, teasing, and pleasing, the listener’s eardrums. Each listen reveals new elements. Besides, the sound quality is top-notch. The production is not too clean, not of that surgically clinical stuff, for it includes a delicate touch of unpolished rawness. Therewith, the mixture of all instrumental details (synths, percussion and sampling) is perfectly balanced.
Cinematic excellence through magic Aural Art…