Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, December 21, 2020
Review Type: 

(review for an older recording, released in 2020, but who cares – it’s all about aural art and sonic supremacy!)

Swedish Ambient master Pär Boström is active under many monikers (Aindulmedir, Hymnambulae, Bonini Bulga, Cities Last Broadcast, Altarmang, or the legendary Cryo Chamber Collaboration) via some of the best Ambient / Drone labels around, i.e. Cryo Chamber, Hypnagoga Press (which he runs with his twin sister Åsa, being part is some of Pär’s other projects too) or Cyclic Law. It’s the latter, based in France, that releases the fourth Kammarheit recording.

Thronal gets released, evidently, in digital format, but there are physical copies too. You have the compact discs, limited to 500 copies, coming in a six-panel digipack version, and there are two different LP editions too, on ‘regular’ black vinyl (200 copies) and grey vinyl (100 copies). All of them come with the very same eight compelling soundscapes, clocking about three quarters of an hour. The stunning cover artwork (no idea who is behind it) surely reveals what the aural side will deal with; and indeed, it’s bleak, desolate and cold for sure…

I took the crown and the throne acted as a magnet, drawing the attention of distant stars…

For more than forty minutes, Kammarheit guides the listener, metaphorically, through the gigantic halls of the universe, through borderless dimensions, through infinite spaces and areas; deeply dreamlike soundscapes float all over, mesmerizing in essence, captivating in attitude. The eight ‘tracks’ are like magic-inspired efforts of Dark Drone and Ambient with a visionary character (the so-called ‘cinematic’ approach isn’t a bad description for sure!), inherently introvert and tranquil in approach, yet abundantly rich and fruitful when delving deeper into the core of the audible spine. It’s like long-stretched waves (which does not mean that it sounds monotonous, at all!) of enchanting, somehow opiating textures, calmly yet convincingly growing and evolving, continuously captivating and dragging along. A touch of mysterious, magic essence covers the whole ambience in a veil of mystic, even mysterious elegance, for the many subtly interacting levels of keyboard manipulation add that mighty atmosphere of intrigue, wonder, and overwhelming , even passionate grandeur.

Synths flow by and by; different layers are subtly combined, organically entwined into moony passages. Sometimes the more obscure side takes over the game; then again, a rather enlightening passage passes by, or a mesmerizing, even meditative one, yet permanently maintaining that atmosphere of post-apocalyptic and still feeling like ‘abandoned’ or ‘desolated’. There’s no repetitive or monotone play at all, and even though the essence is down-earthed, haunting, vast-astral, whatever you want to call it, Thronal always adds those sounds and noises to remain adventurous, hypnotizing and attractive.

Despite the doomy execution, there is a certain dynamism, at least spiritually / atmospherically, that exceeds the minimal song-writing and performance. It’s like entering a foggy landscape, breathing the suffocating mist and nebulae, and going through a visionary state of mind, experiencing a whirlwind of subconscious emotions and unphysical ceremonies. The few additional noises and samples within the lackadaisical effort add that fine dimension of down-earthed reality (it’s not a coincidence that the mastermind behind this project also runs Cities Last Broadcast!), still maintaining that hypnagogic flood on spirit and soul.