It is with grief, and shame, that I have to admit that I did not review any release for Depressive Black Ambient Records since more than half a year, despite two hands full of new (and great, evidently) releases. But I’ll make it all up, starting with this successor of Catharsis by Mexico’s Trauma. For this recording, vocalist / lyricist Månen joined forces with Nozttalgy and F, resulting in another collection of ‘forbidden rituals and spells’, which take the listener ‘to a non-existing forest’. It was originally recorded from Spring to Autumn 2020 and finished later that year, with a remastered version that saw the light via Poland’s finest Depressive Black Ambient Records, as said, in very early 2021. That one is limited, evidently, in its physical form (pro-CDr), and available the digital way too.
Aurora Boreal lasts for thirty-three minutes and got released with ‘different’ but, somehow, interesting cover artwork. And since the concept seeks the balance in between hope and despair, sadness and profanity, personal issues and global messaging, that cover works very well.
Anyway, Aurora Boreal opens with the title-track as intro, which is a short but quite sad piece, based on a melancholic piano melody, injected by additional samples (rain and wind) and gloomy synths. With Drawn, Trauma open their registers towards more dynamic regions; first via acoustic lines and a softly-spoken female voice, evolving slowly into a register of Post-Rock-alike integrity. Those female vocals and acoustic strings get joined by somewhat grooving percussion and enchanting keyboards at first, and eventually semi-funky basses take part of the hopeful message. Nameless then again gets established too through acoustics, but initially there are more layers of string-expression. Here too that balance in between an enlightening future, almost ambiental in nature, and a vision of a dark past, go well together in both sound and performance. Strings, keys, voices; the whole instrumental / vocal palette paint a landscape that tries to create brightness and elation on a dark-colored background. The programmed percussions and bibacious guitar-lines smoothly accompany the message of wonder and aspiration. Things grow little darker, deeper, with Lost Again, as if that elucidating message won’t exist without struggle. No happiness without anger, no relief without fear. Things however turn into waves of tribalism and intoxication, with floating, fluttering melodies, uplifting percussions and these arousing female vocals. It’s an alternative way to express desire and ambition, but it works very well. Another step ‘higher’ is La Muerta Del Ego, which features, by the way, Itzamma Odelagth aka Bella Dosis as guest vocalist. A piece of alienated Doomgaze (or whatever you will call it), a composition that expresses the extremes of black- and white-colored shades through starlit dots on a grey surface, translated via aural excellence. But the search for unexpected things, which one might be seeking for, get highlighted through the last track especially. This lengthy composition, called Ixz., opens in an inceptive way, with a horn-like effect and different dreamy, gloomy keyboard-lines, like an omen for some revealing message to come. After two minutes, things evolve towards introversion and hypnosis, when the whole audible experience morphs into a soundtrack of claustrophobia and stupor. Hypnotic synth-lines (oh, how beautiful they sound like), repetitive drum-patterns and icy, wretched screams get canalized into one mighty yet hiemal crapulence. It climbs up and fades away, continuously swaying and waving, adding new details and elements, yet maintaining that initial sentiment of exceeding grandeur.
Different, unique, captivating, in-depth and open-minded stuff!