Wednesday 5 July 2017

Dark Music Review – Sleeper’s Fate

Dark Music Review – Sleeper’s Fate

Review Written By Casey Douglass

Sleeper's Fate Album Art

8 years. Still locked inside.Sentenced to this prison of beeping machines and wires.
Forced to watch the world unfold from behind the veil of suspended hell.
Nobody ever expects to end up here. Not like this…

God Body Disconnect presents us with the next chapter in his saga of a comatose man banished to the recesses of his tortured mind. The journey begins taking us back to the fateful night of his sentencing. Beyond the halls of beeping machines, whirling sirens echo in the distance. Blackened clouds grumble down a bitter melody of tears upon the streets. A single shot blares between your ears, dropping you to the bed of concrete below. Here we witness the transformation of a once awakened man turned to sleeping prisoner.

Plunging deeper into the heart of the unconscious mind, the doors to a mysterious labyrinth emerge before us. From behind the towering walls, strange voices beckon us to enter. We insert and turn the key, unlocking a hidden portal to the past. A forgotten dimension, where once suppressed memories now filter through the lens of the surreal. This is the place where our darkest reflections go to hide. Self-perception is liquid here, and the emotional landscapes morph at will.

Deep bass, ethereal guitar and post rock influences mixed with Vocal narration and Binaural field recordings, This album has it all. A sonic explosion of the senses and a deeply moving and personal experience brought to the microphone.

The album description above gives more than a few insights into the kind of sounds you will hear on God Body Disconnect’s Sleeper’s Fate. Field-recordings are used prodigiously, so when you read about sirens, beeping machines and strange voices, that is exactly what you will hear upon listening to this atmosphere rich tale of a trapped persona. I love dark ambient albums that make heavy use of field recordings, as nothing mentally transports me more effectively to another time and place than the mental movies conjured by the sounds that might actually be happening in that other place.

A number of tracks make great use of the sounds that you might associate with laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to all manner of beeping equipment. This isn’t just the beep-beeping of a heart-rate reading though, you’ll also find the hiss of breathing equipment, the squeak of gurneys being wheeled past the room and the general vocal hubbub that any locale full of humans contains. On the flip side to this, you have the locales that the character enters when he is less aware of this so-called reality, the dark bubbling places and metal creaking environs that all tell of a soul exploring the limits of its own experience.

Reservoir Dreamer was a standout track for me in the way that it set up a really interesting soundscape. Churning water and some kind of motorised chugging seems to be joined by a distant klaxon or alarm. Creaking metal can be heard next, the sounds of a door or hatch being manipulated. Airy string notes hang high in the soundscape as a melancholy seems to seep in. The second half of the track becomes a quieter, slightly lighter affair, particularly when the sounds of distant people enter. It creates a strong feeling of being at the boundary or edge of something, a bit like having your view broken by a hill ahead but still being able to hear the activities happening on the other side. With the theme of the album in mind, that makes a lot of sense, but I felt it worth saying that this track really nailed it for me.

Another great track is Lair of the Dormant Host, mostly for its tremendous use of footsteps, hissing mechanical sounds, and the unnerving clinking of keys and chains. As the track progresses, voices can be heard, seemingly crying for attention. This track is dripping with the theme of imprisonment, the musical notes, when they do appear, compliment the electro-fuzz that has slowly built to make a discomforting yet riveting soundscape to explore.

The final track that I wanted to single out for praise is Flesh of a Ghost. This track really struck me as a kind of “travelling soundtrack” for an out of body soul astrally projecting their way through the mundane world, everyone else around (hinted at by the crowd-like voices) ignorant that they are passing by. I envisioned the narrator walking through the hospital canteen, or maybe even a shopping mall nearby, the bright afternoon sun glowing through the clear glass ceiling above the atrium. The latter half of the track darkens though, as if he has pushed his link, his etheric chord, to breaking point and finds himself snapped back into the darkness once more, a slow ticking clock his only real stability once more.

Sleeper’s Fate is a loving glimpse into a dark situation, one in which the listener becomes travel companion to the main character as he struggles. He struggles with seemingly having all of the time in the world and yet having no means to do anything with it except to explore less tangible realities. Definitely one to add to your dark ambient collection.

Visit the Sleeper’s Fate page on Bandcamp here for more information, and be sure to check out the titular track, Sleeper’s Fate, below.

I was given a free copy of this album to review.

Album Title: Sleeper’s Fate
Artist: God Body Disconnect
Label: Cryo Chamber
Released: June 27, 2017