Friday 7 July 2017

Dark Music Review – Trinity

Dark Music Review – Trinity

Review Written By Casey Douglass

Trinity Album Art

Council of Nine returns with his third album on Cryo Chamber. Trinity is a touching, personal and enlightening album from Maximillian Olivier. In a genre where most keep their personal life to themselves, Maximillian opens his heart for all to see. "This is my catharsis. The many stages of grief and the acceptance of loss, deeply personal, unforgiving, cold and painful. This is the story of the greatest loss I have suffered, the death of my mother. This marks the end of a chapter and the closure I was desperately seeking." Blending atmospheric sound layering with a harmonic palette it drifts between dark and light. Walls of sound collide with echoing strums, drones wash over endless shores.

Trinity is a dark ambient album that created quite a flow of mental scenes for me, even before I’d read the album blurb above (I often leave that until after forming my initial impressions). I must admit that the images it helped create do kind of fit with what Maximillian might have been experiencing as he went through the loss of his mother, although I’m sure, in a paler, less raw way than the things he felt in reality. As a consequence, I’ll write the narrative that seemed to impress itself upon me along with the descriptions of each track.

527: Dripping water and chiming bells join with snatches of melody. Other watery sounds rise up, giving the impression of someone waiting under a stone bridge, waiting for an empty passing boat to be near enough to jump inside, to ride away from an abandoned town. Slithering slurping sounds join with a distorted rumbling, much like the noises some massive creature might make as they laboriously dragged something along the bridge over head.

Memory: Piano notes set up the core of this track, both providing the melody and the gravity with deeper multiple tones. Wispy echoes hint at settling dust and rubble, a high pitched whine sits atop everything, much like that heard when entering a state of shell-shock, when something has rocked your world. The boat drifts along the lazy river, the familiar but empty town nestling on each bank, hollow and filling with murk. A bell chimes after the midpoint of the track, the soundscape beginning to become the audio equivalent of a hall of distorted mirrors.

Bargaining: A drone builds with rumbling and swellings of fuzz and gloom, before the track lightens a little. The boat is entering open countryside now, the lone occupant having to turn away from the sight of people crawling on their hands and knees, trying to slither into the water, into the current to be whisked away. Vocal-like sounds waft through the air, and metal chimes sound near the end, the last bending upward, much like someone’s inflection might if asking a question.

January 3rd: A female voice distorts and recedes. Muted notes and a light drone grows. The last signs of civilization have vanished now, only nature on both sides of the river. The figure drifts in the silence. A voice is heard again, distant and impossible to understand. A deeper tone emerges near the midpoint, a throbbing echo that quietens and soothes. A small chime sounds at a slow interval, the river water parts, the boat plunges down into the darkness below.

I No Longer Hear You: Everything sounds like it has been muffled in silk. The boat travels through an underwater cavern system, the screeching metallic creak of a gate opening ahead unleashing air currents that set myriad candle-flames sitting in impossible places a fluttering. A digeridoo-like thrum echoes, a loud bang or report is heard. A deep tone grows and vibrates, a “tut” noise setting up a rhythm that might just be the slow ticking secondhand of the travellers watch. The track ends with the squeal of metal again, the sound of water dripping, and what might be classed as an insectoid-purring noise.

Silent Dawn: Clattering metal opens this track, dripping water and an echo-filled space its canvas. It happens a few more times as the track progresses, piano notes and a flowing soundscape building up to the dawn spoken of in the track title. In this case however, it happens underground, as the boat glides along a raised canal, skirting the edge of a massive internal space, the pulsing glow of hot magma filling the darkness as the boat continues its journey.

Trinity: An echoing rattle launches the track before gentle piano notes emerge to hang in the peaceful air. The boat shoots through crystal caverns now, joined by an airy effect hinting at lungs being able to breath again. The glowing core at the centre of the largest space claims the boat, embraces it and sucks it inside. Distant bird song floats down from an elaborate fissure in the ceiling, wisps of light rising up and out into the vast blue sky above.

I’m betting those images aren’t the ones that Maximillian had in his head when he created Trinity, but I hope you’ll agree with me that the themes and tone seem to line up pretty well: the sense of loss, the holding of the breath and the search for some kind of peace. For that is what Trinity provides, a peaceful and melancholic journey through soundscapes infused with delicate tones and smooth experiences. Yes, there is the odd slightly jarring effect, but these simply heighten the peace that comes after. Trinity takes the listener into the raw part of the human experience, but makes it as beautiful and comforting as it possibly can be, yet it doesn't water the sadness down to make it easier to stomach. Trinity is a dark ambient album that I can see myself revisiting again and again.

Visit the Trinity page on Bandcamp here for more information, and be sure to check out track 527 below:

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

Album Title: Trinity
Artist: Council of Nine
Label: Cryo Chamber
Released: July 11, 2017