Tuesday 10 July 2018

Dark Ambient Review – The Messenger

Dark Ambient Review – The Messenger

Review Written By Casey Douglass

Dark Ambient Review – The Messenger

Scott Lawlor’s The Messenger is a dark ambient album that for me, brings to mind the notion of some Luciferian being wending his way into the world to whisper his dark message into the ears of the receptive. Its soundscapes are clean and uncluttered, which is what you’d probably imagine when you hear that it was created with one take improvisations.
Album Description: This album was recorded over a weekend in October of 2015. All tracks, except 4 and 10 were one-take improvisations using only one sound for each track on the Roland fa08 with no overdubs. Track 4 was originally in two parts but I felt that it flowed better as one and track 10 had some additional piano. Track titles from the Messenger at dewinnefol.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/the-messenger/

I’m not sure how unduly the album art might have influenced me, but the streak of light was a theme that seemed to follow me with each track. As an example, The Heart Transcends Desire has specific tones that aided this. This track features a hanging undulating tone that conjured to mind a spinning disc of some kind, catching the light. It also had a tone that put me very much in mind of an old-fashioned alarm clock ringing, which further added to the effect.

Other tracks seemed to give me an 80s B-movie horror vibe. When Flesh and Bone Expire is one example of this, the bone-clinking sounds at one point being joined by the noise an energy weapon might make as it dissolves a human to powder. This track sounds a bit insectoid in places, and I’m sure I heard the thrum of a flying-saucer’s propulsion system at some point.

Playing into the whole “Lucifer” notion I first mentioned at the start, a few of the tracks sound a little “churchy” to me. Stepping Past a Graveyard's Stare is one, the sounds and notes sound sonorous and religious somehow, before things quieten at times into a more whimsical soundscape. It’s a bit like hearing strains of circus music as it reaches you in your coffin, six feet below the earth.

The Messenger is a very dark album that creates some interesting soundscapes with the minimum of fuss. Something all of the tracks seem to have in common is the love of waxing and waning sound, the way things build and then quieten, and then evolve into something similar but different. Some do feature the odd “overload” effect of the sound getting very harsh in key places, but for the most part, it’s a smooth ride.

If you are a fan of dark ambient that manages to be dark and uncluttered, you’d do well to check out The Messenger.

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

Album Title: The Messenger
Artist: Scott Lawlor
Released: Feb 27, 2018