Sunday, 17 March 2019

Dark Ambient Review: A New Terror Born in Death

Dark Ambient Review: A New Terror Born in Death

Review by Casey Douglass


A New Terror Born in Death


When it comes to dark ambient, sometimes, you might just be in the mood for something long and lingering, rather than a series of quickies. Yes, I’m talking about track length, what else did you think I could be talking about? Tracks of a longer duration sometimes help whichever mood is being created to emerge, giving it the space to blossom into a dark winged moth flittering around the lamp that is your mind. Noctilucant’s A New Terror Born in Death is an example of just such an album, as it consists of two half-hour tracks that make great use of the extra time they’ve been given.
Album Description: A New Terror Born in Death is the latest opus from the atmospheric dark ambient doom bearer, Noctilucant (Joseph Mlodik). Where Joe has been carving out a niche in the dark ambient community with his foreboding cinematic compositions for several years, he brings us a new near hour-long seamless drone piece. Segmented into two halves, A New Terror Born in Death lulls you into a morbid trance as it entrenches you amidst the decaying architecture of a pallid planet.

While this album does not carry forward the post-apocalyptic story Noctilucant has crafted in his releases Back to the Mud, Oblivion to You All, and Bleak and Drained of Colour, A New Terror Born in Death offers a wayward wandering across ashen-coated fields of grass and derelict asphalt architecture, pockmarked by still-life moments of blissful serenity.

Track one is A New Terror, a track that for me, brought to mind a crumbling city, one that has fallen to some kind of dark malady or presence. The track opens with wet crackles of water and a drone that is soon joined by lumping/creaking metal. Maybe this is the dock yard where the city’s problem started? An insect-like hum swarms in the ear, and a pulsing, like a rasping breath emerges. After a short while, the soundscape quietens and turns a little more contemplative. Whispers carry on the wind, a deeper drone comes and goes, and eventually, the sound of a bell tolling rings out across the rooftops. Other things that jumped out at me were a section of the track that seemed to hint at the kind of music you’d hear at a carnival. There was also a stretch where I heard something that could have been something leathery-winged and hungry, following people who might have been traipsing through the abandoned streets. A track with urban terror and dark brooding at its core.

The second track, Born in Death, presents a more subterranean environment, to me at least. Maybe a cave system below the city of the first track? The track opens in an airy, echoey space, with certain sounds possibly being distant cries. It’s a deep and meditative track, a whooshing stream and the shrill sounds of a strange menagerie sitting well with a chant-like sound. The track features a number of changes in feeling, from the wet onrush of boiling gloop near the 10 minute mark, to a metal-clanging-airy-cavernous feeling a short time later. This cavernous feeling is caused by a wind-like effect rising and rising while another sound falls and falls. It felt a little like an underground vortex fuelled by the deep air currents of the cave system. I also thought I could hear the distant carnival style music once more. For me, this track takes the listener through a deep cave system and deposits them on the open river at the docks of the city above.

A New Terror Born in Death is a dark ambient album that flows with energy and movement. Its use of drone often caused me to hear things that I wasn’t sure were really there, catching hints of female chants and other tones that might well have been my mind playing tricks on me, pattern finding in the maelstrom. Both tracks shift and evolve, light and dark, cloying and spacious, and they took me on an enjoyable mental journey around mental scenes that appealed to my darker nature. If you like this kind of dark ambient, you’d do well to visit A New Terror Born in Death on Bandcamp at this link. You can watch the teaser trailer for the album below too:



I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: A New Terror Born in Death
Album Artist: Noctilucant
Label: From Corners Unknown Records
Released: Feb 28, 2019

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