Saturday 28 September 2019

Dark Ambient Review: Beringia

Dark Ambient Review: Beringia

Review by Casey Douglass


I’m often up for music that takes me on a bit of a journey. Whether explicitly with characters actually delivering dialogue, or more subtly, it’s a nice feeling to open your eyes again and feel you’ve gone from “there” to “here” in the hour or so you’ve been listening. Creation VI’s Beringia is a dark ambient album that falls into the latter category, a shamanic-styled journey of drones, rattles and drumbeats, that lull the mind and lead it into potent spaces.

The soundscapes on Beringia are textured and often rhythmic, with piping and clacking going hand in hand with anything from field-recordings of water to the twang of a jaw harp. That’s not even mentioning the drones and didgeridoo. The tracks carry themselves along in their own rhythm, the main drone or beat gaining flourishes or extra detail sounds around it but largely following a rhythmic, trance-like predictability.

I think my favourite track is Haunted Shore, a soundscape that really brought to mind a dripping, misty shore, with the sound of muted things knocking in the distance and a strange little repeating tone that seemed to hint at the unease of the location. It also features a sound that I liken to “insect gloop” and the kind of rain that sounds like it is hitting a plastic bag. A drone rises at the midpoint that lends the whole thing an added feeling of menace or threat, a bassy beat fleshing out the edges.

I did really enjoy the final track, Conversation of Elements too, another track that opens with the sound of water, but languidly builds up to feed the listener gusts of wind and later, the crackle of fire. There are rattling wooden wind chimes, exhalations and sounds of snuffly activity, that might just hint at being underground at one point. I guess that’s all of the usual elements covered, earth, wind, fire, air and water. If you include spirit in the mix, that would be the people making the journey, in my humble opinion. Or the listener, if you want to get a bit meta about it.

In Beringia, Creation VI has made another fine album, one that uses rhythm and shamanic/tribal sounds to create a space that is a refuge from the mundane world. Gone are the annoying chimes of social media notifications and outrage-fueled news. They get smothered and muffled by the warming drones, energised drum rhythms and insect-like buzzes that remind the listener of the more primal parts of the human psyche.

Visit the Beringia page on Bandcamp, and check out the track Haunted Shore below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Beringia
Album Artist: Creation VI
Label: Cryo Chamber
Released: September 17, 2019