Monday 11 January 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire

Dark Ambient Review: Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire

Review by Casey Douglass

Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire

Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire is a dark ambient project from two occult-minded music projects: Emme Ya and Occult Odyssey. Both use their music as a way to expand their understanding of the systems that they embrace, and to also deepen their explorations into the energies that they deal with. It has been a long time since I’ve read anything related to the occult or to magickal systems, so I have to admit to a head-scratching rustiness when it comes to some of the entities or systems referenced. As always, I’ll fall back on my usual approach to writing a review, that of describing the music and the images that it created in my mind.

The first thing to address is that this is a chant and ritual drumbeat-fuelled album. From the very first track: Miccacuicatl - Mictlantecuhtli (Funeral Chant to Miclantecuhtli), the listener is treated to dark, echoing spaces and semi-distant chanting. For me, I had the impression of some earthen-walled grotto, someone deep inside throat-chanting around a bend that I couldn’t see. A blown pipe-type note pierces the soundscape, a deeper tone hanging in the air. The chanting turns to whispers, the space pulses with a bass throb, and the feeling of things manifesting or responding to the chanter intensifies. I particularly enjoyed how the whispers or chanting “clicked” or “grated” at times, setting up their own rhythm that carries the listener along.

I think my favourite track has to be Descending Into The Temple of Pestilence. It opens with a vibrating rumbling and a hiss, with higher tones sitting above everything. A short time in, a piercing ringing sound starts, sharp and defined in the right ear, a shadowy, rustling version in the left. A chant begins, crackles and rumblings tickling at its edges. The voices and chants seem to come from both male and female throats, and when combined with the perpetual chiming and rumbles, creates a lovely feeling of energies shifting. Some of the spoken words are even reversed at times, which gives them a lovely, strange quality. I think, for me, this track could be the soundtrack to a procession making its way down into a forbidden temple, the rocky pathways falling away into massive drops on either side, the temple in the distance casting a strange glow against the rock walls that surround it.

Another track that I greatly enjoyed was Chants of Putrescence. In part, this was because it’s a bit of a departure from the deeper sounds of the others. Chants of Putrescence opens with chiming notes and a growing high-pitched shimmering sound. These build and build, cracking a little as they flood the track. A reverb-like effect vibrates and quietens things. As the high-pitched tones return to build again, a low chant accompanies them, a fast drumbeat its companion. I enjoyed the semi-ear splitting sounds of this track. The high tones, the low chant, the drumbeat and other vocals create a chiming space that manages to feel both golden and shining, while at the same time corrupt and warped.

Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire is very much an album for people who enjoy the power of the human voice, the tones and drones that we can emit, and the words that we can drive with strange energies or hidden intents. If you have any awareness of the occult, you’ll likely get a good deal from this album, but even if you just approach it as another prospective dark ambient album for your collection, it can create some wonderful spaces for you to enjoy.

Visit the Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire page on Bandcamp for more information. You can also listen to Funeral Chant to Miclantecuhtli below:

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Oracle Of The Throne Ov Fire

Album Artist: Emme Ya & Occult Odyssey

Label: Noctivagant

Released: 23 Nov 2020