Wednesday 21 April 2021

Dark Ambient Review: Isolated Tales

Dark Ambient Review: Isolated Tales

Review By Casey Douglass

Isolated Tales

The Covid lockdowns in so many parts of the world, introduced a good number of people to the raw reality of how many hours there really are in a day. Yes, there are twenty four, but if you are ill, locked-down or alone, each of those hours can feel like its own decade. Isolated Tales is a dark ambient album from ElectronicDeathBlackDogs, and it was conceived during that time of stay at home orders, uncertainty, and creeping despair.

The track Endlessly Searching Through Empty Rooms is a great embodiment of these feelings. It begins with a low, trundling machine-like sound, with pacing footsteps and creaking echoes filling an empty space. There are distant impacts, maybe doors slamming in the wind. There are also closer sounds of the footstep owner shutting doors too. A light, string-like tone begins, floating in the air above what feels like a harsh concrete world of abandonment. At one point, I wasn’t sure if I heard distant shouts or cries. This is a haunting track, and I really liked the way that the footsteps and door shutting kept appearing.

Crushing The Construct is another atmospheric track. This one feels technological though. It starts with a knocking, as if against glass, with what sounds like a flurry of wings answering each time. Maybe this is how a bird in a glass enclosure might react to continual annoyances from its owner. A growing hollow drone emerges, soon joined by electronic screeching that rasps through the soundscape. For me, this track brought about feelings of being trapped and tormented, possibly by technology. It felt high-tech and spiteful. Maybe it’s an analogy for how shit social media can be, especially when people are stuck at home and easily outraged by stuff that doesn’t remotely effect them.

Food For The Trees is the last track on the album, and probably the darkest. It opens with the sound of the wind and a faint, wet, crumpling sound. The sound of a shovel sliding through dirt comes at regular intervals, a deep meditative chant filling the air. Deep impacts begin, languid string-notes aping the tones of the chant. As the track progresses, all of these sounds seem to coalesce to make a clattering, mechanical rhythm. If this isn’t the track to someone digging a grave in the shadow of some kind of catastrophe, I don’t know what is.

Isolated Tales is a collection of dark tracks that really do seem to fit the strange times that we still find ourselves in. Its soundscapes all feel nicely dark and spacious, and many do contain moments of lightness too, just to keep things the right side of gloomy. Isolated Tales is a great album for dreary days and insufferable nights.

Visit the Isolated Tales page on Bandcamp for more information.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Isolated Tales

Album Artist: ElectronicDeathBlackDogs

Released: 7 Sept 2020