Yen Pox - Universal Emptiness [Substantia Records - 2010]Following the Dark path they had set for themselves a long time ago, Michael J.V.Hensley and Steven Hall who are better known together as Yen Pox, offer a new album in which they are moving onward inside the hostile realms of dark and black ambient.Yen Pox is, of course, no stranger to these disturbing sounds, and their statement is bold and brutal. 'Universal Emptiness' is dense and intense with two tracks, "Above" and "Below" which continue and complete each other while retaining a sense of dynamics and an emotional burden.
Is this album dark? Aside for its subjective characteristics, which pose a problem in trying to install the same feeling in the heart of every listener, it is hard to come up with something completely horrific in music nowadays. Whether you think it is the perfect horror soundtrack or not, you cannot ignore the intense heaviness of Yen Pox and the fact that while it does not have to inflict any specific sense of darkness in you, it sure does shake your body with breathtaking vibrations.
The powerful ingredient in 'Universal Emptiness' is the constant cavernous space where the pulsating sounds seem to come from, and its contrast in the form of the specific sounds that are, at times, drawn out of this sickly dense ooze of shifting sound layers and raised higher. With this changing contrast between background and foreground, Yen pox increase and diminish space, indeed putting emphasis on emptiness. This emptiness, this hollow world that Yen Pox has brought to life, is slowly expanding, almost to the level where it cannot contain itself anymore, with Hensley and Hall playing with this tension, and then it begins to collapse again to its starting point. When it is all over, the natural thing to do is to play it again and let this phoenix take flight once more, as my room is empty once again and just few minutes ago Yen Pox had filled it quite nicely with their sounds.
These were dark sounds.