Abandoned Asylum - Derelicts of Distant Hope [Malignant - 2013]Poland's Abandoned Asylum has the honor of putting out its debut on Malignant Records. You may have heard Abandoned Asylum from its appearance on Kalpamantra's massive compilation, The Black Death. If so, you know that Abandoned Asylum rocks some quality, vast dark ambient. If not, HEY! Abandoned Asylum rocks some quality, vast dark ambient.
The opening synth swell on Derelicts of Distant Hope ("Interstellar Transmissions") is a great taste of what lies ahead. Dark, deep, slowly oscillating thickness that draws you in and holds you in its vastness. It's the mental soundtrack of the curious stargazer staring out at a vivid, living sky. High echoes mimic meteoric movements while low, chthonic synth lines keep our stargazer grounded on a planet he will never leave. When not exhibiting the universe's expanse, Abandoned Asylum treats us to views of massive, abandoned (heh) factories. Tracks like "Among Shapes Unknown to Man" and "Pathway Through Nothingness" grow and writhe with mechanical life. It's like Slartibartfast's theme song. The closing track, "Storms In The Endless Void," really lives up to its name. The long growth gives one an idea of the size (der, endless) before distorted waves come in and wail cosmic mayhem on our poor little star ship.
Derelicts of Distant Hope is well put together. The seven tracks flow well and the album flies by. It is very even, too, such that picking out a low point is as hard as picking out a high point. I listened to this album quite a bit and had trouble picking out single elements to point out. This is one that's meant to be enjoyed fully, so strap on your headphones, go out into the yard, and watch the skies.Paul Casey