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Jarl/Envenomist - Tunguska Event [Zoharum - 2014]

Long time contributors to the dark ambient scene, Jarl and Envenomist team up with Zoharum to put on disc a sonic reenactment of the Tunguska Event. This mysterious explosion over the Russian region of Tunguska has been studied and written about for the past 100 years, Cold, synthy, and low, Jarl and Envenomist capture the space and mystery around the event quite well. Spread over five tracks, this sonic journey takes the listener back in time to the cold, bleak, Russian woods where the mysterious explosion flattened almost 900 sq mi without warning.
 
Fading in with a low, slowly shimmering buzz, the higher accents paint a picture of an early morning sun over Tunguska on June 17, 1908. Subtle bass hits hint at impending doom while quickly fluttering loops suggest birds as main witnesses to the event. The following darkness may play out as the event itself. Suggestive tones and allusive loops leave the experience open to interpretation. Echoed claps feel like falling trees in the resulting shock wave. Higher notes bring about a sense of urgency, probably due to a similarity to modern ambulance sirens. These stand in stark contrast to the grim lows that make up the album's core. From here, The Tunguska Event takes on a horror movie score feel. Near shrieks drone and waiver while pulsing synths build tension. Deepening lows play against slowly bubbling mids and thicken the mystery contained within the sonic soup. Ending with sounds straight from space, Jarl and Envenomist close off their interpretation with a drifting, haunting otherworldness.
 
Capturing the mystery and darkness of the event, Jarl/Envenomist's Tunguska Event engages the listener without overpowering. Allowing one to feel and interpret the evidence and reenactment as they wish instead of forcing it, Jarl/Envenomist craft an album worthy of repeated listens. And, with all good records, the more one listens, the more one discovers inside.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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