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Kave - Ominousium [Cyclic Law/79th Cycle - 2015]

Bram Gollin's newest release as Kave, Ominousium, is a meditative, dark ambient album that is heavy on atmosphere. Slowly moving and thoroughly enveloping, Ominousium takes the listener on a journey through the darkest recesses of the mind. Dark and somewhat dangerous, the trip is worth it and, having experienced the inner workings of the mind, the listener will emerge changed.

Soft notes drift and drone over the crackle of field recordings in the opener, "A House Amongst the Weeds." Like the start of a boat ride in the entry pool of an large, underwater cave (Kave?) complex, the scope of the scenery starts to take shape just as the journey ends. Fortunately, "The Tribes of Nyx" continues to grow the visions set forth by Kave, and the space begins to expand quicker than the listener realizes. Shapes emerge from the darkness as the boat journeys onward. The darkness beyond the edge of vision is alive, but only heard through crackles, crashes, and other vague, hinted at sounds. Lower, and deeper into the complex, the shifting, churning bowels of the Earth rear their head. "Stuporous" brings about a distant rumble as the journey continues. This oneness with the cavern echoes and drifts, ushering the listener through the heart of the voyage. A sudden shift in tone announces the border to the other side. The swirling breezes of "Wind Apathia" drop the listener on the doorstep of the Earthly side of the cave. What lies beyond is surely not natural, or not natural to this planet, anyway. Crossing into "Alter Terra," alien synths drone mystically as harbingers to the new world ahead. Long and luxurious, they're welcoming and hypnotizing, and show of a different (better?) world. Traveling out to face the new world, "Ominousium" plays as an exit. Is it a different cave on a different world or merely the same cave just seen through new eyes? Brighter in tone than the opening, "Ominousium" serves as a nice bookend with "House," but also leaves the album open to very personal interpretation.

Kave's Ominousium is a very engaging album that leaves all of its ideas open to the listener to have a very personal experience. While some of my own take is written above, it's by no means complete (for me) and not even close to the only interpretation. Anyone that's into the darker side of ambient work would do themselves quite a favor by picking this up, throwing on some nice headphones, and taking a short, but excellent, mental journey.

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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