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Troum & raison d'etre - De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu [Essence - 2015]

Over the course of four years (2011-2014), ambient/drone kings Troum and raison d'etre worked together to create a lush slice of ambient magic. Airy and otherworldly, De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu harnesses the powers of two masters at the peak of their craft. The sonic landscape crafted by these powerhouses fills the ears with such a vivid picture that one can't help but see an alien world unfold in front of them. This album takes its time, does only what it needs, and the restraint is very rewarding.

Starting off in the distance, slowly moving to the fore, the lushness of "Folia" is a great starting point for this album. Airy drones float the listener along while earthy recordings give a sense of what lies below. And, at three minutes, it's a nice tease and intro into the beauty of De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu. Deep drums start of "Alio Tempore," and stand in a stark contrast to the airy nature of the previous track. Carrying a more chthonic vibe, it's surprising how well the highs work with the low, booming below. It feels as if there's a ritual taking place and a sacrifice is being made to the lord of the sky. As the song unfolds, the heavens open up more and the much prayed for storm comes forth. Lightly noisy and moving at a different pace than the rest of it, this storm works very well and doesn't distract from the original airiness. Taking a turn for the New Age, "Oculum Mundi" has more of a looped feel to it. Floating in the clouds, the pulses off in the distance rapidly approach and soon enough, the listener is right in the thick of it. Low, haunting synths have a chant-like vibe, and their ritual to the earth god will soon prove fruitful. Bouncing back into the atmosphere, "Atmosphaera" spreads it's wings in a long, droney fashion. Riding on its back, the listener is once again lifted high into the sky and given a vantage point to see the world below. Sounds of life, movement, and construction are put in perspective with their relative distance to the drone. Not surprisingly, "Meditationum" is a highly contemplative piece that draws on airiness, aquatic touches, and an ultrasound-esque throb. This throb brings one back to the womb and adds a sense of safety and comfort. The soft pool of the beginning is replaced by a frog-like chirping and the forest begins to grow around the listener. In a riverboat journey of the mind, we're soon brought to a waterfall and a passage to a secret cave. This is a luxurious journey of sound that cradles the mind in colors and images made entirely out of sound. "Flammae" once again takes us airborne as we move along the clouds to another section to explore. "Ad Infinitum" starts off far in the distance, with the ringing drone growing over time until it is right on top of the listener. Thickening and becoming more absorbing, one is enveloped by the gauzy glow and swaddled in sound. Majestic in scope, this sound reveals all to the listener before opening a window into a darker, more gloomy tone. Showing the range of scope from beginning to end, Troum & raison d'etre capture a world that exists only in the mind's eye.

 Good things come to those who wait, right? Four years in the making, De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu is an unhurried, reflective piece of ambient that picks the listener up and carries him on a journey of sound. The balance between airy and earthly pleasures adds a wonderful dimension to the work, and any fan of this genre would be well advised to pick this one up

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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