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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Aeoga - Triangle Of Nebula-Devourers & Palace For Vultunal [ Aural Hypnox - 2015]

Here's a 2015 release from Finnish dark ambient label Aural Hypnox. It's a combined re-issue of two of Aeoga's out of print early releases, the CDr "Triangle of Nebula-Devourers" and cassette "Palace for Vultunales", both originally released in 2005 in the label's characteristic highly limited editions.  I was excited to hear this re-issue, as Aeoga's other early works such as "COAV" and "Zenith Beyond the Helix Locus" are among the most vividly intense visionary tools of their kind.

Unlike much of what is called 'dark ambient', Aeoga releases and those of Aural Hypnox in general tend to focus around recordings of acoustic timbres, particularly thunderous drums and gongs, dusty plucked strings, and droning singing voices holding a single pitch with long 'aah' syllables.  This gives their music an earthy, imperfect and very human primitivist feeling, and a complex, organic texture which induces no fatigue to the ear.

Between the 2 releases included here, we have 5 total tracks, each roughly 10 minutes.  The releases aren't musically contrasted in any significant way, and listeners may not notice the transition into "Palace for Vultunales" when track 4 comes. 

The album's greatest strength is the ear pleasing coating of natural reverb which permeates every sound, the authentic voice of the cave, an untamed utterance from real stone.  With the artist/label content to disclose no recording details, I'm unsure how or where this music was created, but from the sound alone, I would say it must have been in a real subterranean location, or at least a large, high-ceilinged stone building.  A sound with this chilling depth cannot be easily faked with digital imitations of verb.  It is as if the cool tempature of the stone is somehow audible.

As for the acts of noise making being performed within this reverberant space?  A minimalist, precise work of performative ritual music this is not...  Rather, the band seems to have jammed extensively, and then edited the pieces together, creating loops and crossfading them gradually.  These electronically assembled compositions have a rather unnaturally insistent repetition considering the organic textures employed, though perhaps it is exactly this combination they are striving for.  Repeated listens to the album have revealed intelligently evolving internal structures, though I still find myself wishing at times to hear a raw, unedited improvisation of theirs, and the more natural human rhythms that would emerge, particularly when it comes to the tribal drumming.

Yen Pox is another such dark ambient group who tend to liberally apply sounds and layers to their compositions in such a way, making for songs with chaotic, omnidirectional flows, but extremely high replay value, rich as they are with hidden elements.  It's actually a very active, constantly shifting style of music, 'maximalist' by traditional ambient standards, playing to shorter attention spans.  It's as if the most evocative sounds were collected from many hours of sparse, quiet sessions, and condensed into this more concentrated form.

A highlight of the album was the distant 'vulture calls' in side A of "Palace of Vultunales", "Palace of Vultures", perfectly ghoulish, dancing back and forth across the white-washed stone soundspace as if bouncing across parallel canyon walls.  Both pieces from this cassette are wonderfully haunting, desolate and ancient, making powerful use of strings and quasi-melodic resonant drones.

I enjoyed the texture and mood of this very authentically subterranean sounding recording.  This re-issue is now one of the most easily obtained items from what I think was this label's most vital era of existence, which also gave us such gems as Arktau Eos' "Mirrorion" and Halo Manash's "Language of Red Goats".  This music will be eagerly and immediately understood by fans of such albums as Lustmord's "Heresy".

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

Josh Landry
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