Vacuum Aeterna - Project:Darkscapes [Cyclic Law - 2017]Italian dark ambient /industrial newcomers Vacuum Aeterna present their debut album Project:Darkscapes. This is the first instalment of their unfolding aural journey and consists of nine tracks, spread over 56 minutes. Throughout this journey you are treated to a melee of ritual tribalism, eerie and cryptic soundscapes over-wrought industrial noises, and a tonne of reverb.
Beginning with the sublime track “Anatomy Of A Spirit” this pulsating and haunting track drifts through seven minutes with a low mixed cacophony of industrial noises and white noise as the back drop for swathes of high and low flute-like drones. This track sets the pace of album perfectly.
“Control Metamorphose” is reverb drenched piece with bird noises and constant tapping of metal whilst a bass drone shifts between the sounds. There’s less in this piece, but more going because of that. The atmosphere one of serenity being disturbed by the constant disruption of nerves on edge and fidgeting.
There’s something familiar about what you are listening to. Yes, it’s dark ambient, yes it has those industrial noises, yes there are undertones of projects that have gone before: Rapoon, VidnaObmana and Zoviet France spring immediately to mind. But at the same time you are hearing something from a new perspective.
“Enenra”, track three, without the industrial noises and metal bashing that are present in the foreground, could quite easily be an ambient techno track, the slow pulse beat with the bass drones and shivering lightness of the flute mixing perfectly together.
As the album moves to “Kurtz” you are beginning to notice the same sounds in each track are used. These work for the tracks, but there is the feeling of deja vu in this track specifically. It could quite easily be track two repeated. However, “Liminal Rites” shifts the bias somewhat with a heavy beat of tribal drum with the skittering of a rainstick. This track is the most Rapoon-esque on the album, but that said it’s still a beautifully hypnotic mix of tribalism and industry.
Project:Darkscapes is a worthy, if flawed, debut album from an outfit I think we’ll hear even greater things from in the coming years. The influences are worn just a little too obviously at the moment, but as Vacuum Aeterna grow hopefully these will be seen less of. However this is still a gorgeous outing into the tribal/ industrial ambient arena that deserves your attention.Adam Skyes