Arktau Eos - Eremos [Aural Hypnox - 2018]A year after their last release the somewhat lacklustre Catacomb Resonator. Here’s Eremos- a new full length nine track releases from dark ambient & occult music two piece Arktau Eos- it finds the mysterious Finish duo back on good form offering up a mostly consistent release that moves between & melds sinister retro electronic texturing, gloomy & dread filled ritual music, with brooding ceremonial organ simmers, and fleeting/ eerier field recordings.
The Arktau Eos project began in 2005- putting out their first two releases in 2006- Mirrorion- a classic & at times otherworldly 70-minute journey into pitch black ritual ambience. And Scorpion Milk- a single forty eight minute release, that saw the project at their most pared-back- bringing together sparse ritual ambience with moments of eerier reverb & dread filled silence. Since these initial releases, the project has put out four full-lengths, with each really pushing forward their darkly tinged & occultic ambient sound. Last year saw the project releasing Catacomb Resonator, their first output in five years up to that point- the album featured a single slice of building-then-receding ritual ambience- it was just ok, but ultimately a bit of a letdown…so when I saw a new Arktau Eos album was appearing, I was both pleased & a little apprehensive.
The nine-track album runs for spot on forty-eight minutes- with each of the tracks running between one & a half, and nearing nine minutes a piece . The album moves from the darkly lulling & eerier “Facing the Exarchs of Desolation”- which brings together slurred warbling synth harmonics, simmering & desolate drone drifts, and subtle tolling ritual tones. Onto the epic & glorious creepy crypt like atmops of “He Who Drinks The Light From The Stars”- which starts with a blend slow & circling pipe organ melody, rushing wind field records, strangely muffled voices & bleak hit percussive tolls- in the second half this wonderful unsettling addition of wavering electro pitches are added along with more creepy flotsam & jetsam- all to create such a chilling atmosphere it almost induces a shudder & a quick look over the shoulder.
Later on, we get slurred & forlorn marching synth meets dramatic ritual clanging and creepy crashing water field recordings of “Pacts Of Stone and The Sun”. Or the final track "Eden"- with its focus of buzzing & droning pipe organ layers, slowly clashing percussion sweeps, and slowly fading feeling of dread filled uneasy & dark wonderment.
As any fan of Arktau Eos and its connected label/collective Aural Hypnox know they always go the extra mile with the darkly arty packaging of their releases. And Eremos it's just the same- the CD comes a foldout card sleeve- on it’s outside this features a blend of dark textured brown ink, and gold inked lettering & symbols. Inside we get brown text against a Manila backing, with a fold-out mini paper poster of what looks like a sketched mountain pass.
In conclusion, Eremos is certainly a return to form from Arktau Eos- as it feels more focused, assured & detailed in it’s forging of great ritual tinged dark ambience. It’s great to see Arktau Eos back on form once more, and it’s made me most keen to hear what will come next from the Aural Hypnox collective.Roger Batty