NERATERRÆ - The Substance of Perception [Cyclic Law - 2019]The Substance of Perception is the debut offering from Italian artist Alessio Antoni and his project NERATERRÆ. For this album he put together a stunning collaborative effort with some of the best contemporary names in the field of dark ambient /drone/ritual music ...collaborators here are Northaunt, Alexey Tegin from Phurpa, Treha Sektori, New Risen Throne, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, Taphephobia, Ugasanie, Xerxes The Dark and Infinexhuma-which is a pretty heavy hitting line up.
The first track “Shadows of Regret" features Norwegian ambient artist Northaunt- it starts with light airy tone droppings and then slightly builds with a texture that could be water or fire.. hard to discern, which makes it all the better. It has some sampled movie dialogue that I was unable to place, but seemed familiar.. perhaps from Blade Runner.. but overall the dark foreboding ambient effect was well done.. and this aesthetic continues thru the entire album.
Next we have "To Reveal the Unseen"- this features Alexey Tegin, from the Russian project Phurpa. The track features dark ritual throat singing and throbbing subsonic percussion that sounds like it's happening a half a mile away- barely audible, but just enough to feel it. The next cut is the longest on the album, “Becoming the Nightmare” coming in at over eleven minutes and featuring collabs with French project Treha Sektori and Russian project New Risen Throne-this track is super cinematic.. it invokes images in the mind that correspond with title..this track almost feels like it should be a video, not an audio track.
The fourth track "The Wicked Pulse of Conscience" features involvement from Norwegian project Taphephobia and California based Infinexhuma- this is most dreamy, and again using sounds that could be water.. could be fire.. could be something else.. but much more subtle and soothing. This track ended after seven minutes, & I felt it could have easily gone on two or three times that length, and I would have just fallen in and floated.. The next track "That Which Shall Not Be Witnessed" has a little more grit and fibre to it..including metal scrapings and deep grumbling bass drones with whispering voices hiding behind each corner..for this one the collaborators are Xerxes The Dark from Iran.. and French artist Treha Sektori..it's one of the shorter cuts on this album, but it is still able to take you to the place you want to go in that short time. Track six “Beyond” features interaction with Russian project Ugasanie-it features some soft beautiful floating heavily echoed flute tones that are really dreamy once the track gets into the depth of it. The final cut “Echoing Scars” featuring Australia’s Flowers For Bodysnatchers starts with the sound of rain and soft piano ..and is quite the lovely ending for this fantastic collection of collaborative work.
As an album The Substance of Perception is really a wonderful work of art and If you are at all into the dark ambient, cinematic drone type sounds- this is going be your new favourite for a little while- it's very well done, and I think that Antoni will have a hard time following it up! BUT .. I totally look forward to hearing whatever he does after this fantastic initial release. The CD is limited to 400 copies and comes in a 6-panel digipack package that includes most mood & effective artwork by French artist Nihil and Norwegian photographer Daria Endresen.Lob Instagon