Clavicvla - Sepulchral Blessing [Cyclic Law - 2019]New to the scene, but already causing a stir, Italy's Clavicvla heads to Cyclic Law for their sophomore release, Sepulchral Blessing. Continuing down the path of dark and thick ambient, this latest slab of murky tones delves deep into the Earth and launches the listener into chthonic catharsis. Grim and low, Sepulchral Blessing slowly churns, boring its way deeper into the core, and lashing out with tendrils to pull listeners closer into its heaving being.
Composed of six tracks over thirty-seven minutes, Sepulchral Blessing has enough time and space to forcefully meander through rocky soil, down into the depths of the Earth and the listener's psyche. What feels like a shoggoth burrowing down to spread corruption, Clavicvla uses very low frequencies to add unease to this sludgy, ambient composition and deepen the overwhelming sense of systemic miasma. Low, grim, and constantly foreboding, this quickly makes its presence known, but slowly moves forth to reveal its secrets. Buried, haunting vocals evoke the imagery of subterranean sorcery and arcane rituals, all while acting as the usher to the bleak parade of oscillating layers streaming forth. Sepulchral Blessing blends together what seems to be the auditory ritual, the sounds oozing from the summoned being itself, as well as the rumblings and heaving strata of the moving Earth. Not overwhelmingly complex, Clavicvla manages to make the most out of very little, all while staying far away from minimalism. This is achieved through strategically layered lines, widespread frequencies, and varied speeds of oscillation. The addition of well balanced, somewhat distant, heavily manipulated feedback gives an almost mechanical feel to the album and increases the sonic textural landscape immensely.
Just in time for the winter, Clavicvla's Sepulchral Blessing brings forth a stark, cold wind for the season. Cold, dark, Earthy, and bleak, this chunk of dark ambient sets out to bring the listener down into a dreary underworld and handily succeeds. While not breaking any new ground artistically, Sepulchral Blessing breaks lots of ground sonically in its rocky, downward descent underground. Whether this is the soundtrack to one's snow-packed view out the window or just something to play on the bus to drift away, Cavicvula's latest is definitely a grim little nugget.Paul Casey