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  • Рецензия от Heathen Harvest на альбом A Cryo Chamber Collaboration «Nyarlathotep»

Рецензия от Heathen Harvest на альбом A Cryo Chamber Collaboration «Nyarlathotep»


Рецензия от Heathen Harvest на альбом A Cryo Chamber Collaboration «Nyarlathotep»

Размещено 8 Января 2017
review, english, heathen harvest

For the third time in three years, the dark ambient label Cryo Chamber presents a collaboration paying tribute to an entity from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.  As before, this is a true collaboration, with the work of each artist seamlessly woven into a single, unbroken track that spans 190 minutes across three CDs.  Unless you’re extremely familiar with the sounds and techniques of each artist, it’s nigh impossible to distinguish one from another; perhaps the limiting scope of the dark ambient genre is also a factor.  The album features a mixture of well-known and new genre projects, and the majority are on Cryo Chamber’s roster.  Here is a list of the involved artists: Aegri Somnia, Alphaxone, Apócrýphos, Atrium Carceri, Council of Nine, Cryobiosis, DarkRad, Dronny Darko, Enmarta, Flowers for Bodysnatchers, God Body Disconnect, Gydja, Kammarheit, Kristoffer Oustad, Metatron Omega, Mystified, Neizvestija, Northumbria, ProtoU, Randal Collier-Ford, Sabled Sun, SiJ, Sjellos, Svartsinn, Wordclock, and Ugasanie.

Conceptually, then, little has changed since the first installment in this series, Cthulhu (2014).  It’s also worth noting that this makes six CDs’ worth of content in three years, with Azathoth (2015) being a double-album.  This time around, with Nyarlathotep being such a lengthy release, it’s a lofty challenge to maintain momentum.  All the familiar dark ambient tropes are here:  grand washes, oppressive drones, and thick synthetic atmosphere, all dotted and dashed with a series of sampled noise.  The major difference here is the presence of stringed instruments and pipes, no doubt inspired by the origins of Nyarlathotep himself.

In Lovecraft’s writing, Nyarlathotep is the son of Azathoth, and is somewhat unique in Lovecraft’s fictitious pantheon of otherworldly gods in that he manifests as a man; to be precise, a man resembling an Egyptian pharaoh.  Sometimes called “the Crawling Chaos,” Nyarlathotep can appear in a host of different forms, many quite monstrous, and aims to drive humanity insane, even plotting to bring about the end of the world.  He uses otherworldly instruments to gather followers to him, and this is no doubt reflected in the album via the Eastern-flavored flutes and strings.

While named for such a malignant deity, however, Nyarlathotep itself is quite subdued, if not often sedating.  One might expect that a being called “the Crawling Chaos” would inspire howling storms of madness and, well, chaos, but that’s simply not the case as the album follows its lengthy course.  The beds of sound bleed into each other slowly, although it seems easier this time to pick out the transition from artist to artist.  [Ed. Note:  Nyarlathotep actually features a collaboration of artists whose work takes place simultaneously, not concurrently as implied.] Sometimes, it’s even beautiful.

It would seem that Cryo Chamber’s concept has run its course.  With each release, the albums have grown in length, but not necessarily in scope.  The traditional instruments (sampled or otherwise) contribute much-needed variety, but their presence is spaced much too far apart to maintain a cohesive mood.  There are other entities yet unrepresented from Lovecraft’s mythology, but if this series continues, it’s fair to guess that we may be in for more of the same.  If you’re a die-hard fan of H.P. Lovecraft or Cryo Chamber’s sound, you won’t be disappointed, but there are other more focused efforts to be heard—Cthulhu and Azathoth, for example.

Written by: Edward Rinderle

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