Monday, April 29, 2013

Loving the deep, dark, and deliciously dystopian of "Travels" by Crows Labyrinth

Deep, dark, and deliciously dystopian ... "Travels" by Crows Labyrinth is my kind of dark ambient. Decidedly post-apocalyptic in presentation, these soundscapes are powerfully evocative and sow the seeds of imagination that the creative listener feeds on.

Think of an imaginary soundtrack to H.P.Lovecraft’s "at the mountains of madness" and you'll get the gist of what I mean. A brooding malcontent pervades this album ... giving the listener a heightened sense of unease, especially upon their first listen. It is this unnerving sense of the unknown that really highlights how excellently crafted this album is by Crows Labyrinth.

Weird oscillations and intermittent twangs underpinned by deeply immersive drones really make for an interesting listening experience ... reminiscent of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop and their soundtrack to my childhood.

What makes this album all the more remarkable is that it is all played on the bass guitar. Now some tracks are more noticeably bass guitar than others ... tracks like "Reverie" and "Below", for example ... but this adds to the listener’s delight, in my opinion.

The standout tracks for me are "Frontier" (the opening track) and "Heliograph" (the closing track) ... through them Crows Labyrinth demonstrates his ability. "Frontier" is a deliciously dark drone that engages and immerses the listener ... whereas "Heliograph" is a lighter, more technically bass guitar-orientated piece that skitters and moves about in the listener’s consciousness like a sunlit forest brimming with life.

I would heartily recommend this release and am grateful to Crows Labyrinth for sending me on their CD. Please check out "Travels" and do what you can to support independent music in all it's wonderful manifestations.


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