Album: Inner Stasis
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient
Inner Stasis is the 3rd release from dark ambient producer Cryobiosis and comes as his second release on the Cryo Chamber label. On this record we see a continuation of his astute, aqueous dark ambient sound.
The album begins with the aptly titled "An Opening" which immediately brings to mind recent Atrium Carceri releases. The combination of subtle drones, myriad murky sound effects, and almost nebulous melodic bits conjure pronounced mental images of ruins a giant sunken temple and visions of exploring it's flooded inner sanctums. Many of the subsequent tracks will take you to different waterlogged sections of this once hallowed edifice. "Deep Aquaduct", "Chasms", "Harrow", "Condensation", etc. expand this motif through the use of water-y samples and bloop-ing sfx which further define the feeling of being in a ruined castle overrun with water. Like his past work (though a bit less upfront this time), he hides ghostly piano notes here and there to give these songs a strongly melancholy vibe, as if to mourn this lost temple. Some pieces veer from this path a bit; for example "Into Nothingness" develops a darker and more claustrophobic atmosphere that acts as a portal to more alien spaces, and "Hidden Dungeons" focuses around pads which effuse a more sacral and transcendent vibe. As I have said about other albums, because this record is so subtle you need to devote yourself fully to it in order to be able to hear all the minute complexities which make it so visionary. There is a lot going on in each one of these songs and it's easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. This is brilliant stuff though, especially if you like the things I have described above, and definitely something I will find myself coming back to (I have a strong penchant for water and related sfx and field samples so I may be a bit biased). The only negative thing I have to say is that the production is a bit muddy in spots and not as clean or crisp as something similar like Atrium or Tehôm and therefore obscures some of what the author is trying to show us and doesn't allow certain places to achieve the depth they are attempting to chart - kind of like an ancient tome whose pages are worn and difficult to make out in spots.
A very solid dark ambient album. I really dig this style that manages to simultaneously be subdued, yet highly complex and active. The extensive use of sound effects and space in the mix allow this music to achieve a deep sound which conjures powerful visions of other places - again the best comparison I can make is the newer work of fellow Cryo Chamber artist Atrium Carceri. While the production is a bit rough in spots and could be improved, these songs still get their message across. Definitely something to check out for fans of deep and watery ambient.
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