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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dronny Darko - "Outer Tehom"

Artist: Dronny Darko
Album: Outer Tehom
Year: 2014
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient
Website:  cryochamber.bandcamp.com

Here we have a new album from one of the most oddly named dark ambient projects, Dronny Darko (not even Droney Darko?? come on...). Outer Tehom (Tehom being the great primordial watery abyss / mesopotamian goddess Tiamat) consists of 4 tracks, each exactly 13 minutes in length. According to the press release, this is an album of the darkest black, whose purpose is to summon elder gods that have been forgotten in time...which is definitely something you'd want to do.

The opening track "Black Arts", sets the stage for this release: a track that sounds promising, but never quite ascends to notable heights (or depths as is more fitting here). It definitely captures extremely dark and otherworldly moods, but it's nothing you haven't heard before. It's quite minimal and relies on slowly moving drones and the occasional sfx, clanking, and so forth. New Risen Throne immediately comes to mind, but this isn't as refined or unsettling. While I appreciate the sound, during the first half of this track there is a lot of stop & go - where a drone will come in and then sort of fade out and nothing happens for a bit before another drone rises up out of the void. It leaves you eager for things to get properly started. Things do eventually "get started" and lead the listener into an unimaginative, but usable dark sanctum.
"Mortal Skin" is up next and is twice as loud for some reason. We hear him utilizing similar murky and formless atmospheres. There are a few vocal samples used throughout although I can't understand them. This track drowns you in wave after wave of slowly ebbing droning blackness - like the sewers of hell.
"Snake Hole" is the most interesting piece so far. It utilizes an outer space-y rising drone, very reminiscent of Phelios, along with highly reverbed melodic bits and distant clanking. Unfortunately, it doesn't really go anywhere, and by 6 minutes in it's still playing nearly the exact same thing. It mellows out towards the end and for several minutes the listener is illuminated with a hallowed drone coupled with sporadic percussion.
The final track, "Arcane Shrine", is probably the least interesting quarter of the album. I don't have much to describe it with other than: barebones, underdeveloped, and genericly "dark ambient" sounding. There are a few interesting bits sprinkled in here and there, but I'm not going to wallow through 13 minutes just to hear them. For example, there is a part around 9 minutes in that started to pull me in, but everything faded out by 10 minutes and then nothing was happening again and it lost my attention. Repeat cycle at 11 minutes in, and so forth.

While this is an adequate collection of dark textures and black atmospheres, it doesn't stand out to me from any other droning dark ambient. It's kind of like looking at an old, faded mesopotamian artifact: the idea of the thing is pretty cool, and it hints at something deeper and more interesting, but most of the writing has been broken off and you're left with a tiny fragment of something much larger and more complex; as such there is little substantive value to you. There are some good ideas here but stretching everything to 13 minutes is overkill. I'd like to hear him keep tracks to 4-6 minutes in order to condense the good ideas and cut all the filler. Everything here: the track names, the description, the art, and the sound all point to "generic dark ambient" and that's what you get. Overall very average.

1 comment:

@BarnettRex said...

I think the difference between New Risen Throne and this Dronny Darko album is that the former will tell you exactly how to feel, whereas the latter gently nudges you into the darkness, allowing you the listener to decide where exactly to let it take you. I enjoy the slow pace and find space for my own elder gods to take shape. Also in general, most drone albums give me a headache. I love the dark ambient artists that come the closest to the nature/minimal ambient artists that I love while simultaneously capturing the darkness, cold, and isolation or sometimes the evil and madness that you wouldn't otherwise find in ambient music.