Artist: Sabled Sun
Label: Cryo Chamber
Genre: Dark Ambient
I'm already a big fan of all of Simon Heath's work, including the previous two Sabled Sun albums (which were excellent I might add). With that said, I feel that 2147 may actually be the strongest Sabled Sun album yet! While the previous releases focused extensively on found sounds, sound effects, and brilliant, subtle programming, 2147 is composed predominantly of vast sweeping, droning soundscapes.
With drone ambient and similar types of minimal music the artist is working with a very limited sound palette, so it's crucial that every sound be taken to it's full potential and meticulously crafted such as to fully convey a particular feeling or mood. Many musicians fall short of this because there is such a fine line between subtle brilliance and boring. Simon Heath showcases his expertise once again and absolutely nails the fundamental qualities of droning ambient. It's a bit difficult to articulate exactly what makes this notably great and better than other drone albums because the core components are all generally the same (sweeping drones, a few subtle sfx, haunting melodic accents, etc.), but suffice to say that every single sound here has been crafted in a way to maximize it's energy and effectiveness. Every drone is thick with emotion and visionary potential; each sound effect and bit of melody is perfectly placed in order to maximize both it's own tone and that of the surrounding sounds. Because of this, each one of these tracks sounds so incredibly spacious and deep; powerful enough to trigger your brain to craft all sorts of visionary landscapes. 2146 had a more mechanical and active sound as if chronicling the main character of the Sabled Sun storyline walking through ruins of a futuristic city, whereas 2147 is a more meditative piece. While there are times that still feel like an active journey through desolate future wastelands, I feel like a main focal point of the album is: now the hero has explored his world and seen the surrounding destruction, and consequently we are given an aural reflection of his isolated being and state of mind. Kind of like a philosophical exposé on this world and a reflection of the innards of the hero's consciousness. I can't pick out any particular song that stands above any others; this is one of those albums that I can easily play through in it's entirety. Each piece is equally necessary to the whole story. Strangely, this isn't my favorite style that he does - personally I prefer, stylistically, the old Atrium Carceri albums - however, there at they are many times on 2147 where I find myself shaking my head and saying "goddamn this is so good" that it feels like maybe this should be my favorite variant of the Simon Heath sound. So I'll end there and say that this album, plain and simple, is goddamn good.
Not much else needs to be said. This is hands down one of the best "drone" albums I have ever heard, alongside the recent Skorneg project, and easily one of the best dark ambient albums in recent years. 2147 is a must own for fans of Cyclic Law, Cryo Chamber, and so forth. Just get it.