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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aeoga - "Temple Treye"

Artist: Aeoga
Album: Temple Treye
Year: 2014
Label: Aural Hypnox
Genre: Ritual Ambient, Drone
Website: www.helixes.org/auralhypnox

This is the new album from Aeoga (A duo comprised of member(s) of famed ritual group Halo Manash) and it is the first release in almost 10 years following 2005's Zenith Beyond the Helix-Locus. If you are familiar with the Aural Hypnox label and it's acts than you probably have a good idea of what to expect from this album. It continues with the typical ritualistic droning ambient sound the label is known for. It includes plenty of flowery, abstract language such as: "An outlandish touch ignites the earth-bound stellar components into bi-directional currents. Abstract electro-acoustic currents, coarse drone ambience and meditative rhythms guide onward on the pathway eating itself. "

The album begins with "Feast of the Stance" which opens the ritual. It is comprised of deep, ritualistic drones and an ever present horn type sound which begins to pull the listener away from the material world. Next, the listener is plunged into the ether between realms on "Between the Crescent Hooks". It is a somewhat typical "ritual" track which mixes steady droning bell-ish sounds, evolving fuzzy noise, and layers of eerie pads to create an ancient and unsettling atmosphere. Towards the middle, a buried churning drum beat appears to give the listener something concrete to hang on to amidst the nebulous, shadowy inner realm. Standard content for the course, but it's done quite well and succeeds in being visionary and hypnotic. While the previous track is a fantastic bit of deep, ritual music, "Telemorphic Cuts" is sadly just bland. It's little more than a steady, nearly unchanging drone noise for 7 minutes with minimal wind-like sfx every now and again. "Temple Treye" thankfully continues where "Between..." left off with the heavy, primordial atmosphere generated by layers of darkened, faceless drones and tribal percussion, illuminating energy currents typically unseen. There are also haunting vocal drones that weave in and out of perception. "Transparallel Mist" is the longest song on the album and seems to be a mixture of the two proceeding cuts. There is a monotonous, unchanging drone similar to "Telemorphic Cuts", combined with the same type of abyssal atmosphere generated on "Temple Treye".  The closing song "Feast of the Trance" parallels the opening song - drones and horn sound again.

For me this is a mixed bag. While many tracks exemplify the ritual ambient aesthetic and are super encompassing and deep ("Between The Crescent Hooks" and "Temple Treye" should be on every fan of ritual ambient's playlist - these are perfect for contemplating matters of the self.), others are quite boring. Maybe in the context of a ritual the complete lack of content would be fitting, but for active listening it doesn't work. Fans of Aural Hypnox and the previous work of Aeoga and Halo Manash will enjoy this, as will fans of gritty, lo-fi, ancient sounding material like Archon Satani, Endvra, Trepaneringsritualen, etc.

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