Vestigial - Solar / Aeon
Dark Ambient, Industrial Dark ambient genre became a really accessible recently. The times changed from early nineties when there were only a dozen or two of names that experimented with sound. Mainly because the technologies to produce dark ambient music became easily obtainable;- there is no need in different tools or accessories to create sounds today, you only have to open your laptop, connect a midi-keyboard to it (not always necessary) - voila, let your imagination and talent work for you. But sometimes this wide spreading plays a negative role for the scene when the early access to thousands of loops, samples and beats makes the process of music creation too automatic, inserting clichés into something that has to be deeply personal and abstract.

If you want to collect some info about dark ambient, you can google it and find even a wiki-article that gives a pretty straight definition for the style and its origins. What is more interesting is that the article also describes specific templates and characteristics that exist in most of the albums. It seems that sticking to some rules limits the diversity of the final material and makes it rather predictable. Then how can all those names on the scene be active together and constantly create relatively large amount of albums? I think that even if the description of Wikipedia is true, the talent and imagination of the artists leaves a lot of room for manipulation with the templates to show the gamut of personality and deep sensual experience.

That's why I take in my hands a cd that arrived here just few days ago from Cyclic Law label that concentrates its activity all around dark ambient genre for more than 10 years. This time it is a record from Vestigial under the name 'Solar / Aeon' and on its example I will try to find out if the definitions are true and if it is possible to exploit them in the way that can illuminate the soul of the listener.

So, what are those characteristics that I am talking about? "Dark ambient often consists of evolving dissonant harmonies of drones and resonances, low frequency rumbles and machine noises, sometimes supplemented by gongs, percussive rhythms, bullroarers, distorted voices and other found sounds, often processed to the point where the original sample cannot be recognized. Generally the music tends to evoke a feeling of solitude, melancholy, confinement, and isolation..." (Wikipedia).

Trying to analyze the work that was made by Vestigial, I can definitely find most of the mentioned techniques and can reassemble them for this review. Deep drones and resonances are all around, spread widely all over the music. They can be ruder like in "The Grey Constellation" or softer like in "Celebrating the New Sun" and "Dagda Rising". Dirty machinery effect presents everywhere as well, spiced with a wide variety of different pulsating and drilling effects, sampled voices and chanting texts ("New World (Un)Order", "The Serene Ground") and of course some military percussive drumming and rhythms. Few outer space themes are raised too with the tracks "Solar I" and "Solar II" which bring the whole possible gamut of creepy, cold and solitary atmosphere of dying stars, extraterrestrial activity and other cosmological stuff.

To make a long story short, I feel that the release of two EPs, Solar and Aeon, inside one shared package was unnecessary while turning to be a big mistake. I barely feel any connection between the images and themes which appear through this set of compositions, when most of them are not bad if played separately, but the rapid change between them is ruining the whole impression. I would like to sign out a nice floating track "The Statues of Nowhere" that has a mysterious background and fluent structure, though it screams Raison D'etre out of it. But all the rest fall into the river of averagism and prove that the guys that wrote this article in wiki were quite close to reality.
3
Brutal Resonance

Vestigial - Solar / Aeon

Dark ambient genre became a really accessible recently. The times changed from early nineties when there were only a dozen or two of names that experimented with sound. Mainly because the technologies to produce dark ambient music became easily obtainable;- there is no need in different tools or accessories to create sounds today, you only have to open your laptop, connect a midi-keyboard to it (not always necessary) - voila, let your imagination and talent work for you. But sometimes this wide spreading plays a negative role for the scene when the early access to thousands of loops, samples and beats makes the process of music creation too automatic, inserting clichés into something that has to be deeply personal and abstract.

If you want to collect some info about dark ambient, you can google it and find even a wiki-article that gives a pretty straight definition for the style and its origins. What is more interesting is that the article also describes specific templates and characteristics that exist in most of the albums. It seems that sticking to some rules limits the diversity of the final material and makes it rather predictable. Then how can all those names on the scene be active together and constantly create relatively large amount of albums? I think that even if the description of Wikipedia is true, the talent and imagination of the artists leaves a lot of room for manipulation with the templates to show the gamut of personality and deep sensual experience.

That's why I take in my hands a cd that arrived here just few days ago from Cyclic Law label that concentrates its activity all around dark ambient genre for more than 10 years. This time it is a record from Vestigial under the name 'Solar / Aeon' and on its example I will try to find out if the definitions are true and if it is possible to exploit them in the way that can illuminate the soul of the listener.

So, what are those characteristics that I am talking about? "Dark ambient often consists of evolving dissonant harmonies of drones and resonances, low frequency rumbles and machine noises, sometimes supplemented by gongs, percussive rhythms, bullroarers, distorted voices and other found sounds, often processed to the point where the original sample cannot be recognized. Generally the music tends to evoke a feeling of solitude, melancholy, confinement, and isolation..." (Wikipedia).

Trying to analyze the work that was made by Vestigial, I can definitely find most of the mentioned techniques and can reassemble them for this review. Deep drones and resonances are all around, spread widely all over the music. They can be ruder like in "The Grey Constellation" or softer like in "Celebrating the New Sun" and "Dagda Rising". Dirty machinery effect presents everywhere as well, spiced with a wide variety of different pulsating and drilling effects, sampled voices and chanting texts ("New World (Un)Order", "The Serene Ground") and of course some military percussive drumming and rhythms. Few outer space themes are raised too with the tracks "Solar I" and "Solar II" which bring the whole possible gamut of creepy, cold and solitary atmosphere of dying stars, extraterrestrial activity and other cosmological stuff.

To make a long story short, I feel that the release of two EPs, Solar and Aeon, inside one shared package was unnecessary while turning to be a big mistake. I barely feel any connection between the images and themes which appear through this set of compositions, when most of them are not bad if played separately, but the rapid change between them is ruining the whole impression. I would like to sign out a nice floating track "The Statues of Nowhere" that has a mysterious background and fluent structure, though it screams Raison D'etre out of it. But all the rest fall into the river of averagism and prove that the guys that wrote this article in wiki were quite close to reality. Aug 29 2013

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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