IV Dark Ambient, Neo-Classic Cucurbitophobia This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. Our favorite pumpkin fearing cinematic horror producer is back. That is to say that Cucurbitophobia is back with a brand-new concept album simply titled “IV” and, judging by the titles of the songs, there’s definitely something awry here as someone’s attempting to stir up the devil. And I would say I’m mostly disappointed by this album as Cucurbitophobia starts off extremely strong as he summons the Hells, but slowly rids all that tension with standardized and disappointing dark ambient tracks. The first song gives us something that I could easily see Goblin cooking up thanks to a starting portion that sees some doom metal guitar riffs playing over static noise and ambiance. Following that section we’re transported into a light key section with a few jingles before heading right back into the heavy stuff. The song eventually gets some war-like percussion involved. The only thing holding back this track is the length; give me the heavy guitar, then the jingly section, then back to the heavy guitar with the tribal drums and organs, then end on your crescendo. I would have much preferred this to have been five or six-minutes with a lot of the fluff cut out. Still, it’s a pretty damned good piece. IV by CucurbitophobiaThe first four minutes of ‘Gale of Lucifer’ is nothing but bullshit; it’s a tried technique that a lot of ambient producers use to attempt to extend life of a song with a lot of nothingness. Barely a blip of sound over feedback; it was boring and I skipped it after two plays of the album. That being said once we’re past that and move into the meat of the song does Cucurbitophobia impress with further organ sounds and an oppressive atmosphere that makes me feel like I’m about to watch a possession scene unfold onscreen; that I’m walking into the Devil’s church and I see him standing at the alter; that I’m witnessing a forbidden ritual in the middle of a graveyard. The atmosphere does settle down around the middle of the song and Cucurbitophobia uses keys and other spooky sounds to fill the void. And it works before he returns with a gorgeous electric guitar led finale. ‘Soil of Belial’ was very hard for me to get into. In comparison to the more explosive soundtrack elements the previous two pieces had going for them, ‘Soil of Belial’ kind of falls into dark ambient territory but fails to do anything impressive in that space. The sense of wonder and fear that had me in a trance on ‘Ignis Satanae’ and ‘Gale of Lucifer’ was gone and replaced with boredom and a desire for something exciting to happen. Unfortunately, nothing really does happen aside from the few beginning minutes where there are some guitar chugs, and at the end. But, with nearly twenty-minutes separating those two moments it was a letdown. This half-hour piece didn’t do it for me. My woes continued in with ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter 1’. Classic ambient structure where a few synths are brought in and pitch shifted throughout the song in different sections. You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it multiple times. I will say that Cucurbitophobia is at least able to bring in a gothic horror element to it, but after a minute or two of this song I found myself rather unimpressed. The second chapter of this piece ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter II’ continues with the ambiance but more as a background piece and piano keys take over. A bit of beauty amongst the darkness, but not enough to keep my attention from waning. The final song ‘Memento Vivere’ sounds like a continuation of ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter II’ considering it has a very similar structure of piano keys over an ambient backdrop. The only different being that the ending of ‘Memento Vivere’ has a pounding, bass sound as if something is about to crack through the Earth. Now, my experiences with Cucurbitophobia hasn’t been the best in the past and this trend is going to continue. If I were to judge ‘Ignis Satanae’ and ‘Gale of Lucifer’ on their own, I could see myself giving them a 7 or 7.5, something higher. But paired with the rest of the album the score drops heavily. I can’t say I would ever want to return to ‘Soil of Belial’, ‘Bay of Leviathan’, or ‘Memento Vivere’ ever again as if I’m going to listen to dark ambient music, I need something with much more sustenance and something that doesn’t rely on tired tropes. Cucurbitophobia’s failure is not in his production as far as mixing and mastering goes as he’s actually pretty good at it, but it’s in crafting something interesting for the audience to hear.  350
Brutal Resonance

Cucurbitophobia - IV

5.0
"Mediocre"
Released 2024 by Off Label
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. 

Our favorite pumpkin fearing cinematic horror producer is back. That is to say that Cucurbitophobia is back with a brand-new concept album simply titled “IV” and, judging by the titles of the songs, there’s definitely something awry here as someone’s attempting to stir up the devil. And I would say I’m mostly disappointed by this album as Cucurbitophobia starts off extremely strong as he summons the Hells, but slowly rids all that tension with standardized and disappointing dark ambient tracks. 

The first song gives us something that I could easily see Goblin cooking up thanks to a starting portion that sees some doom metal guitar riffs playing over static noise and ambiance. Following that section we’re transported into a light key section with a few jingles before heading right back into the heavy stuff. The song eventually gets some war-like percussion involved. The only thing holding back this track is the length; give me the heavy guitar, then the jingly section, then back to the heavy guitar with the tribal drums and organs, then end on your crescendo. I would have much preferred this to have been five or six-minutes with a lot of the fluff cut out. Still, it’s a pretty damned good piece. 


The first four minutes of ‘Gale of Lucifer’ is nothing but bullshit; it’s a tried technique that a lot of ambient producers use to attempt to extend life of a song with a lot of nothingness. Barely a blip of sound over feedback; it was boring and I skipped it after two plays of the album. That being said once we’re past that and move into the meat of the song does Cucurbitophobia impress with further organ sounds and an oppressive atmosphere that makes me feel like I’m about to watch a possession scene unfold onscreen; that I’m walking into the Devil’s church and I see him standing at the alter; that I’m witnessing a forbidden ritual in the middle of a graveyard. The atmosphere does settle down around the middle of the song and Cucurbitophobia uses keys and other spooky sounds to fill the void. And it works before he returns with a gorgeous electric guitar led finale. 

‘Soil of Belial’ was very hard for me to get into. In comparison to the more explosive soundtrack elements the previous two pieces had going for them, ‘Soil of Belial’ kind of falls into dark ambient territory but fails to do anything impressive in that space. The sense of wonder and fear that had me in a trance on ‘Ignis Satanae’ and ‘Gale of Lucifer’ was gone and replaced with boredom and a desire for something exciting to happen. Unfortunately, nothing really does happen aside from the few beginning minutes where there are some guitar chugs, and at the end. But, with nearly twenty-minutes separating those two moments it was a letdown. This half-hour piece didn’t do it for me. 

My woes continued in with ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter 1’. Classic ambient structure where a few synths are brought in and pitch shifted throughout the song in different sections. You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it multiple times. I will say that Cucurbitophobia is at least able to bring in a gothic horror element to it, but after a minute or two of this song I found myself rather unimpressed. The second chapter of this piece ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter II’ continues with the ambiance but more as a background piece and piano keys take over. A bit of beauty amongst the darkness, but not enough to keep my attention from waning. The final song ‘Memento Vivere’ sounds like a continuation of ‘Bay of Leviathan: Chapter II’ considering it has a very similar structure of piano keys over an ambient backdrop. The only different being that the ending of ‘Memento Vivere’ has a pounding, bass sound as if something is about to crack through the Earth. 

Now, my experiences with Cucurbitophobia hasn’t been the best in the past and this trend is going to continue. If I were to judge ‘Ignis Satanae’ and ‘Gale of Lucifer’ on their own, I could see myself giving them a 7 or 7.5, something higher. But paired with the rest of the album the score drops heavily. I can’t say I would ever want to return to ‘Soil of Belial’, ‘Bay of Leviathan’, or ‘Memento Vivere’ ever again as if I’m going to listen to dark ambient music, I need something with much more sustenance and something that doesn’t rely on tired tropes. Cucurbitophobia’s failure is not in his production as far as mixing and mastering goes as he’s actually pretty good at it, but it’s in crafting something interesting for the audience to hear. 
Jun 15 2024

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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