Music Reviews

Northaunt: Horizons

 Posted by eskaton    Edit (3154)
Oct 30 2006
Artist: Northaunt (@)
Title: Horizons
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
This CD weighs in at just over an hour, which gives enough time to sink into the soundscapes. Overall, there is a lot going on in this disc. Noisy elements are woven through a sea of heavy bass drone to create a complex tapestry of sound. It isn’t noise, but it certainly isn’t the easy listening kind of dark ambient until the second half. The disc is almost like listening to two discs – the first half is pretty aggressive in its use of noisy elements, while the second half is a bit more peaceful. Luckily, both styles are done very well.The disc opens with "Until Dawn Do Us Part," which combines noisy drones, clanking metal, and a simple synth line melody that creates an atmosphere that will continue throughout the disc. "Night Came to Us" is the longest track on the piece (14:17). Heavy bass drones with undercurrents of pulsing sound. This is the soundtrack to a threatening alien landscape. Dark stuff. When it ends, you notice it. This is one of the standout tracks on the disc. "Horizons" continues the noisy drone feel with a lot of clacking – like someone is dragging a can slowly down the road – that builds slowly over the song. "Night Alone" seems to mark a shift in the feel of the disc. It starts quietly and subdues the noisier elements that permeated the first half of the disc. This track reminds me of Troum - kind of peaceful. A nice change of pace from the more relentless noisy ambience we have had until now. "With the Stars as Witness" continues this atmosphere until we reach "The Wilderness," which brings back a bit of noisy elements, but not quite as aggressively as in the first 3 tracks. This track incorporates what sounds like source recordings of someone walking in crunchy snow layered with synth drones.There is also a video for "The Wilderness (Alternate Version)," which is mainly video of landscape with swirling clouds. It’s a nice touch and fits well with the music, but not terribly engaging. Overall, this is really good drone / dark ambient music – the kind we’ve come to expect from Cyclic Law. Another excellent release.

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