The word Asylum is such a disheartening word. We mostly associate it with the institutionalization of mentally ill patients and the alleged horrors of corruption that come along with it. There have been many stories written, movies released, and documentaries produced that depict the sub-human conditions and atrocities of some of the asylums of the past. However, there is nothing like a good dark ambient album to put you in the right mood, that will provoke a certain relevance to the barbaric surroundings behind the confines of these enigmatic institutions. Inhum Awz has just the soundtrack for properly describing these nightmarish acts with the aptly titled, ‘Asylum’ EP. at nearly thirty minutes long, these four tracks waste no time portraying a concise narrative ranging from immediate consternation to extreme chaos.
The album opener, “Binah” starts with a very creepy vibe and some eerie soundscapes, as if someone is wondering aimlessly down a long, dark corridor of the asylum, looking for patients after a known breakout and escape has occurred. Not knowing what to expect, the wanderer, moves slowly and checks every room although the darkness keeps the details at a minimum. The music’s trance-like effects provides a sense of dread and enables the listener to submit themselves to the inner walls of the asylum as well. Various sounds and noises randomly creep from speaker to speaker, ear to ear, and succeed in putting the listener on edge as what’s next to come. The following track, “Spirale” begins with the thump of a low-end frequency tone followed by a random keyboard run and this repeats several times in a looping pattern. A deep ambient tone and additional soundscapes come into play as if the wanderer now finds themself in a sense of urgency. As they turn the corner down the next corridor, the dim light is replaced with red lights throughout the length of the hallway as well as the rooms. As the wanderer approaches the first room, he notices that it’s completely empty. Then he approaches the second room and it is empty as well, and so is the next, and also the next. This corridor has no patients. They are all gone. The disturbing tone in the music provides an emotional sensation for the listener to contemplate the next move for continued exploration or departing the asylum. Next up is the spectral sounding, “Séphira”. The higher frequency sounds of the synthesizers give this track a very supernatural feel to it, as if the asylum’s only current inhabitants are those of a metaphysical nature. Although there isn’t a lot of droning going on, there certainly is enough abstract keyboard tones to keep up with the creepy vibes of the rest of the album. The final song on this extended play is the minimalistic, “Trinité”. Their track builds like a finale of a TV show or a movie and the constant pounding of the drum is unnerving enough to make anyone want to make an emergency exit out of the asylum and find their way to safety. A subtle growl can also be heard in the background every so often, representing something otherworldly that may stand between sanity and reality. As the song comes to the end, it can be concluded that the ‘Asylum’ is just part of a vicious mental cycle that never ends and there is no escaping for anyone.
Inhum Awz has created a soundtrack full of relevance that properly represents the awful stereotypes of being committed to an asylum. With eerie soundscapes and calamitous keyboard and synth sounds, ‘Asylum’ is thirty minutes of non-stop, angst-filled dark ambience that not only brings the misery, but defines it as well. Italy’s Lake Label has signed another great artist in Inhum Awz and ‘Asylum’ is one of their best releases of the year. Show your support for Lake Label and Inhum Awz by downloading ‘Asylum’ from the link below.
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