Dark Ambient has become one of the most adaptable forms of music around. Although normally known for its minimalistic droning and resourceful use of soundscapes and field recordings, I’ve seen a major shift toward a more cinematic approach to recording. Beyond The Ghost is one of the artists that uses this approach and their Cryo Chamber debut, ‘You Disappeared’ is chock-full of atmospheric & vivid details that could easily find its way on a movie soundtrack. Whereas a lot of dark ambient recordings carry a single theme (or concept) throughout the album, ‘You Disappeared’ has the unique distinction of each track standing on their own and representing a different idea. Each song careens through synchronized sounds led by sonic piano tones, live instruments and chilling ambience that transcends the ordinary bleakness of dark ambience.
“The Day You Lost Your Smile” grimly seeps in as if it’s on a mission to calmly – but abruptly – invade your ear space and fill your headphones with sonic resonance. Like an opening scene of a movie, this track sets out to make an impact statement and it succeeds in getting the mindset in the right direction. “Frozen In Time” radiates with its deep rumbling sounds and orchestrations as if it’s representing a depressing scene of agonizing loss. This track sounds as if it could have been a part of the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack, played in a scene where a horrific battle left many deaths. The albums title track, “You Disappeared” starts with a light drone, complimented with soothing soundscapes, and it slowly builds and shifts tones as if it’s trying to reach a climactic ending but never does. As the listener is left in a state of anxious approach, the song fades out. One of my favorite tracks on the album, “False Idols” starts with a creepy drone that glides from side to side. A soft piano arrangement is introduced and creates a totally bleak atmosphere as if a wintery town is suddenly overtaken by a vast fog and the streets become abandoned as everyone escapes for the warmth and comfort of a close by shelter. “A Bed Of Ashes” is a deep droning track that casually crescendos into an orchestrated score filled with melody and contentment. The deep grumbling of “Smoke And Mirrors” is like a scene from a horror movie. As various soundscapes add additional textures, the feeling of dread and discomfort take over. The addition of alluring live instrumentation creates a limitless boundary of where the imagination continues to flow. “Remembering The World As It Use To Be” is another superb cinematic track that has a ballad quality to it. With a soft Pink Floyd-like piano refrain and light vocal chanting, this is another outstanding musical realm for this album. “Quicksand” is another standout track as it slowly builds from a haunting drone to a captivating canorous anthem. The albums final song, “A Faint Light On The Surface” sounds as if a space ship is in deep space and traveling through a vacuum at speeds so fast, it seems as if they are moving in slow motion. Diverse samples and field recordings flood the song to give it new life and the live instruments stand out as the creative aspects. Although there is a certain beauty to this final track, it is also a rather disturbing piece, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the album.
Not to sound cliche, but Beyond The Ghost just may be part of the new breed of Dark Ambient. Providing much more than deep, epic drones and harsh textures, the songs on ‘You Disappeared’ are full of realistic visuals that span beyond the scope of the imagination. This album is a remarkable addition to the Cryo Chamber family and is a much needed addition to the dark ambient community. Show your support for this first-rate album and download it at the link below.
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