You find yourself all alone as you awaken from a deep sleep. As darkness permeates around you, curiosity of your present situation lingers. How did you get here, and for how long have you existed in this state? As you begin to drift around the endless void searching for answers, you realize it’s filled with nothing – no solids, no visuals, and no memories. However, as you continue the unsighted venture, you come upon a structure more massive than you can imagine. It’s solid, cold, and familiar, yet mystical. You’ve reached the gate to the unknown, where the quintessence of nothingness will leave you in a trance-like state forever. You’ve reached ‘The Great Gate’, the horrifying portal provided by IDFT that will transform the psyche of the mind. For over sixty minutes, these mesmerizing sound sequences, synth pads, and minimal drones will besiege your soul and distort your judgement of reality.
As you enter the gate, the first audible sound you hear is “RS”, the lead off track on this stunning album. Sounding more like a warning alarm from hell, this short track, provides an eerie expression of the emotional journey that is to follow. “ZT” calmly starts with deep, single key tones like a fleet of abandoned ships in a doomed harbor, sounding their horns as if to give of vague warning signs for a ghostly invasion. The creepy keyboard arrangement and delicate soundscapes increase the angst of the situation. The searing noises of “eRD” coincide with the distresses of embarking on this dark adventure through the gate. The unfamiliarities all around you are synchronized with horrific tones and screams emitted from this track. “FH” is full of dreamy textures as if you’re suddenly floating through the darkness. An evil presence has overtaken your physical being and is pulling you deeper into the abyss. The dreams then turn to nightmares as the tones shift to a deeper frequency, exuding a more malevolent vibe. “NT” is a deep space drone with chilling vocal sounds that are layered to perfection. Giving off that wall-of-sound type of production, this track is like a powerful passage into the next surreal dimension. Once through the passage, you’re greeted with the sounds of “YUt”, a bleak and doom filled dirge, that showcases IDFT at its very best. The spectral bass effects and supernatural vocal melodies will send chills down your spine. Not only is this track extremely thought provoking and will get your imaginative juices flowing, it’s also my favorite track on the album. “Kulj” begins with savory vocal echoes and field recordings that provide the soundtrack for a discordant landscape. With emptiness all around, there is nothing to reflect upon other than the dark emotions excreted by the frequency of the keys that play them. “KT” shows a particular brightness not visualized on any other track. However, that doesn’t make this less sinister than the rest of the album. The tones are clashing and dynamic enough to leave you in a state of reproach. “Kelo” is another minimalistic drone that also has a cinematic quality to it. Once the muffled vocal tones begin, this track blasts off into something astonishing. For over ten minutes, this piece will have you in a trance-like state and you’ll not want it to end. The albums final track, “MW” contains some enchanting orchestral parts and layered keyboards to give a big climactic ending. As you reach the end of the dark journey, you find yourself back at the entrance of ‘The Great Gate’.
IDFT has a unique perspective on dark ambient. Instead of perpetual deep droning, and heavy use of field recordings, IDFT relies on minimalistic tones, deep & emotional vocal sounds, and the occasional melodic vibe to create a sound of its own. ‘The Great Gate’ is a haunting album that has many amazing moments and the artistic imagery that it provides is simply amazing. I can not recommend this album enough and you should add this one to your collection immediately.
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