With the inevitable change of seasons approaching every few months or so, a transition in mood and distemper is sure to follow. Usually, the changeover from spring to summer leads to a particular excitement that boasts a broad spectrum of energy and engagement with the outside world, as it represents brighter, happier times. However, as autumn progresses into winter, it brings about a different set of emotions and synergy that is far less content. As the tree leaves begin to deaden and fall at free will, the crisp sunlight gives way to gloomy skies and despondent memories. The music of House Of The Maker fulfills all of these grim moments with ‘The Autumnal End’, a seasonal dirge saturated with powerful drones and organic field recordings. At just over one hour in duration, these five dynamic tracks tell a dismal story of the perpetual cycle of life and death of the forest and it’s inhabitants and all they go through to struggle for survival.
The gradual decline begins with “A Fragile Soul Swaying In The Storm”. At just over thirteen minutes, this is a persuasive and extensive introduction to the withering elements that are plagued by change. From the soothing opening sounds of birds chirping in their natural habitat and the discordant synth tones that soon follow, its apparent that an inevitable collapse is soon at hand. Eccentric keys and the random sounds of a rainstick are just the start of desolation as haunting drones cycle through various frequencies and ranges, never finding an exact comfort. There is a horrifying presence about this track that brings about an anxious empathy, descending into a depressing lull. Toward the end, as the drones start to fade, desperate cries of a bird flying away from danger reminds us that the end is near. “A Small Frog Hopping Through A Pool Of Blood” starts with the subtle sounds of a late autumn rain shower, leaving a layer of dampness on the forest floor. The chirps and whistles of nocturnal creatures describe the darkening scenery as day turns to night. Ceaseless drones create a sense of awareness as additional sound effects illuminate the atmosphere with a tinge of unpleasant fate. About halfway through this fourteen and a half minute track, the field recordings conclude and layers of compounding drones desecrate the airwaves, sending evil vibrations through the standing water left by the evening time rainfall. The resonation of the nocturnal creatures return for the final minute of the track as the presence they feared subsided into the night, allowing them to roam free once again. “A Life All But Forgotten” continues as the last track ended, with the evening chirps of nightly critters. However the deep drones and synth effects set in early to give an incongruous effect. At nearly sixteen minutes, and the longest effort on the album, this track details the lethargic seasonal extinction of woodland life. Assorted bizarre instruments sounds are arranged to represent different aspects of the season and in between, ghostly winds and natural commotions provide the feeling of deep wood enthrallment. “A Funeral For A Friend” establishes a calming synth melody combined with ethereal drones and field recordings as if all life in the forest has finally surrendered to the change of season. As the rain field recordings increase in volume, jarring synth effects become more discordant and haunting. The final track on the album is the climactic, “The Autumnal End”. Continuing with the consoling sounds of a neverending rain storm conjoined with delicate but austere drones to form a lumbering vision of grays and blacks, the daylight never reaches its peak of brightness due to the thick layer of fog and smog. The vibrating sounds of Tibetan singing bowls resonate a season of endless dreariness before high-toned keys come into play as if to condemn the proceeding misfortunes.
Although this is not your typical run-of-the-mill dark ambient album, ‘The Autumnal End’ skillfully establishes itself as a genre highlight due to its wondrous use of field recordings, natural sounds, assorted instruments and credible back story. The drones are meticulously used and minimal use of synths and keys makes this an extremely unique recording as well. This is definitely one of my favorite dark ambient recordings of the year so far and I can’t recommend this one enough. Please click on the link below and download this amazing album – you’ll not be disappointed at all!
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