There is a particularly dark scene in the movie, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke Skywalker is undergoing his Jedi Knight training. They come upon a dark path of sorts and Luke asks Yoda, “What’s In there”, in which Yoda replies, “Only what you take with you.” That is such a haunting sentence, especially when experiencing the unknown. It also serves as a metaphor for Withering Of Lights latest album, ‘Reliquary’. It’s almost hard to describe in words what that actually means, but fans of Dark Ambient music can easily relate to this analogy, as this genre of music excels at providing a platform for emotional and spiritual expansion. As for ‘Reliquary’, the six songs contained within contribute to a sense of isolation and dread, in which unforetold tales are inevitable and open for an array of interpretations.
Harrowing album opener, “Apocryyphal”, administers a jolt of cold atmospherics and creepy soundscapes that drag the listen down a bleak pit of doom. The drones cascade with minimalistic angst and lurking synth effects crescendo at random intervals, providing an unfathomable experience. “Fane” continues this dark excursion by weighing the listener down with a barrage of consoling drones and sequences of terrifying sounds. As the ear-piercing tones isolate the listener from a peaceful reality, low-end reverberations zero in on the minds gloomy whereabouts. Toward the end of the track, a hint of calming keys expand this emotional journey into new territory. The next track, “Hive”, is like a chain reaction of evil intent, as sinister soundscapes continue to build at will. Superbly arranged synth leads adds a depth of character as this develops into one of the most malevolent concepts on the album. Industrial effects give this an overall apocalyptic vibe as this nightmare increases with each passing second. The albums title track, “Reliquary”, lives up to its ominous name as I can imagine hearing this upon discovering an ancient ark in a long forgotten cave. As curiosity presses you to open the ark for a vivid discovery of the relics contained within, a sense of relentless evil darkens the skies and morphs all tranquil thoughts into an inauspicious will of self-destruction. “Spectral Resonance” is like an austere sense of awakening as this minimalistic piece represents a void of surroundings and a slow-motion effort to investigate a way out of this purgatory. This track also provides a cold, desolate dais for emotional captivity, spewing filthy soundscapes, manipulated by eerie reverberations and manifestations. The final track on the album is “White Chrism”. A great – but excruciating – blend of nominal drones and loosely embedded soundscapes, this track serves as the horrifying exit from a nightmarish adventure and the scarred return to a gloomy reality. Even as the track comes to a close, these dreary modulations will remain as a everlasting cicatrix, replaying over and over again with no end avail.
Withering Of Light does a compelling job at turning minimalistic drones into a work of decaying art. ‘Reliquary’ is an album of evil intent and disquieting accord. Not only are these tracks downright terrifying but for listeners in the wrong state of mind, could cause traumatic affects. The metaphor that I presented in the beginning of this review still holds true for this recording. There is so much space ingrained in this music that the emotions you bring to this listening experience is a customary component to its audial outcome. This is an excellent Dark Ambient album that deserves to be heard by the masses. Please show your support for Withering Of Light by downloading this album from the link below, as well as checking out the back catalog of superb albums.
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