[reviewed by / autor recenzji : Abhishek Pandey || ENG]
A digital graphic designer and musician, Lukasz “Dani” Czajka, the man behind the moniker ‘Abandoned Asylum’, is an artist committed to dark and industrial drone noises. ‘Derelicts of Distant Hope’ is the third album released under this project, and like all other works by Dani, this album is also mystical, dark and downright spine-chilling. Other dark ambient artists would incorporate some sporadic ethereal relief in order to emphasize on the dark element, but ‘Derelicts of Distant Hope’ is one such album that strains your nerves from the first track, and persistently remains like that. It is a bold and aggressive kind of darkness.
There is almost nothing as cinematically scary as the rich sounds passing through the chain of preamps, producing a thick muddier drone, layered with some heavily effected feedback loops. Alhough in the beginning each track lays an impression of strong influences from artists such as Atrium Carceri and Lustmord, then the tracks build slowly into more peculiar and innovative layers of fathomless vocals and layered fragmented drones, hovering around in a uniquely menacing way, giving the listener a whole new sense of inventiveness.
‘Interstellar Transmissions’ creates a numinous sensation of a primordial ritual. The journey begins with the instant realization of a desolate realm in a primitive state, a landscape that is barely inhabited, drawn on the canvas of some native instinctual tone of nostalgia. The same idea is further sustained in ‘Shades of Nebular Images’, like an evolving intro, building the mood and anticipation.
Right next, in contrast, is ‘Drifting in Constant Eclipse” – a most calm and subtly mystical composition, something in the league of a ‘Popol Vuh’ style hymn, like a conclusive prayer to the preliminary ritual or maybe an intermission before descending into a whole new level of darkness. Soon its motive becomes apparent, as immediately it is followed by the exceptionally ghoulish, goosebumps-inducing ‘Among Shapes Unknown to Man’. This track is ruthlessly threatening and obscenely bloodcurdling. It begins with a thick layer of drones and then swings back and forth on heavily reverbed deformed frequencies. From there onwards there is no looking back, with each track you are pulled deeper into the emotionally intimidating world of Abandoned Asylum. ‘Pathway Through Nothingness’ elaborates that same motive by defining the gloomy path more profoundly. In this never-ending space of nothingness, the delectable ray of light finally emerges in the vanishing point, but what lies ahead is unlike anything you have encountered in this well planned aural trip.
‘Echoes of Forgotten Origin’, that is also my personal favourite track in the album, is blissfully dark, a composition packed with some strangely fascinating sound manipulation. Initially it sounds like a traditional gothic thriller, but soon unfolds into more complex imagery, like a medieval cavernous dreamscape evolving into a post-apocalyptic architectural anthem. I don’t mean to sound too abstract, but this is the best metaphor I can use to describe what it induced in my mind. And finally the last track, ‘Storms In The Endless Void’ is a ravenous chorus of sonic artifacts, fluctuating feedback loops, devouring everything.
This wonderfully compiled album and each individual track keeps its morbid sense of surprises and thrills hidden in the form of thoughtfully placed booby-traps; your unsuspecting curiosity takes you into the surreal realm of this forsaken landscape. And by the time the album is finished you are deeply affected. It’s an overwhelming experience, and it reverberates for a long time in your head.
“Derelicts Of Distant Hope” is sinister, macabre and clearly speaks its motive. Unlike many other methodical drone albums, it’s a hyper-emotive piece radiating with warmth that undulates all through its wicked spectrum, like a visceral palette of conjuring tricks. Dani is undoubtedly a very talented artist, who is not bound to one stream. His vibrant portfolio of digital art in deviantart.com speaks in length about his inclination to dark ambient music. When you see his artwork you can immediately relate to his unusual style of music.
I highly recommend this album; it is something really hard to forget.
Abandoned Asylum – Derelicts Of Distant Hope
CD, Limited, 2013
Malignant Records, TumorCD63