[Reviewed by stark]
Very beautifully this year begins, with regard to ambient and dark ambient music. And in some cases very surprisingly. I remember that “Four Noble Truths” was a decent album, I gave it a very positive review a couple of years ago, but today I’d be lying claiming that I listen to it very often. The first composition made me think that this time it will be a similar situation, that it will be well produced music that I’ll enjoy during a couple of listens, but after a while I’ll put it back on the shelf and move forward to other musical creations. Ok, I can’t say right now, I’ll need much more time to see if “Inner And Outer Space” will stand the test of time, but right now after several listens I must say that it made quite an impression on me. It’s much more sophisticated than their first work.
The tracks differ from one another. The pieces on “Four Noble Truths” were more or less similar in terms of construction, which is good for building up a monumental feeling, but after a while I realized that I had a problem focusing on the music within the space of the whole album. Maybe I’m getting old, I don’t know. Yet I’ve given about a twenty listens to “Inner And Outer Space” up to this day and so far I didn’t have such an impression after all. The whole consuming space is as overwhelming as absorbing of the listener’s attention with its diversity.
“Fluctuations” though isn’t so enthralling, it’s a cosmic dark ambient which sounds like it’s made by the book, without any creative madness. Not the best opening in the ambient world and if I weren’t be so patient I could have taken a break after the first listening and left further contact with the album for the indefinite “tomorrow”. Yet things started getting better and better later. “Evolution” sucked me in an infinite vortex with swirling cosmic winds, distant bells and low-tuned rumblings, later counterpointed by atmospheric, quasi-choir-like drones. Not very original, but somehow tantalizing with a deep cosmic secret.
With “Inflaction” you cross the last point in timespace known to man. You can’t say what’s behind it, but at the same time can’t wait for the secret to reveal itself. You need to check it for yourself. This track is less intense. Once again a wind-like background and stellar calls makes me feel like I’m surrounded by a flickering darkness with no limits.
If had to choose one track from the album that you all should listen to, it would be “Afterglow”, with a constantly growing tension, weird sounds swirling and whirling, accompanied by this ever absorbing drone and reverbed synth micromelodies. Once again, it’s a huge and powerful piece of music, but this time also sparkling with some vague sadness. A longing for home. Luckily “Dark Ages” has nothing to do with dull medieval dark wave – I feel ashamed that I even thought about that. Not at all, this one is like watching the nebulas’ beauty through a telescope. There’s something like a grotesque alien transmission once or twice during these eleven minutes, but it doesn’t disturb the somehow soothing feeling of the track.
Yes, I think I can say it. This album is far better than “Four Noble Truths”. It’s like the extension of those ideas, taking them to a slightly different direction. Sure, it’s nothing new within the genre, there’s a lot of sounds and passages that I feel are familiar from other albums. Even this “Dark Ages” in some moments reminds me of “Passing Inner Shields” by you-know-who. So it’s not visionary (then again, what is in dark ambient these days), the mystery lies not in the sound itself, but in your imagination being stimulated by the music, the music which is a perfect craftmanship of two musicians who know exactly what they want to achieve.