[Reviewed by stark]
Maybe I’m wrong, but I always had the impression that Inner Vision Laboratory has never been Karol Skrzypiec’s life’s priority, because its potential has never been fulfilled to the max. The project established its position on quite a high level, yet there’s still a significant way to the top, and maybe I shouldn’t say it, but I don’t think it will ever be reached. On the other hand, perhaps this is not the case of musician’s determination, the will to be mentioned among the best in the dark ambient micro-universe; maybe it is because Karol was born in Poland, not in Sweden or Norway. Maybe I’m wrong, I feel that if you’re from Scandinavia, you get some extra points at the start and it is easier to reach the way to the genre’s peak. Which is unfair, obviously.
This Inner Vision Laboratory’s potential is equal or even bigger than a lot of Cyclic Law or Cryo Chamber projects and “Relics” proves that once again. His first full length album in three years doesn’t bring anything new to his own style and the genre in general, but it is perfectly crafted piece of dark atmospheres with a gentle touch of melody. I wouldn’t mind if he’d focus more on this aspect, like on the sublime “Anywhere Out Of This World”, but you can’t have everything, can you? That one was concentrated on human emotions, while “Relics” is a journey to the wasteland, the contemplation of the world after. With the distant echoes of human voices (like in “Derelicts”) it reminds me a bit of Fallout 1 & 2 soundtracks by Mark Morgan.
Can’t say a single bad word about the production. If you play it loud, it embraces you and sucks into its desolate microcosmos. Will “Relics” change the project’s status? I don’t think so, the album will be appreciated by the bunch of fans, but nothing more. First, it doesn’t bring anything original nor fresh to the genre (which was not the creator’s intention I assume). And second, his name is not Carl Skrzypiecsson, so… But if he’s comfortable in his niche, and it results with such a well-made releases, I’m fine with that too.