Mount Shrine – Ghosts On Broken Pavement

[Reviewed by stark]

I really liked the previous album by Mount Shrine, the project from… Brazil? Nice, at this moment I don’t recall any other Brazilian ambient composer, but it’s good to know that this kind of music finds its admirers over all longitudes and latitudes. But what amazes me more is how he was able to paint such cold atmosphere of sadness and solitude. I can imagine that it simply has to be extremely difficult in such hot and noisy city like Rio de Janeiro to separate from the environment, detach from the reality or make it morph into this frozen landscape as cold as it is utterly beautiful.

It’s hardly dark ambient if you ask me. The music has a strong deep/organic vibe where the harmonious and melodic drones are subordinate to field recordings, subtle yet omnipresent. And it’s really cold, you know, there are moments sparkling with arctic majesty reminding of the most stirring spells casted by such maestro sound alchemists as Geir Jenssen or Thomas Köner. If you listen closely, you will also notice the Necrophorus’ “Drifting In Motion” and Thom Brennan’s “Mist” halos over this last Mount Shrine offering. How the Brazilian ambient craftsman constructs his compositions is similar to Havdis`s work ethos as well. Between another synth layers he puts the sounds from the environment which play a role in other drones, intermingling with the electronics. And for me it is always a jackpot. Sea waves, wind and rain produce the finest sounds on earth and accenting them with atmospheric drones and textures always works. It’s as simple as that. Of course if you have at least a tiny bit of taste and know how to avoid a new age trap.

And this Brazilian fellow gets it all, he has this divine touch that brings ambient from purely atmospheric to a simply metaphysical level. Perfect work, but… I wonder how Mount Shrine would sound if he’d incorporate something from his own environment, the region where he lives, the rainforests, lost Amazon tribes and all… It could be pretty original work and as we all know in ambient music originality is a virtue reserved but for a few.

But if he would bring another chapter of his cold, sad yet peaceful tunes again… Hell if I wouldn’t be satisfied one more time.

Mount ShrineGhosts On Broken Pavement
Cryo Chamber, CRYO 110
CD/Digital 2019

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