Gazing Too Long Into The Abyss: An Onset of Darkness

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In the northern hemisphere, November is rapidly completing its task of scraping away autumn’s colorful displays and ushering in the monochrome of winter: desiccating the remaining leaves on trees, chilling and drying the air, and eliminating daylight after 5PM. Halloween is unfortunately over, but the holidays (guh) have not yet begun. Now is the perfect time of year to numb your mind to the coming wintry darkness with the foreboding sounds of these four ambient/noise selections, all conveniently located on Sweden’s Cryo Chamber label.

2146 by Sabled Sun is firmly rooted in the sound and atmosphere of heady science fiction. A concept album sequel to 2145, this release comes pre-loaded with a story that “…takes us to the second year after our protagonist awakens from deep hibernation sleep to a world in ruins. Seeking signs of life, he encounters illuminated cities still powered by automated energy and its robotic inhabitants moving with pointless tasks void of meaning.

 

Pulsing echoes, morose melody and the sounds of cycling, buzzing technology give tracks like Scanning for Life Forms and Graveyard of Broken Machines a familiar visual and conceptual base upon which the listener can articulate their own character traits amidst fighting to keep up hope in an obliterated landscape, or accepting the futility of going any further.

Iranian artist Alphaxone, if he doesn’t already, could easily score a Ridley Scott-esque fantasy film with the austere, darkly-flavored synthscapes of Living in the Grayland. Spacious tracks like Cold Spring and Grayland feel both deeply cool, soothing and natural as they do empty, inhuman and alone.

 

Each piece feels as though it could turn into a bright, warm and uplifiting song just as quickly as it could turn into a bleak dirge that only lowers you further into a yawning abyss, with no bottom in sight and no echoes to hint at what sits mere feet or countless miles away.

Snapping us back into a less-expansive-but-more-terrifying reality is Aseptic Void‘s Psychosis, pure nightmare fuel in audio form. A disturbing trudge through a hallucinogenic mindscape of distorted phobias and seething night terrors forged through a thick mix of “quietly noisy” spaces, things skittering across the floor, knocks, bumps, impish vocal effects and broken radio squelches.

 

This is no cheap “haunted house sounds” compilation though, this is a dedicated and brilliant effort to frighten the listener and make them doubt their sanity and safet… … did you see that? What was… I swear something moved down the hall… it feels like there’s someone else in the room…

Finally, Cthulhu is a massive 80-minute collaboration of twelve Cryo Chamber artists paying tribute to Lovecraft’s ageless, sleeping menace. If you’re going to listen to this one, be sure to invest the time to hear the entire thing. The sheer number of collaborator talents results in an incredibly visual listening experience, with deep, thrumming synth lines giving way to murky melodies peeking through thin clouds of white noise, all cradled by an oppressive and immovable wall of gray atmosphere.

Occasionally, ambiguous real-world sound effects punctuate the weight of the sound and help to tell a tale of horrifying discovery at a far end of the world. Millenia-old writings etched into stone that, though barely discernable through thousands of years of erosion, seem to confirm that all the legends are true. Something indescribable and unearthly is buried here; not man, not god. Time means nothing to it. The writing leads downward. You can’t go back. You have to know for sure.

Share & discuss your pre-winter listening recommendations in the comments below. And remember: Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

(header img via) | (other images via these artists’ bandcamp pages)

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  • From Cryo Chamber’s contact page:

    Do not send any submissions if you:
    – Do not produce Dark Ambient (no powernoise, drone, metal etc)
    – Do not produce in 24 bit
    – Do not have a sense of theme or lack a storytelling ability through sound

    That’s…specific.

    • God

      -do not send submissions if you do not stay void

    • CyberneticOrganism

      – Do not embrace the void
      – Are teh lolbuttz

      • -Smiled
        -Laughed
        -Enjoyed the company of others

        • God

          -are a cunting lifelover.
          -ever been hugged by your mother.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            – frequent BDubs

          • Pagliacci is Kl/rke

            – If you like Deafheaven.

        • Elite Extremöphile

          – if you like piña coladas
          – if you like getting caught in the rain

          • – if you like Chinpokomon…

            (you just won BTW)

          • Stockhausen

            No witty replies to this needed, this will do just fine.

    • Kim Jong Un’s Big Beef Burrito

      -If you like cute things
      -Do not send your enemies and 3 generations of their family to a labor camp for shits and giggles (or they beat you at Scrabble).

      So basically these guys are like Cold Meat Industries or Flesh Made Word Records, but a little more strict on rules?

  • Meehoineyhoin666Riot

    Tech Death Thursday and Gazing Too Long back to back?

    You people are not making it easy on me.

  • Only on the second Sabled Sun song but can already tell i’m going to like this article, alot.

    UPDATE: listening to “Scanning for lifeforms” reminds me of the ambient sounds in Jurassic Park…idk y

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “Hold on to your (lol)butt[z].”

    • DoYouThinkHeSaurus

      John? John? I can’t get Jurassic Park back online without Dennis Nedry.

  • God

    This is going to be the soundtrack to my cold dreary day.

  • VV.

    Good jorb. I’m going to check out Cthulhu after lunch.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      It’s really good

  • I’m gonna have to blast off before listening to this. Also might make great gaming/reading music. Just not something I can listen to out of context. Great writeup though, CO. Just remember what Nietzsche said: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster. And if you gaze long into the abyss, it gazes also into you.”

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Thank ye, BLVCKBEVRD

    • “I’m gonna have to blast off” == “BRB gonna go rip a bong”

    • Renan Ribeiro

      That sounds like a good idea. I’ve been studying a lot lately for exams similar to USMLE residency tests and I lost a lot of momentum in the past weeks. Maybe some background music and “blasts” can get me back on track.

  • Tyree

    It’s a bleak and cold day here in central PA, the Void is strong. Grayland by Alphaxone is putting me into a desolate and sinister mood.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Affirmative.

    • Renan Ribeiro

      It sounds like the background music to some old videos about space they used to show in the planetary when I was a small void dweller. Great stuff.

    • Xan

      Now to brutally murder a lifelover and you’ll be all set!

  • KJM

    “Silence In The Ancestral House” by Occultation has only been out about a month, but it’s already an Autumn classic in this house.

    https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/silence-in-the-ancestral-house

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Cool I’ll check that out later

  • This was one of the first images that popped up when I clicked “Guh”. Seems appropriate.
    http://i.vimeocdn.com/video/142293901_640.jpg

    • CyberneticOrganism

      That’s pretty much how I imagine Black Friday: a nightmare of distorted faces and body odor.

      • like Black Hole Sun, but more kvlt

      • Tyree

        That smell ov vegetable soup. Mmmmm.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          *cybernetically pukes*

      • Black Friday is hell on earth. I used to work at Circuit City. We had this one lady who slipped and cracked her head open and other customers were just jumping over her and shit to get what they wanted. I was pissed the fuck off and yelled at a bunch of them for ignoring the lady bleeding on the fucking floor. Then they complained to the manager that I yelled and he kicked them out of the store. Good times….

    • VV.

      Is that Overly Attached Girlfriend?

  • Tyree

    Robot, are you familiar with Kalpamantra records? They have a lot ov dark drone stuff that you might like.

    https://kalpamantra.bandcamp.com/music

  • Death

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Cthulhu cares not for Snickers… Okay maybe just one…

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    Great writeup as usul. Gonna listen to all this later on

  • This is excellent to read some weird science fiction. Thanks for the text, very well wrote!

    • *very good wrote

      • Thank you for spotting the grammatical error, mr. Detective!! 🙂

        • took me half the day… but worth it!
          you’re a fun addition to the terlet!

          • I work as a text editor, so it’s fine once in a while to get corrected because I point everyone’s errors in my day work, jajaja.. (in spanish, obviously). Thank you for your kind welcome, mr. Detective! (y)

  • I listened to these, and then held a garbage can to my ear and couldn’t tell the difference.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Save some money and just do that!

  • Nordling Rites ov Karhu

    Everything I’ve listened is fine, Sabled Sun was really cool, but otherwise I don’t think I’ll revisit these guys. Saving that Cthulhu for later though, don’t wanna miss a second of it.

  • George Clarke

    wild shit brother

  • Xan

    I love these posts so much. I cannot wait to listen to Cry Chamber Collection’s material on repeat for the rest of my life. I’m a sucker for Lovecraft, I love ambients, and I love darkness. All these bands were great and for a genre that is based mostly on sound rather than traditional instruments, I find there to be an extreme diversity of material in this post.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Thanks man, glad you enjoy em, I enjoy listening to these new finds and telling you guys about em

  • Sponge Of Mystery

    there should be a black metal monday