Reviewed: Labyrinthine – Ancient Obscurity
Upon opening the blackened timber door I am greeted by what appears to be the hollowed remnants of what once was a foyer. Soured air brushes past me. Beyond this dimmed antechamber gleams a hall of sorts. The orb of tarnished light winks at me through the reflections filtering out the opening. As I proceed through this portal, the bell shaped room echoes back at me my every step. While not cavernous, the hall gives the impression of what was once an internal courtyard. The composition is pristine in structure but the stone walls are adorned in the evidence of years of deliberate neglect. I hear the faint noises resonating within the structure. They steadily accumulate and eventually surround me.
Ahead I see a series of tunnel-like apertures. This is clearly where the sounds are emanating from as they continue to upwell. Each doorway offers a sound distinct from the others. The funereal repeating patterns from one tunnel are seemingly adorned with haunting melodies from another. A percussive dirge is being dragged along by shifting bass tones. Although not a wall of sound, each instrument wanders its own path, aligning in a spectral orchestra. The bass looms as the conductor of the piece, luring me deeper. Rather than cross the center of the circular expanse, I decide to skirt the outer edge toward.
As I cross the threshold, the thick blast of the closing door butting up to the jamb is cut through by the sinister rasp of a voice thus far unheard. The ghastly sneers pierce my consciousness and seemingly beckon me with a crooked finger. I am at their behest. Their refusal to intertwine with the instrumental façade ahead brings disquiet within. Calculated menace abounds. As I reach the other side of the hall I notice inscriptions in the blotched marble above each tunnel.
It is then a sombre, somewhat hypnotic pattern begins to relieve my prior tension. During this, a moment of relative comfort within the doom is reached. Foolishly I had ignored the undercurrent portending the oncoming frenzy. The lull is rapidly severed by the hastening of the drumming. The other tunnels have followed suit in this frantic gathering of spite. The engraving reads ‘Ichorous Portal’.
Following this turmoil a moment of instrumental congruence is reached. Lengthened notes within the circular rhythms are interspersed with crescendos of illusory clawing. I feel their breathless reaching. Pushing back towards the outer wall, a blanket of grey cloud settles on my mind, beyond which the boundless plane lies. I find momentary warmth in this phantom cloak. Blurred vision sees the roof above form a cryptic nebula, spiralling in and out of focus. I turn to face the point of entry and begin to slowly walk towards, only to find it now mirrors the tunnelled wall behind me. I remain at the mid-point of this symmetry, replete with the divine revelation. I am home now.
TL, DR: ‘Dis album rill gud, is free but pay anyway. Labyrinthine – Ancient Obscurity