Published on Monday, 24 August 2015 14:57
Album title: Absence Of Motion
Release date: 25 August 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber
03. Long Eternity
04. Space Continuum
05. Dark Geometry
07. Inner Horizon
Cryo Chamber has had a huge few years. Since the inception of the label, Simon Heath, the mastermind behind the CryoChamber label, Atrium Carceri, Sabled Sun, Krusseldorf, and who knows what else (we can only wait to see where he progresses), has been releasing albums by a number of artists, some newcomers to the scene and some veterans. Cryo Chamber is known for its consistency in high quality artists and production as well as its release of just about every album (except a few much older ones) in 24-Bit FLAC. You will find that Alphaxone's Absence Of Motion is perfect in this high quality format on a great set of headphones, but it still sounds fantastic in the car. For this album I recommend taking your headset and lying beneath the stars on a cool summer night.
Alphaxone is Mehdi Saleh, from Tehran, Iran. He is becoming a bit of a veteran in space/drone/dark ambient music. He has two previous full-length releases on Cryo Chamber Living In The Grayland and Altered Dimensions. Tomb Of Empires was a highly acclaimed release last year which featured him along side other dark ambient artists: Foundation Hope, Council Of Nine, and Coph'antae Tryr. Not long after Absence Of Motion, we can be expecting the release of Azathoth the new Cryo Chamber mega collaboration featuring over a dozen artists, including Alphaxone, and two hours of music. Mehdi also works in other musical projects including Spuntic which showcases a lighter side of his musical taste.
Alphaxone reaches into a whole new dimension with this latest release, Absence Of Motion. Within seconds of listening it is apparent that he is stepping outside his comfort zone this time around. This album is significantly more cinematic than his previous releases. I would even go so far as to say it reminds me at times of Sabled Sun, which is a positive for me and not a comparison I make lightly. Alphaxone has always appealed to me for bringing his stellar use of space drone ambient into the dark ambient realm. Here on Absence Of Motion he is much heavier in use of field-recordings and they seem right at home in his style.
From the beginning of "Intro" we hear life, in its most earthly form. There are birds, crickets, sounds of a beach even footsteps. However as the album progresses, slowly in a pulsating fashion, an otherworldy presence begins to take hold. On "Appearance" we leave the state of wonder and begin to enter the realms of certainty, while this is clearly earth, there is something else here. "Space Continuum" and "Dark Geometry" seem to be a time where we the listeners and maybe our protagonist, are coming to terms with this other presence, we gaze upon it in wonder not fright. "Celestial" and "Inner Horizon" are very lively yet meditative tracks they seem to be showing a sense of oneness between mankind and these "others". "X-land" is a highly cinematic track. Mechanical and celestial noises combine to form a feeling of entering some sort of space bound vessel, as the track progresses this vessel seems to be speeding through our world, giving us short glimpses at all that has made mankind beautiful and terrible. "Close" takes us away, beginning with a thunderstorm the sounds get progressively harsher and more intense. The build up of "Close" reminds me of some of the most beautiful yet crushing Atrium Carceri tracks. This constant build gives me the sense of speeding further and further off from our land, our atmosphere, our galaxy. We leave Absence Of Motion in deep space in a state of true wonder.
This is a cinematic experience much like that of Sabled Sun, in that we seem to be following a protagonist through the album from first encounter with a new life form to the final ascent into deep space. Every second of this album is full of life: organic, synthetic, or a war between the two. Absence Of Motion is a thrilling ride.
Absence Of Motion may be portraying an alien abduction or the use of futuristic machinery we can only begin to phathom, the full interpretation is up to the individual. My interpretation will surely change after many more play-throughs, this is why I love a great dark ambient album, it is a feast for the ears, one with much left to return to later.
This is an easy listen compared to some other releases in the genre, with the intensity and bass levels only soaring at moments giving the listener time to relax and reflect upon all the otherworldly wonders this Absence Of Motion has to offer. A masterpiece by Alphaxone that is sure to resonate for some time!
Review written by: Michael