Published on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:58
Band: Sabled Sun
Album title: 2148
Release date: 8 November 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber
01. The Ark
02. A World Emptied
03. God Is Binary
05. Discarded Children
06. Project Locus Arcadia
07. Black Void
Sabled Sun is, at this point, one of the most well known sci-fi infused dark ambient projects out there. 2148 is the fourth chapter and the fourth year in the story of a man who has awoken from a long cryo-sleep to find that his planet has been abandoned. Each year or album in the series reveals a few more details and possibilities to be taken into account. Sabled Sun is the side-project of Simon Heath, who is most well known as Atrium Carceri and owner of the Cryo Chamber label. This year's album 2148 takes the story to it most surprising place yet.
2145 through 2148 have been the key elements in the Sabled Sun story, while Signals I-VI act as peripherals, side-notes which don't necessarily add much to the overall story-line but give listeners 6 hours of transmissions or signals, which the protagonist has discovered along his travels. With ten albums total in this series, its hard to believe the project only started back in 2012.
Simon Heath seems to have a pretty good idea of where the story is headed, and has even allowed some of the story to play out on the albums of fellow label-mates, leaving listeners scrambling to find bits and pieces of the story throughout the Cryo Chamber catalog. The most recognizable connection between the Sabled Sun story and other label-mates' albums can be found in the connections between the recent collaboration Locus Arcadia and the sixth track on 2148, "Project Locus Arcadia". Other connections can be found within the album Earth Songs by Dronny Darko and protoU. So what can we understand from all this information? Where to begin?
The beauty of the Sabled Sun project is that it is perhaps more musical than much of Simon's work as Atrium Carceri. Listeners can absolutely enjoy any of these albums including 2148 without paying any attention to over-arching themes and key plot elements. Tracks like "God Is Binary" on 2148 and "Dreams Without A Future" on 2147 incorporate heavy use of piano to create tracks that could stand on their own, devoid of the greater Sabled Sun story. But if we dig into the story-line there is a mountain of information for us to consider. Fans can discuss plot points, track titles, and album art among each other, trying to find underlying meaning. The meanings are definitely there, waiting patiently for listeners to discover them.
A brief overview of the story-line may be helpful at this point. But, take this with a grain of salt, as there is surely more than one way this story can be interpreted. 2145 provides some straightforward narration to get the listener into the correct mode of thinking. We are told that the protagonist has been in cryo-sleep for a long time, upon awakening he finds himself alone in a world abandoned by humanity. Here he begins his journey to discover the fate of his species, and what is left of Earth for his future. 2146 takes us into another year, this time the protagonist finds himself an exo-suit and a friendly robot, which assist his travels through the album. But, nearing the end of 2146, his robot cannot continue the journey at his side and is left behind. 2147 brings the protagonist to "The Space Center" a place where he must have discovered some very important information as well as important machinery. This brings us to 2148.
On "The Ark" it seems that the protagonist has continued his search through "The Space Center" and found a very important piece of machinery in "The Ark" which seems to be a space ship. The first half of 2148 seems to be the protagonist's final farewell to Earth as he prepares the ship for travel. The second half of 2148 seems to deal with him actually turning this ship on, setting his coordinates, and heading out into the "Black Void". A particular track of note here is "Project Locus Arcadia". Listeners should immediately recognize the connection to the recent collaboration album Locus Arcadia. It would seem that the protagonist has learned of this space station and found its coordinates. We may begin to assume that the protagonist has actually said his final farewells to his planet and is now headed toward Locus Arcadia.
This brief overview of the story-line doesn't do it justice. There are so many brilliant stories and melodies along the journey to be discovered. Each part of the Sabled Sun story seems to be painstakingly detailed, so listeners can slowly come up with ideas about what the protagonist is experiencing during his travels. As it is with many dark ambient albums that feature detailed story-lines, I could not hope to fully understand this story and have given what I consider to be the most likely chain of events. There is no definite answers, at least not yet. Each listener may interpret the series in their own way.
As an individual album 2148 is brilliant. From beginning to end, we hear some of the best music yet within the Sabled Sun story. Tracks like "God Is Binary", "A World Emptied", and "Conceived" all display the exceeding musical talents of their creator Simon Heath. I highly recommend this album to anyone who appreciates a good story and/or a solid dark ambient album. There are plenty of things here to keep each type of listener happily entertained. Now, we can only wait to find out if this is the end of the line for the protagonist or if Simon Heath still has more ideas up his sleeve for the continuation of his protagonist as he moves toward the stars, the second great unknown in his journey.
Written by: Michael