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Noctilucant - Oblivion To You All (2016) - Review

Band: Noctilucant
Album title: Oblivion To You All
Release date: 18 July 2016
Label: Self-released

01. Introspective Dissolution (feat. Kara Phillips of Magma Dragon)
02. This Day Brings Forth Our Destiny
03. The First Light Of Morning
04. Where Snow Remains And Life Fades
05. The Old Machine Shop
06. Those Peaceful Days Of Our Past?
07. Back Into The Hole Where I Was Born (feat. Steve Keiller of Rick and Steve's Fire For Effect)
08. Devouring Night
09. Oblivion To You All (feat. Michael Barnett of Fear-Modern-Man)
10. And The Far Unlit Unknown

Oblivion To You All is the ominous second album from the cinematic dark ambient project known as: Noctilucant, which I will attempt to decipher as a combination of darkness/light (both nocturnal and lucent). This concept certainly describes the album; though it is heavy on the darkness and scarce on the light. Like the moon in the night sky, there is only just enough light so that you can see how dark this decrepit environment really is. I would describe the album as a "post-apocalyptic nightmare" that offers you glimpses of hope, only to beat you down again into lower levels of helplessness, nihilism, death and despair.

"The world as we know it has changed, the world we knew has gone...
...the end is near. Death is near. Goodbye."

With all the insanity both in the modern public sphere and global politics; a world of conflicting ideologies, limited resources, autonomous predator drones and a growing nuclear arsenal, it seems that we could be experiencing the apocalypse any day now. This album will only reinforce that notion and maybe even evoke a lust for wanton destruction and the inevitable OBLIVION.

Dark ambient and post apocalypse genres have always been a match made in heaven; or hell which ever way you look at it, and this album is no exception.

Visual aesthetic is often just as important as the audio in dark ambient music and the two must compliment each other for a fully realised project. This album delivers equally on both fronts.

Everything you need to know about Oblivion To You All can be envisaged within the exceptional cover artwork designed by Maia of Glitch Witch. The cover displays a dark cityscape at street level with abandoned buildings in an obvious state of decay. The air is choked up with thick poisonous smog all around and the only sign of hope is a small gilmmer of light in the distance that threatens to disappear forever beyond the horizon leaving the world in total darkness. In the foreground can be seen a zombie like figure that was once human and several beast like mutants now preferring to walk on all fours who are anything but human.

Oblivion To You All is an exploration, a journey through a post-apocalyptic world three months after the cataclysm. It seems as though you are being guided by distant angelic voices; but are they leading you to safety, or somewhere else? Along the way it may seem as thought one has found refuge, and then...

Prepare to be surprised and confronted. There are moments of hope - but make no mistake, this area is forsaken. There is only death and despair here. Cold steel has been pressed to shivering temples and brains have been splattered in dark lonely rooms - Cobain style.

This is very much a dark ambient album but there are elements that you would usually expect to hear in other genres of dark music. Many ambient works maintain a steady dynamic level throughout with little (if any) change in atmosphere and mood. This is not one of those albums. Prepare to be compelled on a physical, emotional and spiritual level with the ever changing emanations and undertones.

Oblivion To You All makes for a refreshing break from the norm that is best listened to in its entirety, though each track does stand on its own as a separate piece of the puzzle. The album is well produced with a perfect balance of field recordings, ASMR inducing and textured atmospheric samples, syths and spoken word parts which add to the overall story. My only beef with this record is that some of the vocals are a little stark in the mix and they may distract some listeners from the immersion that this album otherwise induces, though this is likely on purpose and will be appreciated by other listeners I'm sure.

Oblivion To You All creates such an invitingly hostile environment that you will be hoping for the apocalypse to occur so that you can enter the world of...  Noctilucant.

Review written by: Evceles
Rating: 8,5/10