Thursday, August 13, 2015

REVIEW-YEN POX-BETWEEN THE HORIZON AND THE ABYSS-CD

YEN POX-BETWEEN THE HORIZON AND THE ABYSS-CD
MALIGNANT RECORDS-TUMORCD85
DARK AMBIENT/EXPERIMENTAL SOUNDSCAPES
COMES IN A SIX PANEL DIGI-PACK
YEN POX IS:
MICHAEL JV HENSLEY
STEVEN HALL



I.) THE AWAKENING:
After well over a decade we finally have a new YEN POX full length
and it may very well be their best work yet.Their debut album "Blood
Music" set the standard for Dark Ambient music and with "Between The
Horizon And The Abyss" YEN POX have once again raised the bar considerably.
the appropriately titled "The Awakening" resurrects YEN POX from their long
slumber and takes us into sweeping synths that flow like desert winds over
blistering dunes.A cacophony of chimes rise and settle as thick strings bellow
below.Hissing gusts come like steaming volcanoes awakening from slumber.The sound
of this album is MASSIVE.The production and mixing are top notch to the point of
cinema quality.This not only builds and expands but it will surround and engulf
you unlike anything I have heard before.In the distance what sounds like militant
trumpets are heard as spacey ambiance grows and consumes.There are so many sounds
and layers here that it is increasingly difficult to describe them.The tones and
moods change almost rapidly.One moment is spent in a tranquil and meditative state
and seconds later it feels like a crawling monstrosity is slowly creeping up behind
you.Slight touches of metallic industrial clatter are heard here and there until
they build into spinning turbine blades in a circle of slaughter.From highly emotive
to cold and inhuman.And this is just the opening track.

II.) WHITE OF THE EYE:
Highly treated and processed guitars create otherworldly atmospheres as what sounds
like a waterfall of scrap metal cascades and crashes beneath.Hollow ambiance plays in
a mournful and semi-melodic manner as rusted blades rush around in every direction.
Immense and gorgeous synth strings are executed in a passionate orchestral display
of utter heartbreak.Vibrating currents flow like humming engines from another plane
of existence.The track absolutely gushes and pours in like the overflow of a swollen
river of intense beauty.Listening with good headphones is highly recommended as the
album is presented in a "Full HD Surround Sound" type of manner.What YEN POX are
doing here is incredible and truly unique.Brilliant strings stir as rising winds
ascend beyond the higher heavens.It is hard to believe that this album was composed
by two people.It sounds like a full symphonic orchestra in full swing.Towards the
end of the piece it becomes one of the most deeply emotional soundscapes I've heard
to date.Inspiring, uplifting and crushingly despondent all at the same time.Like 
every traumatic experience of one's lifetime rushing back and relived in the form
of a few minutes.The piece ends in a calm and reflective passage that plays with
wondrous notes and tones until the climatic rise of the cold summer sun.

III.) COLD SUMMER SUN:
What sounds like high powered, metallic electrical wires rattling in the winds forms
an oldschool Death Industrial styled rhythm as cold ambiance lingers and hangs like
fog on the face of a cool lake.Insect-like sounds and nocturnal lifeforms gather awaken
and gather.This track is full of movement and feels like a living entity composed of
several others.Death rattles and birds of prey fill the chilled air with their own
particular sounds and speech.Landslides of sonic experience commence as tribal rhythms
are formed out of post-industrial waste.Strange screeches are heard as if primal creatures
are fighting over the last shredded bits of slain prey.Haunting lead notes come like a
siren in the distance attempting to lure us to our own frozen demise.Rock slide rhythms
and clicking percussion's dance as the ghosts of a dead Pharaoh's chamber maids sing an
intoxicating invocation.The whole piece feels oddly ritualistic and spiritual but not
in the way I am used to hearing from a Dark Ambient artist.This is something you'll
have to experience for yourself to truly understand what I'm talking about.

IV.) IN SILENT FIELDS
Thus far, this album has almost been beyond description, And with "In Silent Fields"
that is still the case.This and the two tracks before it have been nearly ten minutes
in length so there is a lot to cover here.Vocal pads and brooding synths take us into
what feels like a hidden world unknown to all but those initiated in some arcane occult
rite.Ghostly vocals haunt every inch of this one as reversed leads glide over deep tones
soaked in reverb.Chaotic orchestrations sound out through cavernous atmospheres.Similarities
can be loosely drawn to artists like FUNERARY CALL or something along those lines but that
doesn't quite cover it.Dismal choirs sing lamentations of utter anguish.It sounds like what
I'd imagine to hear upon entrance into the underworld of Greek mythology.A river of miserable
souls in an endless spiral deeper into the darkened depths of a bottomless nowhere.Roaring
green water rapids pour into an empty eternity.Daemonic choirs moan in a mockery of beauty.
Everything weighs heavy and comes with a sense of discomfort that you can't quite put your
finger on.YEN POX doesn't create music to merely listen to, They create worlds that will
challenge you, Dimensions that will oppress you and symphonies that will free you from the
shackles of everyday existence.

V.) GRIEF RITUAL:
Frantic spirits cry out under an intense orchestral soundscape riddled by anxiety.The overall
tone is intense and anxious.A building pressure that you must escape from.Paranoia to the point
of insanity.Hyper-sensitivity amplified and weaponized.With each track a new strain of audio
sickness is unleashed like a quickly spreading virus that eats away every cell and atom.Feelings
of loss are invoked and funneled out into the open air to hang above you like black clouds of
woe.This track is like a slow death.The kind where the sorrow is too much and you literally
lose all will to live.Pummeling percussive noise wraps around everything like creeping, thorn-ed
vines.Their core contains various layers and textures of dark, sonic experimentation in full
swing.A garden of grief with slight traces of awe and wonder.Terror settles in as well like
a fleeting, shadowy figure that haunts the corners of the room.Rushing winds and ghastly moans
hum before vanishing into haunting, yet melodic passages.There is much to behold here.

VI.) ASHEN SHROUD:
"Ashen Shroud" builds on minimal Death Industrial atmospherics.Screeching sheet metal and
distant junk abuse as dreamy and dreary vocals sing a spectral melody over brooding dark
ambient currents.Again we are treated to the heavy use of "surround sound" style mixing.
Moments of this one are stunningly beautiful while seconds later all becomes a curious
mass of exploring darkness once again.Chimes jingle as droplets fall in mirrored pools
of silver liquid.Chamber strings stir and invoke visions of beautiful phantoms and frail,
pale maidens.For some reason I get this sort of "Arabian Nights" kind of vibe from it.
Enchanting like the glow of the full moon across a sandy sea of dunes.The track feels
very organic as well and "breaths" like a living entity as puffs of air glide like smoke
before being pulled back in again.A very "ebb and flow" kind of pattern.Insects are heard
flicking their glass-like wings as the vocals invite you further in and deeper down.Lush
tones of clean ambiance dance through the track and help to weave it all together.About
as close to perfect as an ambient piece can be.

VII.) TOMORROW IN RUINS:
As we near the end "Tomorrow In Ruins" begins with light gusts and oceanic breezes.Roaring
waves form a suffocating wall of sound as what sounds like very distant marching drums is
heard echoing through some forgotten place in time.Deep ambiance gushes as white static noise
forms a pouring waterfall of sound.Much of the track follows the ocean-like pattern that began
in the beginning, but it feels like we are being carried further and further out to sea.At times
the soothing lull of the synths used here take on an almost Noir-Jazz quality.Meditative and calm,
but at the same time there is a lurking darkness that feels like something is waiting and watching.
Momentum builds like a liquid vortex forming around you.The eye of the storm is relatively still but
danger grows all around you.Brass synth instruments sound off like biblical trumpets as the atmosphere
turns ashen and hazy.The plagues have been unleashed and are quickly approaching.Monolithic ambient
soundscapes to usher in an age of death and darkness.The last minute or so of this one is utterly
beautiful.If you are looking for music with true emotion, this is it.

VIII.) THE PROCESSION:
The longest and final track on the album builds on tense brass synths windswept atmospherics.Dense
and dreadful.What sounds like an assault of paranormal voices from multiple entities is heard in
cyclic patterns.High anxiety ambiance in a dizzying display of doom.Cavernous and subterranean
passages in a place where no man should pass through.A hidden world of secret rites and sacred
ceremonies of bloodshed and mutilation.The door to the abyss yawns wide as eternity opens.YEN
POX  conjure sounds that defy definition and description.Deep drones that hit and quit in endless
repetition as high end frequencies scream through distant dimensions.The.The dripping, wet sounds of
grotesque and sickening abominations as they scurry out of the womb can be heard aiding a slow
symphony of festering rot.Total Horror Ambient at it's finest.Things end on a slimy, yet somber
note.Slippery sounds and depressed drones that seem to fall to their demise like blood down the
drain.A perfect end to the track and album as a whole.

THE BEST DARK AMBIENT ALBUM RELEASED THIS YEAR, HANDS DOWN:

10/10
-ABATTOIR-

WWW.MALIGNANTRECORDS.COM
MALIGNANT@MALIGNANTRECORDS.COM


Check out videos by: Dominic F. Marceau
 by following the links below:

https://vimeo.com/125294884

https://vimeo.com/124960975

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