AMN Reviews: Visions – Temples (2019; Cyclic Law)

Cyclic Law’s head Frederic Arbour returns under the moniker of Visions. On this outing, he focuses on deep, dark, slowly oscillating drones and subtlely distorted loops that form a primordial low-frequency sound sculpture. Arbour thoughtfully layers textures upon one another to create a barely restrained walled intensity that spans all seven tracks of this release. Each voice growls, expands and contracts, or provides a semblance of melody that joins together in a coherent assault.

Despite its in-your-face nature, cinematic is also a good way of describing the impact of Temples. Deep caverns, abandoned towns, windswept cliffs, and fog-cloaked woodlands come to mind – all infested with a sense of dread. The title track, in particular, begins with a haunting two-tone pattern that is accompanied by a drifting, pseudo-metallic melody. Ultima, on the other hand, brings unease to life with distorted waves breaking over shifting drones and a pulsing rhythm. Continuum ends the album with shimmering, grinding vehemence, as life is consumed until the cycle begins again.

Built up from relatively simple elements and patterns, there is nonetheless a lot going on as you listen to Temples. This is a solid and compelling release that will afford many listens.