AMN Reviews: NERATERRÆ – The Substance of Perception (2019; Cyclic Law)

NERATERRÆ is Alessio Antoni, and this debut album is a set of seven collaborations with a virtual who’s who of dark ambient and melancholy electroacoustic music. Collaborators include members of Northaunt, Phurpa, Treha Sektori, New Risen Throne, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, Taphephobia, Ugasanie, Xerxes The Dark, and Infinexhuma. For the most part, these tracks consist of layered drones and a sense of dread. Interspersed therein are crackling background static, ritualistic chants, windswept soundscapes, and subtle spoken-word elements.

Highlights include Becoming the Nightmare, a piece with efforts from New Risen Throne and Treha Sektori, which features bassy rumblings, barely audible voices, and processed industrial noises. This evolves into a more conventional pattern of mid-range drones until the voices return for a coda. That Which Shall Not Be Witnessed is a powerful statement made from sweeping waves and pulses overlaid with manipulated voices. Xerxes The Dark and Treha Sektori contribute. Echoing Scars, recorded with help from Flowers For Bodysnatchers, includes piano over rainfall and subtle drones.

Antoni does not attempt to adapt the styles of his collaborators to that of his own. If anything, he adapts to them. The result is an album with sounds that vary around a fixed anchor point. Well worth a listen for anyone who follows the aforementioned artists.

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