In sitting down to write, I realized that I had heard a number of releases from New Risen Throne over the last dozen years or so, but had not yet written a review. Perhaps this is because the project has been mostly quiet since 2011’s Loneliness Of Hidden Structures. In any event, Stiehl (Gabriele Panci) is back with a double album. The first part is a new set of deep, cold, windswept dark ambient soundscapes. The second consists of remixes of his previous recordings by like-minded individuals and groups including Sysselmann, Visions, Taphephobia, Phantom Ship, Vestigial, Apocryphos, and TeHÔM.
The new album is described as “[a]fter centuries of isolation, the human race begins a journey in search of the causes that led to the end of its world, and for the first time it approaches the Structures, new life forms that have developed and evolved in the emptiness of ‘The Outside’.” Sounds ominous. In addition to ponderous mid-frequency and low-frequency drones, these tracks include foreground synth layers and snippets of spoken or chanted vocals. They vary in volume, from barely-audible intros to densely-packed and highly-detailed walls of sound. These cinematic explorations evoke apprehensive footsteps through caves, primordial forests, or abandoned cities.
The remixes take the New Risen Throne approach in a few different directions. One of the standout pieces is Breath Of Growing Structures, as remixed by Taphephobia, with shimmering, discordant drones that ebb and flow. Signs Of The Approaching Wastefulness (II), remixed by Stiehl himself, is one of the more haunting tracks on a haunting release. It involves a layered disquiet with shuffling sounds and disembodied voices. Overall, the remixes are interesting and consistent with what one would expect from New Risen Throne and these artists stylistically. The Outside is a great place to start with this artist if you have not already.