AMN Reviews: Hilyard – Division Cycle (2021; Cryo Chamber)

(Bryan) Hilyard offers up this album of deep and slow-moving drones, waves, and lush atmospheres. He has been making this form of dark ambient for the better part of a decade, and Division Cycle is his 12th or so release. Hilyard begins this journey in a style that is not unduly harsh, with plenty of airy layers. But by the third track, Of Hatred and Wrath, an ominous presence begins to rear its head in the form of background patterns that resemble animal noises. Feed the Earth continues down this path with chants and vocalizations, evoking a primeval or alien landscape. The finale, To the Warmth of Pyres, is a collaboration with fellow dark ambient artists Dronny Darko and ProtoU. It includes subtle echoing elements over a mound of drones, some with voice-like characteristics. In a sense, this represents a return to the initial structure of the album, coming a sonic full circle.