AMN Reviews: Various Artists – Tomb of Primordials (2022; Cryo Chamber)

This is the sixth collection in Cryo Chamber’s “Tomb” series and is intended to explore Sumerian mythology. The six tracks all fall squarely within the cinematic dark ambient genre, with contributions by Dahlia’s Tear, Skadi, Svartsinn & Letum, New Risen Throne & Mortiis, Inner Vision Laboratory, and Desiderii Marginis. All of these pieces are excellent, especially those on the second half.

Dahlia’s Tear kicks things off with Crystal Scars Beneath a Bleak Sky, a brooding piece with layered drones and crackling electroacoustic elements. This general approach continues on Seed of Pestilence by Skadi, though with the addition of deep, echoing drum beats and well as patterns of martial percussion.

The offering from Svartsinn & Letum, One By One I Broke their Wings, is quiet and windswept, with abundant environmental noises. The other pairing, Chants for Isimud from New Risen Throne & Mortiis, provides a compelling combination of mechanistic percussion, string-like synth washes, and haunting vocalizations for a distinctly Middle-Eastern feel.

Inner Vision Laboratory’s Vermin Wiped Clean is a complex layering of drones that exhibit both doomy and brighter aspects, with low-frequency rumbling constantly in the background. Desiderii Marginis wraps up the album with The Faceless Bringers of Pain. This track begins with a thick, suffocating set of drones, some layers exhibiting insect-like noises, which evolve into glacially-paced synth chording and simulated chants.

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