Thursday, July 29, 2010

Choronzon – Vox Inferni : dark ambient, ritualistic, drone

Reviewed by Gird_09

Let's just say it straight away, cos it certainly is the most striking feature of this three track release: It's fucking long! The trt is close to five hours, and something tells me it is the longest release I'll ever review. Something like this could only emerge in the digital world where physical media restrictions no longer matter.

However, don't think that this is one of those slowly building minimalist ambient things, from the beginning it is evil as fuck and ritualistic and occult and everything cool. I'd like to say satanic, if that didn't carry connotations of idiots and infantilism. But as the project name suggests it is demonic in ever sense. Opposite of most releases of this type it build down rather than up, and each consecutive track is more ambient than the last one.

Track one, Maanelys Skygge [moonlit shadow in english, or moonlight shadow if you're in that corner] is made up of distorted voice over landscapes of subtle drones and other suggestive and restrained sounds with buckets full of reverb. It's like the more atmospheric portions of Evil Dead II turned into music. The vocals truly sound like they are either from another world, or invoking something you don't want to encounter. Or maybe a blend between the two. At times the voice is invoking, at other times singing lamentations, and always with this ominous soundscape in the background. The music is like an aural counterpiece to Bosch's visions of hell. Old school hell in fact.

Track two, vox, is more ambient and contains more musical elements. The voices are still present but they are subtler and less distorted. Where Maanelys Skygge was a vision of hell this is something of a respite, or perhaps a possibility for meditation. A chance to stop and listen to the voices, and perhaps discover some shards of truth floating around in there.

Track three, Inferno, is the longest of the three tracks, clocking in at nearly two and a half hour! Inferno is also the most minimal of the tracks, and so low one can hardly hear it. The music builds so slowly you hardly know it's there at all, and it becomes indistinguishable from the wind outside the window. Then the music starts to come creeping out at you, more distorted and mutated than ever, but still very ambient. When the two and a half hours of subtly shifting voices and strange sounds leave you, it still takes a while before the sounds in your head ceases.

It is fascinating to see how Choronzon can work within such a narrow spectre of music, over such an incredibly long release, and still wind up with three quite distinctive tracks.

Choronzon is a three member project, according to their myspace page. The members are P. Emerson Williams, Demimonde Mesila Thraam and last but not least Choronzon himself - whose job it is to destroy the ego. The music is based in enochian magick and demonology by way of modern chaos magick and Uncle Al. The music is also inspired by electronic voice phenomenon, in the sense that those distorted voices are suggestive and the message they put out might change over time, and subject to point of view. This is not just about goofing around with some sounds and reverb, it has intent. I love intent. I worship intent.

I've reviewed Emerson's music before, here and here, but this experience is something entirely different from Veil of Thorns. Choronzon is less like traditional music and carries a rough similarity to Void ov Voices or Sunn O))), but with a much more frightening and occult overtone. It's also much more layered than any of those two projects. Though eminent they might be, I'd rather listen to Choronzon.

The release is ambitious as little else, and it pays off. At first I was frightened by the length of the release, but the music is so relaxing and monotonous that you can just slap it on in the background and listen to it without much concentration. The sheer length of the music is bound to get you into a trance like meditative state, and I believe that is the intention. The music is occult in the real sense, NOT in the posy sense that is true for most bands. I wouldn't suggest trancing out to this if you're having a stressful day or if you're worried about something, as the music could also be used for sonic torture, and I guess that is the point. Choronzon is like a cheese grater slowly scraping away at your false sense of self, with 333 knives.

1 Maanelys skygge
2 Vox
3 Inferni

USA, Inner-x-musick, free download, 2010

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