Ambient Music

Various Artists – Cryo Chamber Collaboration – Tsathoggua (2022; Cryo Chamber) – Avant Music News

Nothing says Christmas like a 2CD set inspired by an elder god from the Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos. Tsathoggua was actually created by writer Clark Ashton Smith and later referred to by H.P. Lovecraft. Here, the Cryo Chamber label has once again – for the 9th time in 9 years – reappropriated Lovecraft in collaboration form. Not a compilation, but two 50-minute tracks jointly composed and recorded over the course of a year by a group of artists notable in the cinematic drone and electroacoustic ambient space (see below for a list).

Tsathoggua the album begins with a rumbling, heavy ambiance and percussion patterns that vary from martial to tribal to unstructured. In addition to layered synth, passages incorporate stringed instrumentation playing Middle Eastern styled themes. Bassy drones are nearly omnipresent including during more experimental and improvised passages of sculpted noise. Dark and haunting soundscapes emerge, evoking the utter emptiness of outer space. While probably not intentional, perhaps this can be taken as an allegory for some of humanity’s more pointless or destructive aims and inclinations.

Crackling effects emerge from these atmospherics, accompanied by washes of static. Eventually, the effects move from background to foreground, constructing and deconstructing forms at the quantum level. Muted guitar riffs provide gritty rhythms that manage to have enough variability to avoid repetition. Sounds of metal upon metal reverberate while the tone as a whole maintains an organic nature. Other moments have an airy character before descending back into darkness.

Tsathoggua will be released on December 27, and is nearly two hours of unholy bliss. Hang a Cthulhu ornament from your holiday tree, tuck in your tentacles, and have a listen.

Credits: Atrium Carceri, Kammarheit, Dronny Darko, protoU, Dead Melodies, Onasander, God Body Disconnect, Council of Nine, RNGMNN, Northumbria, Void Stasis, In Quantum, Alphaxone, Neizvestija, Skrika, Dahlia’s Tear, Gydja, Kolhoosi 13, Lesa Listvy, Tineidae, and Apocryphos.

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