Space ambient is rapidly building steam to claim the “Favorite Ambient Genre” spot in my heart. There is such variation and wonder in the genre, I haven’t listened to a artist I haven’t liked. There is little similarity between artists, each finding their own niche in the void to explore. Aphotic Apathy found a niche that makes me question why they aren’t bigger and why it took me this long to find them. I’ll give them the distinctive subgenre name “Alien Ambient” because their themes and motifs are based on the Lovecraftian Alien film franchise (and Predator and Prometheus by extension), one of my favorite films. Their latest album, “Paradise” is meant to follow the yet unreleased Prometheus sequel.
Brilliant is the best word I can find to describe the album. It is difficult to really put into words because so many seem inadequate and others seems campy. Still, this is one hell of an album.
The sounds, the most important part of an ambient album, echo and echo, they drone softly in a dangerous unexplored vacuum until silence overtakes it. The sounds are oddly natural for space ambient, a genre meant to take you away from the natural. There’s is a cathedral, religious vibe to the whole album that fits the Alien/Prometheus storyline. It’s megalithic and terrifying. The listener feels tiny and insignificant, a mote of dust passing through space. In the vastness of space the sound is muted, quiet, as if something is lurking around the corner. The idea that space is not a safe place is a classic Alien theme in the cinematic music and the movies themselves, those themes of terrifying danger, gut wrenching unease, and unexplainable monstrosities is heavily evident through each song, each measure.
While I can’t claim to know where Paradise (now Covenant) is going storywise I can clearly see where Aphotic Apathy is leading their story. Discovering where we are come from, what set our history in motion is going to be a harrowing journey that blends reality with something that makes our worst nightmares seem tame. The idea is noble, but space and those things out in space couldn’t care less about our nobility. Space is utterly amoral, the perfect representation of nature and Darwinian evolution. We are not ready for such things, our mind cannot comprehend such madness. The album portrays this with frightening ease; the sounds seem so effortless. There’s a beauty in that depravity that can’t be quantified with words.
Seriously this album is amazing, from production of the music to the epic soundscape to the feelings of impending doom and cosmic horror. Everything is wonderful. I’ve found an Album of the Year in this release. You will find one too, I believe.
Listen and support!