Imagine yourself coming upon an abandoned building, it doesn’t matter what that building was or used to be, it’s merely a shell now, a decrepit skeleton of itself, standing on its last legs. Against the backdrop of a stormy night sky, the frame looks menacing and foreboding, but something inside you pulls you to the ruins. Inexplicably, you move closer, your eyes unable to peel themselves away from the terrifying sight. The closer you get to the ruins, you begin to hear something. It chills you to your bones. The haunting sounds of bells and voices, rising and falling, ululating in some dark, arcane ritual. Every instinct you have tells you to run as fast and a far as you can to escape the chanting moans, but still your feet more you forward. It’s as though something supernatural is drawing you in, your actions are not your own anymore. Vaguely, you begin to see lights flicker here and there as you move through the ruins of this place. Yellows and red bounce off the walls, creating terrible shadows of things you can’t even imagine. Your every step feels leaden and cold. The close you come, the clearer the ritual sounds become, the more terrified you are yet the more curious you become as well. What is this? What is that sound? Who are these people? The bells get louder and their echoes bounce and drone until you feel as though you can’t stand it. You drop to your knees holding your ears against the monotonous tones but they echo in your mind as well, endlessly. Until. Until you look up again and see it. The thing rising from the abyss. Oh gods!
This is one of the many reasons I love ritual ambient, each album feels as though you, the listener, are stumbling upon some secret rite. It’s terrifying and its thrilling. No other genre of dark ambient that I’ve listened to has such a strength. Horror ambient comes close and often mixes with ritual ambient but nothing beats the terrifyingly beautiful drone of ritual ambient. Buried Visions is the work of Asath Reon and the (hopefully) terrifying little intro is how I feel each time I’ve listened to this album so far. Released by the incomparable Black Mara Records, Buried Visions takes the listener by the hand and leads them down into the darkest pits of the earth, places were light has not been shown in centuries, were the darkness truly overpowers the light. Buried Visions is a Lovecraftian story of a cult finally bringing forth their dark majesty and the unfortunate listener-protagonist feels his sanity begin to fray as he realizes what is coming. From somewhere deep within the earth something is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Buried Visions is very well produced. I was not expecting such sharp and crisp sounds when I began listening but it was perfect. I could feel the bells tolling over and over (the tubular melodies were by far my favorite parts of the album). I could envision their use in the ceremony as the shadows swirled around the flickering torchlight. As is normal in my experience with ritual ambient, I felt as though I was there, as though I was a participant or an observer in something obscene and terrifying. Each ritual ambient album I’ve listened to has a foundation of power, something that the listener could feel more than hear and Buried Visions is no different, there’s a heavy drone that weighs down on the listener, it stops them from feeling or hearing anything else. It’s powerful and it’s attractive. Beyond the drone and the bells, you get the echoing voices. Some feel human, terrified at what it’s witnessing, or ecstatic, wild and giddy at what it’s bringing forth. And yet, some of it feels utterly inhuman. The vocals that echo and drone in tune with the bells feels like something alien and monstrous, yet somehow, too, the voice sounds familiar, calming almost despite its non-human origins. I know I should be terrified and yet I am compelled by the sounds of the voice to remain calm, to remain though all my instincts tell me to flee and risk becoming lost in the immensity of the lightless caverns I’ve followed the sounds into.
Buried Visions tells a very compelling, very terrifying story, one that I personally cannot get enough of. I’ve been listening to the album nonstop for at least a full day now, each time I feel as though I’m getting deeper and deeper into the ritual, as though I’m discovering something else. Simultaneously I feel as though I’m going mad and that I’m gaining some sort of insight into the true inner workings of the world. Which is it though? Can it really be both? Oh, the great contradiction of wisdom and knowledge! Was I led here on purpose? Was I meant to learn these things, was my mind meant to hold onto the terrible images and thoughts that now fill my brain? Oh, my god but the horrors I have seen within! I have seen the serpents writhing, I felt the toll of the bell as they wait to be unleashed and rule this world! Oh, woe to those unsuspecting, those uncharmed lives that cannot hold the madness back!
Buried Visions is a damn good album, and as I (again hopefully) demonstrated, a compelling narrative. The album, too, is personal, it plays on the individual mind of the listener, the narrative the listener interprets is theirs alone, each uniquely tailored by their own minds. Before this album, I hadn’t heard of Asath Reon and a quick search on the internet tells me that Buried Visions is the beginning of the project, a project that has vast amounts of potential. Asath Reon has proven himself to be a majestic storyteller, a weaver of themes and melodies that terrifies and entrances. I felt myself unable to stop listening, I had to replay the album over and over again. I wanted more, and each time I was given more. Asath Reon has a wonderful vision and copious amounts of talent. I want this story, the story of whatever the hell was unleashed by these mad cultists, to continue. I want more. I haven’t had this compelling a story told to me in quite some time. Buried Visions is a thrilling, terrifying, and beautiful journey through the edges of a frayed sanity. It was absolutely wonderful.
Highlights: Aka Manah, The Timeless Self, Rise of the Forked-Tongued
For Fans Of: Metatron Omega, Shibalba, Ruairi O Baoighill
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- Aka Manah
- Dark Waters
- The Timeless Self
- Soul Stealing
- Lone Weaver
- Rise of the Forked-Tongued
- The Damned
- Tower of Silence
Buried Visions was released by Black Mara Records through Bandcamp on August 10th, 2017.