Cold Walls & Apparitions
(Northern Silence Productions) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 This record has a very dark and introspective vibe to it. It seems a slight bit on the black metal side in mood, but also very doomy as well. It is mostly very slow and ambient, with clean guitars and synth. When the music picks up in tempo, the synth and clean guitars are still there, juxtaposed with the distored guitars and blaring drums. This makes for a rather unique sound. Musically, it is not usually so much a mix as it is a polarization of the two sounds, but it does work very well here.
Elysian Blaze is the sole work of Mutatiis, hailing from Australia. His vision sounds well represented on "Cold Walls & Apparitions." The instruments sound as if they are very far away, especially the vocals, which are usually, like the dums, a bit boomy at times. The vocal lines are more like haunting utterances, than "singing." Even so, the vocals are integral to the music; although the compositions are erie and brooding in their own right, it simply would not work without these vocals. I didn't get it at first, but the more I listened, the more it sounded like the music, with all its space and shades of minimalism, is designed for the vocals, which, while I am not able to understand the words, convey their own meaning just in their tones, more so than the actual lyrics can.
The songs often have a lot of space in them. Musical themes are introduced and then stretched out and quantified, so that even though most of the tracks are very long, there is still a sense of connection, and a complete idea. I would not call these "songs" in the usual verse/chorus terms, nor are they played out like soundtracks, but almost like a sort of blend of the two. The sections with vocals are often surrounded by extended periods without, making them like distant islands in this sea of sound. The drums/percussion sound programmed, but because there is a great deal of decay, the result retains its ambience, and lends a very small touch of an industrial sound, without coming off as mechanical or lifeless. The term "ambient" can cover a lot of ground, but this is probably the darkest ambient music I have heard. It takes a few listens to soak it all in, but to do so is certainly a worthwile experience.