Review Summary: An album that focuses on atmospheric soundscapes, rather than musical dynamics.
Volcanic Queen's eponymously named debut seemed to present itself as nothing more than an attempt at embodying a malevolent demeanor so as to disturb and daunt its audience. It was an intriguing collection of songs, to say the least, because we saw Volcanic Queen embracing a vast variety of sounds to formulate the experiences he wanted to convey. The music constantly fluctuated from black metal, to drone, and even ambient recordings, practically any style that was required in order to fully illustrate the concept in his mind. Lumyth
introduces a new philosophy all together, one that disregards almost everything that Volcanic Queen
strived for in order to harness a quality far more thematic than anything previously ventured. This album seems to be obsessed with atmosphere, and nothing more. Whether it be inducing an ominous environment or an ethereal ambience, Lumyth
is constantly exposing us to new soundscapes and leaving us astray within vast sonic spaces.
There are a few soundscapes in the album that don't seem to induce any kind of emotive response at all. Merely offering themselves as music to ease the mind while stimulating the senses. "Little Fairy Wing Throne Room", for example, doesn't really have a particular theme or purpose other than having the listener navigate through sequences of dissonant echoes and introspective spaciousness. It's very easy to lose yourself in it's calmative aura as it practically coaxes the listener to close their eyes and sit back to indulge themselves in hypnotic tranquility. A lot of the ambient tracks solely rely on a continuum of aerial textures for sustenance, and hardly encompassing any kind of rhythmic component to their sound. "His Teeth Were As Sharp As Knives" is one of the few moments where Volcanic Queen deviate from that standard and incorporate a quasi-percussive beat to provide the ambience with the illusion that is follows a rhythmic framework. This particular piece also seems to have a motive behind its inspiration. The integration of dismal echoes and a thumping receptive beat has an almost suspenseful apprehension to it. "White Roses Crumbled Underneath the Upper Hand" is one of the only pieces here that can actually be considered as a musical composition. Though it very well exhibits a dissonant atmospheric breeze flowing in the background, the spotlight tends to be focused mainly on a gentle guitar arrangement. The acoustic melody is just a repetitive riff that works to guide us through the altering spatial textures occurring in the background, but both elements that comprise the song are dramatically unionized into a very compelling spectacle. "White Roses Crumbled Underneath the Upper Hand" is actually the most accessible piece on the album, as it is the only one to follow an actual musical paradigm.
Among the biggest drawbacks in the previous effort, Volcanic Queen
, was its densely lo-fi production. Though above all, it was mainly the fact that the music itself was just relentlessly monotonous. There was certainly a lot of ambitious experimentation being explored in that EP, but it often took the listener into really enigmatic dimensions that seemed to exist solely for the sake of obscurity. Which inevitably left us feeling alienated rather than intrigued. But here, there is a logic behind this album. It's much more minimalistic, and yet it accomplishes more. It doesn't try to be anything more than what it offers. Lumyth
simply immerses the listener into dimensions of atmospheric tones for deep listening. As far as ambient albums go, it provides the typical spacious environment for the mind to roam in, but with a subtle dreary tone. Obviously this is a release meant for the 'dark ambient' niche because it proposes itself specifically as such. This is definitely a step back in appeal for Volcanic Queen, but it also shows that he's striving to progress as an artist. Which in reality makes Lumyth
a better album for it. It's an impressively composed work of puzzling ambiences, and because of its introspective sense of style, it's one that can really get into your consciousness.