Yen Pox is one of the stronger and more seminal dark ambient acts around so I was pretty stoked when I learned that they would be releasing a new album this year. Ever since I heard their stunning 1995 record Blood Music I've been a fan. Their industrial tinged dark ambient approach compelled me because of the strong songwriting backing it up. Their talent in writing captivating ten minute plus ambient tracks is unparalleled and that sentiment has only grown stronger with their newest release "Between The Horizon and the Abyss."
This is a powerfully uplifting record despite it channeling up the image of being a human puppet that's being manipulated and abused by alien forces in some kind of demented celestial circus for other ethereal beings to laugh at. That might sound crazy and I'm cool with that but it's that legitimately spooky atmosphere that defines this record. The swirling layers of synthesizers and clanking industrial effects work together and morph together to create a record that sounds like a Lovecraftian concept record of being abducted by other forces. The non-linear nature of the music adds to the fluidity of the record. Each of the eight tracks captivate you with their own charm, pulsing sluggishly before becoming something else entirely. At times the record sounds mechanical and futuristic like you're being held captive on a spaceship, feelings of fear and paranoia kicking in while you're just lying down strapped on a table dreading what's to come. And at other times the record sounds primeval and foreign, like you were drugged and and abandoned. Left to fend for yourself on some exotic, foreign land where all sorts of bizarre wildlife and scenery greets you. There are points on the record that make you wonder if you're hearing human voices or if they're just some bizarre reptilian machinations designed to *** with you. The most comforting track on the record is Ashen Cloud which carries a warmth that the other tracks don't have. The "vocals" are full of lament as if the human species were on their way out so it's not surprising in the least that the next tracks would be called Tomorrow In Ruins and The Procession.
Yen Pox have crafted an album here that sounds like it could serve as a soundtrack for humanity's final days. Each song functions as a chapter in a grim, apocalyptic book where the humans ran out luck and were consequently enslaved and/or murdered by HP Lovecraft's minions of doom. The most impressive aspect of Between The Horizon and the Abyss is how easily accessible it is. It flows from start to finish. You can turn the lights and your phone off, turn the music up and get hooked effective immediately. This is another strong effort from the seasoned veteran duo.