Cryo Chamber
Locus Arcadia


4.5
superb

Review

by BurntSynapse USER (20 Reviews)
July 20th, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "We have much to show you."

A handful of Cryo Chamber releases have seen multiple artists working together. These joint efforts range from duos or trios to collaborations or compilations. Azathoth is a near two hour collaboration of twenty plus artists and Tomb of Empires is one of Cryo Chamber’s first compilations. Where the former masked the identities of its composers, the latter allocated four artists two songs apiece. This compilation, while unified by a theme of humanity’s history, did not articulate a single story.

Locus Arcadia walks a middle road; one between collaboration and compilation. It’s not an amalgamation of songs tied to a single idea, but rather a coherent ambient account of one person. Randal Collier-Ford, Flowers for Bodysnatchers, Council of Nine, and God Body Disconnect, all seasoned dark ambient composers, each craft a chapter in this space ambient story. They place us in the space suit of this lone individual. With an ambiguous origin, this dark ambient collective leaves listeners to question how this person ended up on their own. Maybe they were left behind or perhaps they survived some horrendous event. Whatever their circumstance, listeners are treated to a masterful dark ambient journey. It unfurls along metallic walkways of the Locus Arcadia space station, chasing questions the protagonist has about the disappearance of its denizens.

I. Isolation

In some half-lit hall, Randal Collier-Ford introduces Locus Arcadia with “Into the Maw Where All Men Die”. Its monolithic, rust-tinged exterior bellows a low hum as it slowly churns in the space above some unknown planet. Electronic systems are down. The station is trying to reset power, which creates a methodical droning loop. Under failing bulbs, the person’s heavy breath lingers. Cryptic chirps resonate off the cold steel and darkness consumes every inch of the hollow tube. Locus Arcadia’s interior teems with ominous mechanical vibrations. A radio transmission echoes from afar. They recall a prison. Maybe that is the origin of the hushed words. They forge ahead.

II. Despair

No sign of a communications system. Standing atop some guard tower, they look off to a pale courtyard. Before it lies a cell block. Beyond, Locus Arcadia’s cyborg research facility. That could be where answers hide.

On “Black Echo of Morgues and Memory”, Flowers for Bodysnatchers induces suspense. A coiling drone drenches the air. In the alley of unlocked gates, the black void ahead seems to writhe. Metal thuds on concrete. Pangs of white noise permeate from dilapidated cells. The individual turns on their heartbeat sensor. In monotonous rhythm it clicks, unable to locate other organisms. They re-harness it to their belt. A few steps forward; the monitor continues to thump. What saturates the atmosphere becomes hostile. A pallid specter grasps from the black as horrifying strings subsume the ambience. Frantic, harrowing shrieks from the instruments claw at the person’s boots. They bolt across the courtyard.

III. Hope

An aura of mystery douses the research facility. It’s here on “Pale Sister of Sanctuary Lost” that Council of Nine constructs a canopy of robotic microtones. Metal arms sway from the ceiling. Their noises reverberate as they twist to push or collect objects. These sounds engulf the person’s footsteps. It’s lonely. A coo trickles from the mouth of an unseen woman. Her smile radiates with a warm, inviting drone. It’s tranquil. It beckons the person to come forth. Still, there is no one in sight.

They reach the end of the hangar; a jammed door leaves space large enough for a body. The woman’s hum is drowned in foreign chatter. Maybe this is the location of the radio transmission they heard earlier. To the right of the door, the word sanctuary is scratched into the metal.

IV. Fateful Resolve

The tunnel, dim, is filled with the person’s nervous breath. Perspiration coats the glass prison encasing their skull as God Body Disconnect guides listeners through Locus Arcadia’s final chapter. Tatters of jumpsuits litter the floor. Nearby, a lifeless body rests against the walkway’s railing. Determined to find someone living, they walk past.

… going to die here. Get out while you can, the corpse whispers. A mechanical drone roils through the wanderer’s helmet. Electronic synths palpitate, building tension. As they enter their final room, a strange silence suffocates the air. Waves of static ebb and flow over the mechanical architecture.

… waiting for you. We have much to show you, an unknown voice mutters. Thick reverberation inundates the atmosphere. Harsh noise clamors with the person’s heartbeat. Louder, the cacophony whirrs and reaches its climax.

Of course the fate of the protagonist will not be given away. The piano piece in Locus Arcadia’s finale is a beautiful capstone. Somber or tender, its tone will depend on your interpretation of the person’s outcome. The story morphs over repeated listens as ambient cues reveal themselves. Locus Arcadia is a magnificent dark ambient mosaic that the artists allow you to construct for yourself.



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user ratings (3)
4.3
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
BurntSynapse
July 20th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You can listen to this monolith here:



https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/locus-arcadia



Constructive criticism is always welcome. Thank you for taking some minutes to read this; this is longest review I've written. I hope you enjoy the record, let me know what you think!

BurntSynapse
July 20th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry for the double post (Sputnik is acting real slow for me right now and it won't let me edit my previous comment):



This record is composed by Randal Collier-Ford, Flowers for Bodysnatchers, Council of Nine, and God Body Disconnect.

Deez
December 18th 2016


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, man, And big up for these Cryo reviews.

BurntSynapse
December 18th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you, I appreciate it. It's a pleasure knowing you took time to read through this (my reviews for Cryo Chamber works often take so damn long to finish).



This is definitely one of my favorite records from the label this year next to Love Like Blood, Be Left to Oneself, and Nyarlathotep.

Deez
December 18th 2016


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same here this and Nyarlathotep are superb records and probaly my fave from CC this year. I havent dove into Love Like Blood yet but the new Sabled suns great too. You do well reviewing them man its got to be one of the hardest genres in general to put into words and especially review.

BurntSynapse
December 18th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love Like Blood is definitely worth a few listens! It's a nice companion piece to Aokigahara. I actually wrote a review for that record plus Sabled Sun's 2148, but I just posted them to my blog instead of on Sputnik.



I very much appreciate your kind words, man. I seldom ever get feedback on what I write, which can drive me a little nuts sometimes because I don't know if what I'm saying is insightful or even informative for readers. Is dark ambient a genre you generally listen to? From what (little) I can gather, I don't see many reviews in the dark ambient genre on Sputnik (save that one Enmarta review that was featured a week or two ago).

Deez
December 18th 2016


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whats your blog? Yeah man I listen to a lot of Dark Ambient now. Im no expert, Only really the last 2 years did i learn to have the patience to digest it properly but slowly started listening to more soundscape/Drone/DA stuff. I generally like 'dark' genres anyway even electronic/Hip Hop and such I always have more of an Attraction to the darker/heavier side of it. Im always surprised when I see any DA on here man its a rare treat.

BurntSynapse
December 18th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My blog is this little piece of crap: fromcornersunknown.com



You and I are in the same boat with respect to how long we've been listening to the genre. It took me awhile to understand what the hell was going on in each record. If you have other recommendations for artists/records in the genre, I'd love to hear them!



Malignant records has some solid dark ambient stuff (you may already know of them). A couple releases I've listened to from them are more 'ritualistic' with droning voices blended over dark ambient backdrops. Definitely some of the scarier/darker stuff I've heard (at least relative to CC).

Deez
December 18th 2016


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet man Ill bookmark it, I check terra relicta from time to time for reviews and stuff. Especially the CC stuff. The majority of stuff I listen is through CC. Theres obviously the more well known stuff like Raison d'etere, Deathprod, Lustmord and the likes but Im a big fan of Treha Sektori. I also like a lot of the Amenra/COR side projects (CHVE-Rasa,Syndrome-Now And Forever,Sembleh Deah) which despite not being strictly DA can be appreciated more if you have a tolerance for DA i think. Shrine-Somnia is a favourite of mine too, Hoedh - hymnvs too



I havent heard Malignant recs i dont think ill check them out. My friend sent me this a few days ago you might like , more on the drone side of DA but its great...and free



https://n0123noise.bandcamp.com/album/maybe-one-day-ill-find-happiness

BurntSynapse
December 18th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you, it really means a lot, man.



Damn, I need to do some homework. Of those artists you fired off, I only listen to Lustmord. I'll give all of these artists a listen while at work this week.



I will give that rec a listen today, thank you for sharing that.



The one I've been listening to from Malignant is this (the first two tracks are awesome):

https://nordvargr.bandcamp.com/album/the-secret-barbarous-names-ep

Deez
December 19th 2016


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

will check dude



Deathprod-Morals and Dogma is a must ;)

BurntSynapse
December 19th 2016


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If that is a must, I will listen to it right now (hopefully it's dark and dingy to match the miserable weather outside right now).



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