Cryo Chamber has been a gold mine for dark ambient releases over the last few years and today I'll be reviewing an album from that esteemed label called The Foundations of Ruin. It's the second full-length record from U.K act Dead Melodies and the music proves to be as haunting as it's artwork and album title.
Thematically, this album is a somber and desolate affair although it's not as malignant as the song titles lead you to believe. The imagery that comes to mind as I listen to this record is a long abandoned summer home that stands the test of time in the darkened woods as a monument to the past. Soft rain hitting the roof as the wooden frames continue to rot away. The floorboards creaking more and more as the flora continues to grow unchecked through the cracks of the living and dining room. A deafening silence continuing to carry throughout the estate. Where there was once laughter and life to be found is nowhere to be found now. Perhaps I've seen Wild Strawberries too many times and that's why I'm such a sap about music like but I can relate to this album's sense of pensive melancholy with my loss of youth. Through ten tracks, Dead Melodies construct an engaging musical experience regarding a plot like the one I wrote above with a variety of techniques and ambient effects. Field recordings, piano, acoustic guitar, and synths rear their heads in from time to time to add to the depth and emotion of the music.
Although the song-titles tend to be quite macabre, the music never seems to quite match those murderous or tragic vibes. But, with that said, there is a great duality of warmth and iciness that can be felt through the record. The piano and the brief acoustic flourish bring a sullen pulse to the recording while the synths and industrial effects develop an icier and more distant tone through the third act with the final two tracks Bound To Memory and The Eternal Veil bringing a closure to the summer home's descent into obscurity through wind samples, piano and synth . The music is very calming and meditative and serves fondly as my go-to sleep music or in my case today, my rainy day jams. If You like dark ambient with a charming narrative then you should give Ruins a go.