In this first of a planned twelve limited-edition releases from Desolation House, Subterranean Source (a.k.a. Andrea Bellucci) has created one of the most deeply disturbing ambient albums I have heard in some time. If you’re a fan of Lustmord, you’ll definitely enjoy Vivid Circles. At times, it also reminds me of my favorite collaboration between VidnaObmana and Steve Roach, Well of Souls. Wave after wave of deep drones submerge you in gloriously suffocating soundscapes, daring you to close your eyes and seek the subterranean source of all life’s beauty and terror.
The opening track, “Growing,” takes the listener on a guided tour of hell. Deep, suffocating drones show you what it feels like to be buried miles beneath the surface of the earth, your ears forever echoing with the groans, moans, howls and wails of the damned souls entombed there with you. More percussive sounds reveal the wheels of thousands of racks turning, twisting and stretching the gaunt limbs of a pathetic array of shabby creatures that were once human. Their shrieks of unendurable agony give way to packs of demonic wolves howling at a leprous moon that shines on the putrid gray-green seas on which a ghost ships rides, tossed this way and that as unimaginably high waves crash across her decks and terrified sailors desperately try to keep her afloat, only to sink in the end.
The closing track, “Ancient Echoes,” also begins with low drones, but this time they waver occasionally as dreams from the world of the living dip into their depths, creating ever-expanding circles of near-forgotten memories. These memories lap at the edges of a bottomless pool in a lightless cavern at the roots of the mountains, sucking at the layers upon layers of dust on the floor, piled up like centuries of time gone before. Rhythmic percussion and solemn bells intone invocations that stir these palimpsest-sands of the past, perhaps keeping them from billowing up and swallowing the present, or perhaps helping them do just that. And as the pulsating drums pound madly on, scenes of all humanity’s past dance unseen upon the walls of the cavern, endless battles slaughtering thousands balanced with the births of thousands more; the moans of passionate couplings in a thousand beds merge with the rattling last breaths of the dying laid in thousands more. Finally the blessed or blasphemous ceremony ends; the drums stop, their echoes fade, and the waters and sands of the chamber are silenced again for another Age.
Desolation House: http://www.desolationhouse.com/