VARIOUS ARTISTS – MERCURY MISSION DIARIES
If you like your ambient music dark, widescreen cinematic, and sci-fi as possible, this Cryo Chamber release is the place to go. It is a various artist compilation, but one that sounds like a coherent movie soundtrack.
It comes with a story outline to trigger your imagination:
“The harvester class ship came to life with a low, guttural hum as the crew prepared to activate the propulsion systems […] With each passing second, the possibility of escape dwindled, leaving the crew with nothing but their fears and a haunting silence.”
But you can ignore that if you want, since the music itself tells a story of outer-space travelling, desolate darkness, and unimaginable distances.
The Mercury Mission Diaries open with Escape Transit by Skrika which is none other than Monty Adkins in his dark sci-fi ambient disguise. Following are other Cryo Chamber acts like Red Fog, Keosz, Sole Massif & Tineidae, Dronny Darko, RNGMNN, Onasander, and In Quantum accompanying us in this journey that is ‘recommended for fans of both subtle droning and dramatic space scenes’.
ONASANDER & ASHTORETH – DEVOTIO
Less Sci-Fi but more ‘Ritualistic’ is this album by Onasander (Maurizion Landini) and Ashtoreth (Peter Verwimp), but the ultimate sonic effect is similar.
A Devotio was ‘a sacrifice, promise or gift to a deity in return for a request, in which the Roman commander promised to devote his life to chthonic gods in battle with the enemy in return for the victory of their own troops.’
Not always to the desired effect, it seems:
‘The most famous devotio in Roman history is probably that of the consul Publius Decius Mus, who was fighting a battle against a coalition of Samnites and Gauls at Sentinum in 295 BCE. According to the Roman historian Livy, he dedicated himself to the gods of the Underworld and rode, on horseback, to his enemies, who killed him.’
Onasander and Ashtoreth express this theme in a compelling – and again a highly cinematic – way that triggers the imagination.
And yes, this is dark music, pitch-black at times. But it’s not the kind of darkness you want to avoid – more like the darkness inviting to be explored.