New Risen Throne – Loneliness of Hidden Structures

New Risen Throne - Loneliness of Hidden Structures

CD, Cyclic Law, 2011
www.stielh.com

New Risen Throne returns to the Cyclic Law label with his new album, “Loneliness of Hidden Structures”, following up a remarkable release on Cold Meat Industry. NRT is, in my opinion, one of the ‘darkest’ dark ambient acts. This claim is based on his proclivity towards low end-heavy soundscapes that are primarily built from enormous, earth-rumbling drones and muffled sound effects, which bring to mind crumbling cathedrals in the darkest bowels of hell.
This trend continues here, as there is little in the way of synths or melodic elements; instead keeping on with his trademark otherworldly drones that mask a plethora of distant crunching, clanging, and subdued, pitch-shifted vocal samples. To be honest, it’s not greatly different from his other material, but rather a continuation of his style. This is fine by me; artists needn’t reinvent the wheel with each production, and NRT does what he does extremely well. The production is better this time around – the low end has been cleaned up, giving the tracks an airier feel as well as a less murky/muddy tone; but don’t worry, this material is certainly still as dark and depressing as it gets! One thing that is really enjoyable about NRT is that in contrast to some of the other more beautiful/sad/emotional albums on Cyclic Law, his work genuinely imposes a creepy, disquieting, and ‘evil’ disposition – but not at all in an abrasive or unlistenable way. Unfortunately, the flute work of Amanda Votta does not reappear on this album, but a couple of tracks, including “Loneliness” and “New Risen Throne (i)”, contain some vaguely melodic drones coupled with melancholy chanting, kind of like a more minimal Deadbeat from Desiderii Marginis. This album is more filled out than previous works, with nine tracks clocking in at 65 minutes, plus a bonus video.
To be honest, if you’re not a fan of the style, this record will feel boring and empty. Even when compared to some other acts in the genre it’s fairly boring. However, it has that rare subtle, calculated brilliancy to it that only a few acts, such as Kammarheit or Tholen, can pull off: this is minimal dark ambient done properly. While it may not be for everyone, if you want unsettling, deeply atmospheric isolationist ambient, you need to own this album. A must have for fans of Cyclic Law. It will transport you to the ends of the earth where you exist alone in a cold, frozen wasteland with the muted light above faded into little more than a dim spark.

— Dan Barrett [9/10]