CD-R, Reverse Alignment, 2007
This album is actually quite old now, and was originally released in 2007. Relying on droning ambient and subtle backgrounds, faraway voices seem to be the order of the day and from track one (“Asphyxiation”) right through track two (“Darkest Day”) there is very little to separate them as pretty decent bleak ambient that only loses touch with a couple of the vocal lines sounding a tad cheesy.
Rich and spatial though this is, the rising tones are high in pitch and ice cold, reminding me somewhat of His Divine Grace’s mid-period, and appeal to me greatly. The immediate failings appear between tracks three and four, where I drifted off; it was all too dreary for me to pay attention, the tracks just going absolutely nowhere. The title track had much more to offer, though, with vocals upwardly creeping through the mix, coming across like they are hidden away in the crypt of a castle keep and bringing forth a medieval form that once again was rewarding. It is pretty much the path at which Taphephobia excels, I think, but upsettingly let themselves down once again when this seeps into track seven, “Fractals and Chaos”, and then the rather guff-titled “Mourning Morning”. “One Step Closer” is excellent, relying on rising drones that really capture the mood; lost and paranoid drifting that once again shifts my overall opinion towards this band, with an outro track pretty much carrying on where this left off.
Mixed feelings, then, for a band I would really like to warm to. On one side of the coin they hit the nail on the head and are gripping, intriguing and magical; on the flip side they drift a little too much into the mundane and dull. The best parts of this album, however, do make up for a lot of their failings.
— Tony Young