CD, Hive Records, 2004
“Last Night I Dreamed of Armageddon” is the second release by Australian project Terminal Sound System on Hive Records. I found this release quite appealing upon listening to it for the first time, an impression that persisted with subsequent listens. It is a skillfully composed, simple and soothing album, conveying a strong sense of peaceful fading into non-existence and closure.
Even though it isn’t particularly remarkable or innovative, this is nevertheless an interesting album from a musical and technical point of view and which can be accurately described as an ambient sound-track. The skilled sound compositions in this album are based on meticulously arranged layers of beats made of sound-clicks, soft machine whirrs and creaks, delicately overlying exceedingly simple and almost ethereal melodies. The overall effect of these compositions is quite good but they seem to become somewhat predictable as the album progresses despite a couple of mild increases in the intensity of the sound and beats here and there. Glitchy and Minimalistic without ever becoming simplistic, “Last Night I Dreamed of Armageddon” finds some parallels in the work of Henrik Nordvargr work outsite of MZ412 but lacking some of the finesse in Nordvargr’s work.
The music conveys impressions and feelings of calm and distant solitary contemplation: comforting and not without a certain sense of deep longing, feelings that eventually fade away into oblivion, not unlike slowly drifting into sleep. Despite its simplicity, “Last Night I Dreamed of Armageddon” requires a particular mood and attentive listening if one is to fully be immersed in the atmosphere it creates and grasp its intricacies. Also, on a couple of occasions that I found myself pleasantly tired I found the music in this album to be very adequate listening.
As note-worthy tracks one could point out “(Study of) Decay of Elements” and “(I)=X”. “Before the Snow Comes Ash” is a personal favourite of mine in this album with what seem to be firecrackers in the distance in the middle of a cold and lonely landscape… a track which evokes solitude but not loneliness and, after a fashion, feelings of hope.
— Miguel de Sousa