CD, Cyclic Law, 2010
The void. A vast empty space containing absolutely nothing. How to represent nothingness in musical form? Clearly only very minimal dark ambient will do. The latest album from Canadian act Visions, the house band of the acclaimed Cyclic Law label, attempts to summon the void, by means of five long tracks of some of the most spacious and expansive ambient music I’ve ever heard.
There is little to be said about the void and this soundtrack to an exploration of the void is suitably sparse and minimal, giving a strong feeling of emptiness and desolation yet giving few visions, if you’ll excuse the choice of word there, of anything other than nothingness. The five tracks flow perfectly as a whole piece of music, all clearly belonging together in the same collection, to the point where tracks could easily have been separated at any arbitrary points. Little happens along the way, but the subtle textures and atmospheres on display here create a powerful impression and provide a perfect soundtrack for those quiet, private activities for which dark ambient is the best musical accompaniment, be it reading, drawing, magickal rituals or, my personal favourite, sleeping.
Having drifted off to sleep very peacefully on a number of nights I can certainly recommend “Summoning The Void” for that purpose, the blankness of slumber being the main void most of us encounter on a regular basis. Listening carefully while fully awake all the requisite components of a good dark ambient album are present, the dense drones, the distant metallic chimes and the occasional vague harmonic strings or voices. For some listeners, the album may border on uneventful, but for avid followers of the genre the overall sense of vastness and foreboding more than makes up for that minor shortcoming. “Summoning The Void” is a quality piece of dark ambient space exploration then, in the classic style of the great Lustmord, and Visions is certainly a name I would suggest to anybody wishing to add another good artist to their collection.
— Nathan Clemence