Triangular Ascension – The Chronos Anomaly CD Cyclic Law 2013
Following this site’s glowing review of Triangular Ascension’s debut album ‘Leviathan Device’ (review here), this sophomore album was awaited with anticipation and from the first cursory listen it is apparent the engaging and animated sonic template is again a central feature. However this time around the main dark ambient focus is complimented by selected tracks displaying a musicality which borders on the martial industrial and neo-classical genres. Another noted deviation is where ‘The Chronos Anomaly’ appears to favour individual tracks within the album context, whereas ‘Leviathan Device’ presented interlinking tracks as part of a bigger whole. So on face value at least the introduction of these aspects avoids a mere repetition of the debut.
On ‘The Chronos Anomaly’ the attention to the recording’s sonic clarity is again superb, containing a dense, heaving and bass heavy undercurrent, complimented with layered tonal drifts, washes of synth melodies and tasteful use of field recordings such as aquatic tonal elements, wind, chimes, insects, birds etc – but in no way sounding ‘new age’ despite what the later part of this description might imply. Surprisingly an acoustic guitar and maudlin flute make an appearance on ‘Sandstorm’, which provide a focal point against the sweeping dark ambient undercurrent. Likewise the use tribal percussion and sampled choir vocals of ‘Above The Remnants’ are stunning, being another of the album’s more musically focused pieces. On the final album track (the tellingly titled ‘Final Movement’), the melancholic neo-classical horns and orchestral strings drive the composition, whilst an almost flamenco styled acoustic guitar make a brief appearance. Given this tracks provides the concluding statement for the album, it clearly reinforces the differing composed elements which are to be found.
Regarding the conceptual focus of the album the promo states: “The Chronos Anomaly is a representation of the struggle of man against the illusion of a past and a future and the subsequent degradation of our mind, body and soul. It invites the listener to open their eyes and consciousness to a state where time is but a memory, and memories are but products of the mind, where nothing is external”. Noting this is quite philosophical content to encapsulate within an abstract musical form such as dark ambience, the masterful control of tone and atmosphere at least means such a description does not sound contrived. Given it appears that Triangular Ascension has sought to avoid merely retreading the same sonic template as the debut, ‘The Chronos Anomaly’ has achieved a similarly strong album through slightly more musical and composed means.