Arktau Aon – Ikuisuus Näkyy Luiden Läpi CD Aural Hypnox 2013
With the revered and highly collectable cult label Aural Hypnox in self-imposed hibernation until recently (since 2009 to be exact), Arktau Aon is the first official release from the label since rising from its slumber. Here we are presented a ‘lost’ archival release from 2005, previously forgotten and recently discovered within the label’s vaults. Arktau Aon constitutes the collaboration of two Finlandish ritual / dark ambient projects (namely Arktau Eos and Zoat Aon), however in reality it is more a case of the merging of monikers than musical output.
Given the established and individually distinctive sounds of the two projects, it was initially assumed this album would sit within a ritualised dark ambient sphere (…i.e. somewhere in the middle of the refined dark ambient sound of Zoat Aon and the composed ritual ambient style Arktau Eos). However in actuality this is far more organic in approach than this initially held expectation. This ‘organic’ assessment ultimately lies in the fact that this album does not use any synthetic sound sources, rather being entirely based on actual instruments including: gongs, chimes, disharmonic woodwinds, wailing horns, various percussive implements and chanted vocalisations etc. Accordingly with the album’s total reliance on such real instrumentation it results in the mood being heavily imbedded with a traditional Asiatic and ritualistic styled atmosphere.
Regarding the length of the release it sits slightly on the shorter side, being a mere 31 minutes and consisting of 13 short ‘movements’ (which range in length from just over 1 minute to the longest track at 4.5 minutes). Yet despite the short run time there is a high degree of variation between the ‘movements’, where some segments are relatively loose and abstract in style (…hinting at an improving approach to playing), with other tracks being focused and composed in their rhythmic/ percussive structures. Although the sound, atmosphere and overall direction differs somewhat from expectation, what it ultimately represents is ritual ambient music in the truest sense of the term, made all the more so with the apparent lack of any synthetic or electrified instrumentation.
For packaging the release comes housed in a special screen printed cardboard box, complete with 2 handmade photographic inserts, which continues the handmade handicraft aesthetic of earlier Aural Hypnox releases. Although this album may not achieve the pinnacle level of many of the other Aural Hypnox releases, it remains a strong and engaging ritual ambient excursion into the unknown.