Aeoga – Temple Treye CD Aural Hypnox CD 2014
‘Temple Treye’ is Aeoga’s third album since 2004 and evidently was recorded in 2006 but remained unreleased in the archives until now. To provide some contextual comparison the first two Aeoga albums balanced a sound between ritual soundscapes and dark ambience in a sprawling ‘widescreen’ style, with this general structure being retained on ‘Temple Treye’. Yet this pairing of ritual and dark ambient soundscapes has been augmented with a direct compositional focus to provide a clear sense of direction and drive which differs from the sparser droning framework of earlier albums.
On the opening piece ‘Feast of the Stance’, a prominent single wavering note (horn or perhaps organ?) forms a key focus as low drone and chimes provide a more abstract undercurrent. ‘Between the Crescent Hooks’ follows and establishes a framework of more forceful drones and mid paced rhythms (loosely abstract guitars and rolling hand drum percussion), which gradual elevate in intensity in an upwardly ascending trajectory over its 8 minute expanse. Pulling back to more abstract territory ‘Telemorphic Cuts’ features prominent but lower register sustaining organ drones, with shimmer ritual chimes, with field recordings placed within the background (creaking wood etc. and distant wailing tones etc.). ‘Temple Treye’ then ups the ante again and constitutes the stunning centre piece of the album. Here the title track features a composition of doom laden grinding drones, heaving bass textures, disembodied and echoed chanted vocalisations and sparse chimes, before mid-paced ritual percussion drive the tone forward to its conclusion. ‘Transparallel Mist’ delivers a long form meditative layered drone work with micro-tonal textures, spare ritual percussive sounds, shrill and dissonant bowed strings and an undercurrent of sustained deep bass whines. Then in a type of cyclic synergy, the opening track is reprised on ‘Feast of the Trance’, where a similar soundscape and the same wailing sound texture bring the album full circle.
Whilst Aeoga do inhabit a sonic palate which is clearly comparable to other Aural Hypnox acts, on ‘Temple Treye’ they exemplify a sound which is quite a bit more composed, dynamic and forceful than other label acts. Issued in two versions, including 444 standard editions (screen printed, folded cardboard sleeve with booklet insert), it also comes issued in an edition of 49 deluxe hand-made box sets (pictured), which includes a silk-screen printed canvas pouch, three large collage artwork inserts and a wooden handcrafted, fire seared, screen printed, leather hinged ‘altar’ styled cover (aka the ‘Tricuspid Treye-skladen’). Certainly this represents a striking artisan’s handicraft compliment for the ritualised music found within. Despite the limited box set being already sold out, the standard edition should be readily available.