Arktau Eos – Scorpion Milk CD Aural Hypnox 2014
Not constituting a new album from Arktau Eos, rather this is a re-release of an earlier limited CDr version from 2006 which formed a formed a companion to the main ‘Mirrorion’ album issued at the same time. For this new version the packaging has been redesigned, noting the original edition constituting 222 copies with special hand painted cover. This new edition of 500 copies is housing in a beautifully designed, gold screen printed, deep metallic maroon cardboard fold out cover, with additional 8 page booklet and screen printed insert.
Forming a singular mediative composition, ‘Scorpion Milk’ covers the well-established ritual dark ambient sound of the Helixes Collective (aka the general Aural Hypnox label roster), but its structure has been further re-contextualised into a singular long form and album length drone work. Across the minimalism of its 48 minute span, Arktau Eos display a single minded determination which ensures it remains fully engaging despite the catatonic pace and evolution of the composition. Here string instruments are played in a sparse manner, where strings are played/ struck/ bowed, with the resulting singular reverberating notes left to ring and radiate out and shimmer off into the distant catacomb depths. In select passages barely present ritualistic chimes and sparse higher ranged atonal played piano notes sit off in the distant, whist wavering chants and whispered evocations rise from the ether. Although in no way constituting ‘doom drone’ in scope, this is perhaps how the doom drone experimentalists Sunn 0))) might sound if they were to choose play with entirely acoustic instrumentation (…food for thought…).
To conclude a minimalist review for a minimalist album, ‘Scorpion Milk’ is every part as strong as other albums from Arktau Eos and more broadly the Aural Hypnox label. Sublime.