Atrium Carceri & Eldar – Sacrosanct CD 2012 Infinite Fog Productions
This is a bit of an older album which I have recently checked out, and whilst I am well aware of both projects, I have not necessarily listened to a great deal of their rather large discographies (each with 10 or so albums each to date). Likewise the projects should be recognized for their former association with the cult but now defunct Cold Meat Industry label.
So to establish where the sound of this collaboration might fall, generally speaking Atrium Carceri delve into a cinematic dark ambient sound, whilst Eldar have been more varied in the musical expression under a general ‘industrial’ banner, covering elements dark ambient, martial industrial and neo-classical etc. Despite the differences in sound for each project, for this collaboration the sound palate has opted to largely stick to animated dark ambient realms. Early album track ‘Tomorrow’s Dust’ is of the sweeping cinematic style with a darker undercurrent weaving throughout, whilst the programmed pulse provides an aspect of force to the compositions structure. ‘Freeman’ is a touch divergent with its minimalist programed beat (more akin to a rhythmic heart beat thump), mixed with sweeping yet solemn orchestral layers. Similar programming in the form of rolling tribal and electronics tinged percussion reappears on mid album track ‘Betrayal’, while occasional flourishes of musicality are also apparent, such as minimalist piano which features ‘So They Speak’ ‘SOL’ and ‘Burial’.
Ultimately what is delivered on ‘Sacrosanct’ is an album which sits staunchly within a dark ambient realm – a realm of dusky twilight and desolate streets filled with crumbling and abandoned buildings; and if you look closely at the mostly black cover, a darkened silhouette of a city skyline is featured which is a rather apt visual representation of the album’s mood. This a solemn and enjoyably immersive listen and although I would not put this is a ‘classic’ or even ‘astounding’ category, rather this is a strong and very enjoyable dark ambient album – nothing more, nothing less.