Sifting through the massive selection of ambient music nowadays is an incredibly mammoth task as there’s so much to go around and practically no two albums are the same. Unlike with metal or rock, each ambient record I listen to is different from the last, and the nature of the style has always been perfect for telling grand tales without uttering a single word. And what tale is grander than “The Odyssey”? It’s something that has been done countless time, and the two acts of Dark Awake and Regard Extrême try their hands at it and succeed wondrously.
Easily, my favorite thing about “The Odyssey” is how varied the story in terms of tone, the setting, and the glorious character development. It’s what has allowed the story to be talked about for millennia, and an ambient album embodying the grand tale would be perfect if only there was an act up to the challenge. The story is so massive that two had to come together to create the glorious eleven-track experience through ethereal realms and across the Mediterranean, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than what Dark Awake and Regard Extrême has given to us here. “The Odyssey” takes key moments from the deception of the Cyclops, the situation of Calypso’s Island, the journey to seek the guidance of Teiresias, the encounters of Scylla and Charybdis, and more and they’re brought to life beautifully from the eerie to mystifyingly enrapturing instrumentation done by these acts near flawlessly. To condense the multi-layered and constantly flowing epic of “The Odyssey” into just over an hour of glorious ambiance is a massive task in it of itself, yet Dark Awake and Regard Extrême do nothing but justice for the timeless tale from the execution down to the very mastering of the record.
I love dabbling in ambiance because it gives me experiences that rock and metal simply can’t bring to the table, and this is a brilliant example of that. Everything that Dark Awake and Regard Extrême could’ve done to make this retelling of “The Odyssey” excellent was done with one masterful stroke after another, and just from the first track alone it was easy to see that these acts had created gold with these eleven tracks.
LISTEN to “The Odyssey” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Dark Awake on Facebook here.
LIKE Regard Extrême on Facebook here.