Sometimes when I come home from work and wash the day off, I could give a fuck about whatever I’m listening to as the need to wind down tackles all so I find any album on my little to-do list that I think could take me. It doesn’t matter where it’s taking me, just somewhere to float off. Sitting in my chair with my headphones on, it’s Xerxes the Dark that my first pick was chosen, and it was to be my last as this ambient album may not have been the trip I would’ve wanted initially, but damn if it didn’t take me somewhere incredible!
Typically, whenever people say an album took them somewhere incredible they mean that in a way in such that their minds where taken to somewhere breathtakingly beautiful where they found nothing but enjoyment and glory within the record in question. But that’s far from the case with Xerxes the Dark as this Persian connoisseur of dark ambiance returns with his eleventh release of “Tower of Silence” to deliver us an aural experience that is far from any blissful journey or something that puts a smile on the face. Instead, it’s with these nine tracks that we feel as though we’re trudging through moist corridors where every sound is bouncing off the cold stone walls be it our footsteps, the dripping of water, or the echoes of some mysterious force coming from an indeterminable distance away. “Tower of Silence” truly puts the listener in an environment that’s made to show rather than tell, much all many ambient pieces I’ve come across, but it’s here that Xerxes the Dark really uses the power of claustrophobic sound to his advantage at every turn. Ambient releases like this usually feel like they meander from one place to another to varying degrees of success, but it’s with “Tower of Silence” that we’re guided through an absolute labyrinth of darkness and hopelessness with Xerxes the Dark as our impeccable tour guide as he takes us through blackness, mire, and frozen stone that is all but the most sinister kind of sensational.
Very few records have been able to conjure very specific images to my mind, but it’s with “Tower of Silence” that I can only image the multidimensional and self-warping works of Bekinski and Mariusz Lewandowski as each track feels as though they could be the soundtracks to paintings from those legends. Xerxes the Dark is far from a name that I’m unfamiliar with, but it’s with this album that this man has me deeper into his grasp than ever before.
LISTEN to “Tower of Silence” on Bandcamp here.
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FOLLOW Xerxes the Dark on Twitter: @Xerxesdark