There are many ambient acts out there that can easily say they’ve done something interesting or whatever, but in order to actually stand out your quality needs to be unquestionable right from the beginning. It’s been rare that an act from the style has left a sizeable impression on me. Noctilucant didn’t quite hit that same exact spot for me, but there’s no way to argue against the quality that’s on constant display here.
Any good album of any sort in the realm of dark ambient has got to nail down having atmosphere at every turn since the whole style is the epitome of what it means to be atmospheric, and everyone seems to understand that pretty well. But, it’s another thing entirely to make whatever material in question to be interesting because it’s so easy to make the work in question something that could put you right to sleep whether it be intentional or accidental. On “Amongst the Snow and the Shadows”, Noctilucant definitely feels like he’s going for a slow burn and it is quite exquisite in its execution. While sometimes I feel some pieces go on too long with some of them stretching over ten minutes, Noctilucant does a solid job at bringing all the different elements together from the ones we’d normally expect from dark ambient to the inclusion of a piano, vocals, and more to bring much more flavor to this work than what much of the competition might bring forth. It culminates in “Amongst the Snow and the Shadows” having many more layers than one might expect from a dark ambient work, and if that isn’t a testament to Noctilucant’s talent amongst his style then I don’t know what is.
Definitely one of the more interesting pieces of the style that I’ve heard lately but still got some way to go before really leaving an impression on me, there isn’t much here that Noctilucant did that didn’t do it well right from the beginning as everything brought forth here is not wasted in the slightest. “Amongst the Snow and the Shadows” utilizes everything in its arsenal to deadly effect, and Noctilucant clearly knows how to wield every single one of those weapons.
LISTEN to “Amongst the Snow and the Shadows” on Bandcamp here.
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