OR   Search for Artist/Title    Advanced Search
you are not logged in...  [login] 
All Reviews    Edit This Review     
Review: 'Tunnels of Āh'
'Deathless Mind'   

-  Label: 'Cold Spring Records'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '15th May 2020'

Our Rating:
Their bio reports that Tunnels of Āh ‘pursue a singular sonic path’ and how ‘each album has been recorded with a visualised location arising in; for ‘Charnel Transmissions’ it was a childhood landfill, ‘Thus Avici’, a field of pig arks in a Golgotha landscape. How these places emerge and obsess is a mystery. ‘Deathless Mind’ is set on a half mile stretch of abandoned railway where various human transgressions have occurred’. They’re also pitched as ‘Industrial / Esoteric’. The latter isn’t so much a genre as I’m aware as a measure of commerciality, while also carrying connotations of superior wisdom, but also an implicit sense of superiority more broadly. I won’t hold their wilful obscurantism as a criticism, though, since this is the foundation of the majority of the avant-garde. For every movement, there is, necessarily an anti-movement, and in the face of international popular culture, there must, by necessity, be a staunchly devoted underground. And it’s deep underground that we find Tunnels of Āh.

Bold, scraping bows sound the barking start of long, low notes, before monastic voices and abrasive extranea enter the mix. A relentless barrage of low thrums and serrations that fizz, scratch, and crackle filter through the speakers and fill the air. It’s dark, tense, and oppressive: ‘Parable of the Sewer’ is as dank and gloomy as the title suggests, and distant voices echoing in a vortex add layers of the unheimlich to ‘The Cult is on the Move’.

As is often the case with location or other forms of conceptually-orientated works, ‘Deathless Mind’ doesn’t explicitly convey its meaning to the listener, and nor does the relevance of the title present itself,. I don’t personally get a sense of disused railway, of travel, of people or their activities in a certain setting. I can’t be alone in applying a more reception theory-based response to works like this, whereby I find it almost impossible not to project upon what is, on many levels, a blank canvas.

On ‘Saint of Slaves’, the title is repeated in permutations and overlaid endlessly, poking away at the nerves, while the skittering insectoid clicks of ‘Ascetic’ crawls beneath the skin like a sonic parasite.

Every aspect of ‘Deathless Mind’ is dark, an uncomfortable, and if it’s industrial, it’s in the sense of the kind of murky, churning, dark ambience of Throbbing Gristle than any of those successors who introduced heavy rhythms and elements of metal into the mix. And it hits the spot.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

[Show all reviews for this Artist]

READERS COMMENTS    10 comments still available (max 10)    [Click here to add your own comments]

There are currently no comments...