Sorc’henn/L’Acephale – Will of the Abyss Review - CVLT Nation
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Sorc’henn/L’Acephale – Will of the Abyss Review

Label: Union Finale

When it comes to dark ambient music, this is probably as good as it can get. I know what you are thinking: you have been smothered by bands and artists’ trying to pass meaningless repetition of synths and bad production for dark music, but it is not the case with this collaboration. Seth Sothis Nox La of ambient, ritualistic black metal act L’Acephale joins forces with Laurent Boulouard of Sorc’henn. I guess that most people are familiar with L’Acephale and their music, but Sorc’henn have been sort of flying under the radar (or at least my radar), even though they have released excellent dark ambient records that I started searching for when I received this collaboration for review. This is also not the first time that the two collaborate, as was the case back in 2007 with the release of Faro: Death of the Island Sheeps from Sorc’henn, for which Seth Sothis Nox La also contributed.

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Anyway, the minimalistic outlook of the collaboration becomes quite obvious from the very start of “Funerary Shimmer/The Harrowing,” with the slow drones and excruciating sounds coming out of the abyss. The use of synths from the two artists creates a very cold feeling and increases the tension as the track progresses. Soon enough, the song becomes absolute in your mind and you cannot escape its slithering, circling nature; in the same manner that you cannot force yourself to look away from an intriguing film, you cannot force yourself not to listen to Will of the Abyss. As the ritualistic percussion in the background further enhances the unearthly ambiance, you are constantly reminded of the cruelty of these two bands. And that is just for the first half of the song, because when the guitar lead comes in there is nothing that can save you from their sheering mournful tone, as the slow pace enhances the hellish ambiance that is always in the background. The repetitive melody increases a sense of disorientation and the loss of any connection to reality.

And in “…Atomization…Into Meaninglessness”, the two bands just go completely insane. With a very disturbing intro, which is soon decimated by what I can only call atomic drops of noise, the two bands create a huge demonic mouth that sucks out all the air. The background melodies slowly drag you down into the abyss as the haunting synths begin to appear. The synths finally take over completely, smothering the frequency spectrum with their raw sounds. The journey becomes gradually more unwelcoming and at the same time more interesting and is concluded by a quote from Carl Gustav Jung and a hellish piano outro, as the two bands watch all that they have built for the past forty minutes turn into dust.

Will of the Abyss is a very interesting collaboration. Its dark ambiance and unearthly sonic qualities make it an album that you must listen to. Good news: this is not the only collaboration between the two artists. So there is still a chance that we might listen to some more material in the coming years. Until then, I will just listen to Will of the Abyss again.

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Sound engineer, sonic manipulator, record hunter and writer/contributor for a variety of webzines.

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