Cryo Chamber Collaboration

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Review Type: 

Come journey deep into the depths, where long forgotten temples to strange creatures and dark cosmic summons lie unexplored by mortal eyes.

Year after year, Cryo Chamber offers an album that trespasses all known definitions of ‘collaboration’. Inspired and influenced by the monumental oeuvre of H.P. Lovecraft, this label, run by Simon Heath, releases a monumental work that includes the professional collaboration of many artists active within the darker corners of the (Cinematic) Ambient scene. This is not something one might consider to be a ‘split’ release or so; on the contrary, this is actually an effort by musicians which one must define as a permanently evolving ‘band’; the Cryo Chamber Collaboration combo, if you wish.

Many artists have been part of the Cryo Chamber Collaboration before, some are ‘new’, and most of them are part of the Cryo Chamber for many years. That’s why it makes the result sound so ‘natural’, so ‘organic’. I’ll come back to that sonic content immediately. First some words about the recording itself. Of course one can find (and buy) the digital edition, yet this ninth part has been printed as well on compact-disc. It’s a digipack DCD (double-CD) that comes in a deluxe edition, which includes very appropriate (and simply beautiful) artwork by Mister Heath himself (like most of the releases on his label).

After Cthulhu, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, Hastur, Yig and Dagon, released respectively from 2014 to 2021, 2022 did end with the Cryo Chamber Collaboration 2-CD Tsathoggua, named after a kind of lazy and obese, toad-shaped deity (one of the ‘Old Ones’), known from the Cthulhu-mythos (and of importance [or not; that’s your decision]: also part of the Hyperborean Cycle of C. A. Smith, who did inspire H.P. Lovecraft).

Anyway, this newest Cryo Chamber Collaboration effort clocks about one hundred and nine (!) minutes, and gathers twenty-one sound-artists. It would be irrelevant to write a biography about all of them, so, before going over to the aural content, I will just sum up all projects involved, in order of appearance: Atrium Carceri, Kammarheit, Dronny Darko, ProtoU, Dead Melodies, Onasander, God Body Disconnect, Council Of Nine, RNGMNN, Northumbria, Void Stasis, In Quantum, Alphaxone, Neizvestija, Skrika, Dahlia’s Tear, Gydja, Koolhoosi 13, Lesa Listvy, Tineidae and Apocryphos. That’s an impressive line-up, which, evidently, results once more in a monolithic release of captivating Dark Horror Ambient Music. For (over) a year, these guys (and girl) wrote and recorded their own contribution to this newest epos, they linked their sound to each-other, and they produced it throughout this period of collage-work.

Even-though each single artist has his / her own sound and working techniques, this album (and the very same goes for all former ones within this series) shows the similarities behind each of them, yet still staying true to their own identity. And that’s so amazing, that such amalgam of musicians succeeds to create one huge soundtrack that seduces and intoxicates. Dark Ambient and Dark Drone, Dark Jazz, Horror Ambient, Psybient, Ritual, and modest hints of surrealism and experimentalism are smoothly canalised, teasing the listener to envision the mighty labyrinths of the hidden city beneath the ocean, where the interstellar gods are asleep, awaiting the Great Conjunction. Every single artist collaborates in this sonic creation of visionary elegance. And seen each member’s typifying identity, it never, ever, bores one single moment (despite the enormous length). From the rumbling drones of Atrium Carceri over the brooding ambience of ProtoU, through the oppressive soundscapes of Alphaxone towards the dreamlike and abstruse textures of Apocryphos; the whole of the time enigmatic sound-collages and -waves, injected by different noises, samples and other (often terrifying) field-recorded fragments, come and go, fade away and resurrect, collectively veiled in an ominous nebula of mind-twisting pleasure. It’s a permanently exciting journey through that mystic yet eldritch dimension of the ancient gods, courtesy of the experienced mob called Cryo Chamber Collaboration. …as mysterious as it is stunning!...