Album Title: 
Long Forgotten Bowers
Release Date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Review Type: 

After two albums that were released via Cephalopagus Records, Portuguese one-man army Sílení signed to Eighth Tower Records (creating superspectrum sounds from ultraterrestrial dimensions), run by Sonologyst’s Raffaele Pezzella, to have this next album released. Under the title Long Forgotten Bowers, this newest epos is like ‘an introspective journey through ancient places, holding both beauty and obscure memories’, and it ‘portrays the gateway to certain answers to those who seek them, even though they’ll be permanently lost’. Being inspired by the psychological works of Andrej Tarkovsky and the horror themes by Edgar Allen Poe, Valter ‘Necromanther’ Abreu wrote and composed another masterwork, consisting of nine individual yet cohesive epics with a total running time of about three quarters of an hour. The somewhat bizarre yet intriguing artwork, by the way, was created by Black Space Industries, and label owner Raffaele took care of the album’s mastering duties.

For forty-five minutes, Long Forgotten Bowers offers us a somewhat negative, cold and grim droning experience. The better part, or the sonic basics if you want to, are created around floating, little minimalised yet, at the same time, abundant layers of darkened ambience. Several levels of cinematic Ambient maintain the structure of what this album’s spine stands for. But there are some harsher injections too, based on ominous keyboard passages, industrial noises and additional (vocal) sampling. And the equilibrium in between the transcendental Drone / Ambient Music and the heavier chapters is simply top-notch, because of the organic execution of it.

To put it in extremes: sometimes you’ll experience a dreamlike, mesmerizing, even ethereal and personal thing; listen for example to the opening sequences of Lost, carrying you to vast yet abandoned and desolate landscapes where light and darkness, hope and doom, are like a symbiotic entity. Or what about hymns like Dimmed Memory or Surpassed - emotional, introvert, filled with tristesse and grievous feelings - represented with string (violin / cello) alike soundwaves. At the other hand, there are those broody, oppressive moments, whimsical and ominous in nature. Take a listen to a piece like Unpredicted Encounter (don’t wanna know what came Valter’s way…) to undergo those throttling moments. Or what about the chaotic and disturbing frenzy in Malformed Creation?... All this happens over and over again in about each single composition on Long Forgotten Bowers. This means that the mood keeps the listener awake, caressing all emotions that pass by. And there’s even more, like the vocal samples I did mention, or some strange metallic percussions (like in Dimmed Memory: dissonant, even mind-twisting; or in Sentient, adding that discordant-meditative twist, that disturbing search via man’s Inner Eye).

This album is a rich one which asks for endurance and persuasion, yet which surely will be adored by the open-minded Dark Ambient souls amongst us. After a few listens, each time giving the opportunity to discover new elements, the whole package reveals itself, and it will linger, mentally. Introspective yet memorable…