Just two months after their grandiose debut The Syncretic Labyrinth (released via Spain’s Sphingidae and Germany’s Attenuation Circuit, home to Emerge), the Spanish project Sudaria returns with Lucid Nightmares, a monstrous successor of the debut for sure. This second effort is available digitally via the Bandcamp page of the project itself, as well as the label involved, and the latter, Russia’s finest Frozen Light, also took care of the compact disc edition. That CD format, for your information, is a digipack with not much information (only the ‘song’ titles are mentioned and some psychedelic artwork, yet no further information – makes it all the more eerie and intriguing for sure!), released in a very limited edition. Everything was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in a couple of days during Autumn 2016 by frontman Miguel Souto.
Lucid Nightmares opens with the title song, and it simply is the sonic soundtrack for a lucid nightmare. Distorted, wretched violin noise is like the spine of this ‘song’ (haha, what a lapsus), injected by eerie, monstrous drones, some disturbing percussions and hypnotic synth lines. It sounds frenzy, apocalyptic, discordant and maniacal, painting a bleak, obscure and suffocating landscape where no light shines, where no life dwells, where no hope floats. Ten minutes, can you believe it, ten minutes it takes, ten minutes of getting drenched and submerged into aural terror; isn’t that great?...
Next comes Mirrors Of Ignorance, which might sound less chaotic, yet at least as asphyxiating. Injected by the darkest aspects of Dark Ambient, this piece is like the most abyssal form of Drone, divided into an Arctic-cold and minimal first half, and a translucent and mesmerizing second half (the latter breathing more dreamlike spheres of infinity and endlessness. In a way, it is even spiritual and levitative / meditative, that second part.
With Pale Old Gods, Sudaria delve deeper into the unknown dimensions beyond the abyss. In an astral dimension, this piece could be like a soundtrack for a travel deep into the unknown. The track builds up, starting from an almost spiritual and integer free-floating atmosphere towards a haunting, ominous space. The additional blackened voices at the background veil the whole in a mist so heavy, so bleak, so poisonous; ah, I do like that smell of venom…
The album continues, in its variating yet cohesive search for discomfort, with much more blackness, and this under the flag of Age Of Vice. Semi-acoustic and electric guitars, simplistically performed yet well-thought executed, are initially joined by evil, spellbinding blackened voices. After about two minutes, post-apocalyptic Drone / Noise takes over the sonic game, slowly developing into dissonance and cacophonian distress. Towards the end, unrest and confusion grow towards a physically unreachable height.
Shapeless Flame, then again, is like a Ritual Noise epic, warlike and martial in essence, and based on eerie droning sounds and lunatic noises. Post-apocalyptic, abruptum’esque, and filled with feedback and disharmonic synths, Shapeless Flame is like a symphony for mayhem and calamity. It starts catastrophic, climbs up towards divine chaotic disorder, yet evolves into empty, nihilistic atrocity and nothingness. Yeah, feel the emptiness taking over the consciousness…
Abhorrent Breeding is like the soundtrack for a B-Horror movie, representing torture, sadism and forbidden pleasure. Creepy and gloomy synths and haunting voices are mingled into a magnum opus, twisting the brain, cacophonous with masochistic pleasure. And as soon as you think that the abjection makes room for tranquillity, you still have a next piece coming up… Abortion!
With an ultimately darkening droning passage, Abortion opens the gates before entering the dungeons of abomination and fright. As soon as those tortured screams, slowly-pounding martial drums and poignant guitars join the party, you will drown suffocate in the venomous nebula that characterises this mostly misanthropic, hateful piece of Funereal Dark Industrial Doom Drone elegance (sounds sexy, does it not). Uncompromising and vengeful, Abortion reveals a hostile, post-nuclear presence of unscrupulous and unmerciful evilness.
Lucid Nightmares ends with an instrumental so-called ‘hidden track’, which is rather Neo-Folk / Apocalyptic Folk oriented with its acoustic guitar melodies. This composition is quite minimal in structure and performance, but it withholds that ominous, uncomfortable atmosphere that characterises the whole album. A nice addition to the album, but not exactly necessary, to my (highly important) opinion.
This Frozen Light release is, once again, an example of creativity in combination with a dark-souled identity. Ritualistic Black Drone might be a fancy description, I think, but I do not think there is a realistic way to define this material in human words. Imagine a deformed bastard child of Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectère Me (Abruptum), L’Arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante (Gnaw Their Tongues), Deimos XIII (Woods Of Belial) and Diagrams Of A Hidden Order (Black Earth), and you’ll have a clue of what Lucid Nightmares is all about… Top!!!