When Darkness Descends
posted on 1/2005 By:
Veiled Allusions is a one man project from Norway’s Karsten Hamre, who is also a member of Penitent. Hamre began his Veiled Allusions work in 1997 and has released a couple demos and two full lengths, 2001’s Visions of the World and 2002’s Rosenkranz. Both were limited releases. Veiled Allusions is minimalist ambient music that doesn’t have much to do with metal, but may appeal to metal fans that can appreciate the darker side of ambient music.
Lets just say that When Darkness Descends isn’t the best album to listen to in the car. The term “minimal ambient” means just that. “Just a bunch of noise” is another way to say it, except that there isn’t really a bunch of it, but there isn’t anything else either--just sparse soundscapes of swirling stark atmosphere that the listener will find either mesmerizing or terminally tedious. Unless you are a big fan of ambient music, there are probably only two ways you can enjoy this album—either as music to go to sleep to, or by plugging up the headphones and cranking up the volume, and having yourself a “Comfortably Numb” moment. It is only at high volume that one is able to appreciate the sound patterns and hypnotic effect of the music, and the headphones help the listener appreciate the separation of sound and feel more immersed in the atmosphere.
Veiled Allusions has a dark sound, but rather than using discordant elements, relies on more soothing methods. The songs have a very atmospheric and elemental vibe, as many of the effects conjure visions of gentle waves of water and swirling winds. There are occasional glimpses of recognizable instruments—some keys here, a bell there, but for the most part, the sounds you hear are anonymous ambient effects.
For what it is, When Darkness Descends is an acceptable album. It certainly has a great deal of atmosphere and bleakness, and the scores reflect that. However, it seems that Veiled Allusions is more of a band for fans of ambient music that also like metal, than vice versa.
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