SHRINE: Somnia CD Cyclic Law
Bulgaria’s Shrine open up the proceedings with the sound of waves splashing against rocks upon a shore with a hypnotic chime played over drifting pads; in the background you hear gulls occasionally screech and possibly the sound of children playing, unless my ears deceive me. It’s a pleasant enough start to ‘Somnia’, if maybe a little too long considering its slight lack of variation overall.
‘Immersion’ breaks away from the stagnation that started to creep in on track one; rising pad upon soaring synth slowly ascend through a dense ocean of rich warm ambient and gently break through the tide towards the end of the track. This in turn flows well into ‘Lost Beauty’, with subtle acoustic elements that bring to light a slow paddle to the shores of a distant cove.
There is a natural aquatic nature to this album that brings to light the works on Spectre’s sub-label Nautilus, who based all their releases around the medium of water. Indeed ‘Somnia’ could easily be slotted in amongst the whole output from that label, considering the style of ambient on offer and should be hunted out by those that have dug deep into their pockets for such work previously.
All in all, this release is a competent and solid, if not generic album from start to finish; surprisingly oppressive considering the light synth work, the very nature of feeling like you are forever sinking under the water does make you feel like you are perpetually drowning, whist ambient waves suffocate and smother and as the CD sub-title states: ‘low level lucid dreams’; indeed.