RADIOMENTALE: I-Land CD F4T Music
I was immediately on the back foot as the first initial clatters of sound filtered through the speakers, worried about this heading off down the field recordings route. Thankfully, whilst there are elements of this going on, ‘Smooth Operator’ does carry this forward with resonating hums of Dark Ambient and breathing drone-work that edge on psychosis, filtering out air-like qualities with a frost tinged essence.
‘Sinking’ is up next and whilst I wasn’t too taken with the vocal samples initially, in all respects they work as the track edges forward; ominous and threatening whilst the bleak humming washes carry a truly oppressive, if not altogether shocking grip on the proceedings. Indeed I did feel like my fingers were losing grip on the edge of an abyss, producing one of the most engaging and pitch black offerings I have heard from this genre in years.
‘Gotlander’ relishes in desperation. Where ‘Sinking’ leaves you with the daunting consequence of sliding into the blackest of pits, the final action on this release throws the listener into a blind panic with brutal efficiency. It’s not often that music of this ilk can force your pulse into racing turmoil and this 18 minute-plus monster pushes the boundaries to the extreme, where you find yourself running through thick fog on desolate moorland whilst pursued by God knows what.
‘I-Land’ is an unassuming release that provides more than its packaging promises. For lovers of soul crushing horrific soundtracks and unrelenting ink-drenched ambient, you won’t find much better than this on the market right now; this is a truly frightening album of monolithic proportions and a prime example of how it should be achieved.