Haunted Memories

Hypnotic Dirge Records 2009

Norwegian ambient artist Immundus brings on a chilling atmosphere like a gray winter morning.  A strong wind and creaking timbers usher in the haunting synths of album opener, Entering the Domain.  The song's atmosphere and approach conjure images of a foreboding house in a horror movie.  Slightly more lighthearted synths lend an atmosphere of wonderment and discovery on The Hall.  An additional layer of trepidation and mystery is added by a flickering violin.  However, the horror movie style falls to the wayside starting with the stripped-down and icy darkness of Whispering Walls.  Subtlety reigns supreme as feedback and a low-droning pulse pave the way for a lonely violin, which mourns the loss of its master, Erich Zann.  Even more stripped-down and emotionless in their slowly shifting, foggy movements are the next two compositions, From the Depths and Lured Into an Abyssic Maze.  What mysteries must lay deep within the dank earth.  This creates a cold, dark minimalism that is reminiscent of some Cold Meat Industries project.  Shimmering Xylophone synths and murky dungeon sounds seep like a magickal lights of cavern walls on The Descent.  For me there is a certain nagging problem I have.  The way Immundus uses synths and the visual imagery created by their soundscapes plants dreams of the stillness of deepspace and slowly drifting astral bodies but Immundus grounds them with earthbound sounds like rattling chains, blowing wind, creaking boards, dripping water, etc.  So these two mental visions conflict in my mind.  The only song to truly embody this with out textural strife is the final track, The Escape however this fails in the end as samples of a child's laughter is closes out the track.  Immundus is haunting and interesting in some respects and cold and distant in others.  At its best it is chilling and eerie.  However, more often it fails to truly connect with me.