Now that follow-up is coming closer. Its title is 'Hermit' and it seems to dig deeper into combined talents of these two artists. This is not just a dark ambient cooperation, this is dark, haunting and cinematic music, something that can put its foot next to the greatest in the dark and cinematic regions.
Opener 'The God in the Fields' (with additional throat singing and violin by Orryelle Defenestrate) is already a surprising tune. In stead of slowly fading in, this track begins with drums and hints of chaos. Gradually however, the whole things blooms open into an immersive an narrative adventure, driving on voices, drones and violins. 'The Anchorite Dreams in Silver' is a baffling piece of work, bringing even Godspeed! You Black Emperor to mind. Those violins again, I guess. Yet, the entire track is a beautiful exploration of ritual sounds. Most of the tracks are. I'm getting more and more impressed by the minute, to be absolutely honest.
The thing is, I know Ashtoreth and I'm very acquainted with his music. There was a time when he was simply unable to surprise me. 'Pilgrim' was a step into a different direction and 'Hermit' completely shatters my expectation. These are not songs. These are shortfilms without images, every single one of them. Where the previous album was a great coop, this new one is a statement. Hell, I'm even wondering if I should use the term "masterpiece".
'The Veil' is perhaps the most minimalist on the album. It's a soothing yet gloomy droner that floats freely through my speakers. 'The Covenant of Branch and Stone' is harsher, with a grim atmosphere and eerie spoken word samples. Speaking of grim, the bells at the beginning of closer 'Hermit' are downright sinister. Yet, in all, this is an excellent follow-up to 'Pilgrim', one that every fan of dark and ominous music should check out.