So when I saw this album by Polish project Noche Oscura in my mailbox, I immediately became interested. The project, formed by Wojciech Szachowski also seems to roam in the post-rock/metal regions. Besides, the artwork by Michał Szymański is pretty stunning too, so I just had to check this one out.
It was coined as a post rock, post metal album but the first tones seemed to pour directly out the noise scene. Opener 'End' is strange, something between noise, guitar drones and post rock. I'm not sure if it is an intro but it is a quite unique tune. There is a drummer, Mateusz Mazur, but his work seems to be rather limited. The post-scene is far away but somehow that doesn't matter. Besides, the true beauty of Noche Oscura still has to bloom.
And that happens on 'Suspension', a song that contains violins by Katarzyna Gronowska and seems to be inspired by many of today's drone-ambient acts (Syndrome, Thisquietarmy, N) but also by Mike Oldfield. What? Well, much like Oldfield, Noche Oscura doesn't limit itself to elaborate droning ambient tunes. Here, the artists tried to tell stories, mainly with the narrative sound of the guitars. It's different, it's nice and it's certainly interesting.
My personal favorite here is 'Before', an ambient drone tune that also borrows elements from the music of Amenra or Neurosis but also the dark folk of Barn Owl and the post rock of God Is An Astronaut. Mind you, all still without the drums, making me wonder how massive this track would sound with a full live band. That must be bloody impressive, if you ask me. Same goes for closer 'Gate', an impending track, nudging to the doom scene.
Although coined as something for fans of Sunn O))), Amenra, Ulver and Neuroris, I'd probably place this album in my ambient/dark folk collection. That is not a bad thing, on the very contrary. I enjoyed every second of this album, even the confusing chaos of the opener. I'm just afraid that this artist limits himself a bit too much. If he forms a full blown band with this material, they'll be on big ass stages in no time, but for now, let's all enjoy these sounds in the quiet comforts of our own homes...