At first, you might compare the music on 'Piano's Abyss' with the delightful modern classical tunes from people like Olafur Arnalds or Bersarin Quartett. Piano, drones and soundscapes are interlaced with each other, creating vast musical landscapes. Yet, soon I realized that tracks like opener 'Immersion' or 'Suspense' are a lot darker than the sounds of some of Yershova's colleagues. The drones go a lot deeper, create a gloomy and often eerie atmosphere while the piano shows Yershova's classical roots.
Over the years, those classical roots have supported her ever-growing urge to experiment with sounds and instruments. There are flashes of playful free jazz among the haunting soundscapes of 'Shining Waves', making this a very alienating track. Not long ago, Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi performed on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean. Well, 'Shining Waves' sounds like a performance in a haunted mansion, making it an excellent soundtrack for a psychotic thriller. That pretty much counts for all the tracks here.
'Ice Breath' is a perfectly titled dark ambient track, chilling, scary and a great intro for the beautiful 'Mystery'. That one feels a lot brighter than most of the other songs, even though it remains a murky and mystifying piece of experimental ambient, again interlaced with these playful piano touches. The piano finally gets the upperhand on 'Rebus', a jazzy tune, driving on minimal percussion and and immersive melody. This might be my favorite track on the album, but that's a very tough decision to make.
The albums closes with 'The Abyss', a fourteen minutes lasting epos of dark ambient and modern classical music, pretty much a beautiful combination of the music on the rest of the album. What I like so much about this album, is the immense level of variation. Of course, I've heard many ambient albums with piano in the past few years, but very rarely these turn out to be as varied, as narrative and as daring as this one. Angelina Yershova shows a dark side of this genre, a side where drones and noise are allowed and embraced. And that I can only applaud that. This is a highly recommended piece of work...