Now, you might wonder what all of this has to do with the album I'm reviewing at the moment. Well, nothing in particular but the music on The Dream Cycle is perfectly suited for a game like Sad Satan. In fact, the first few times I played this album, I was constantly reminded of the game. This spooky dark ambient album is based on the works of HP Lovecraft so it clearly is horror related so it's no surprise that this is an intensely eerie piece of work.
There's ten tracks on this album, most of them being lingering collagues of soundscapes, drones and strange vocal samples. 'Polaris' is an excellent opening track for this album, combining dark ambient with a touch of noise, a sentiment that returns in 'Ex Oblivione'. 'White Ship' is one of the most minimalistic tracks, driving on pulsating waves and weird samples. Close your eyes and you can indeed image being trapped on an abandoned ship in the middle of an unknown ocean. Strange, frightful creature watch your every move and patiently wait until your breathe your final breath.
However, it's not just drones and musical landscapes. On 'The Doom That Came To Sarnath' Babalith shows another approach but adding a bunch of effects on already angsty vocals and incorporating some electro acoustics. In this approach, the music even gets a colder, bleaker and more primitive atmosphere, especially with the harsher effects coming in at some point. 'The Cats Of Ulthar' continues with the voices, this time in the form of a haunted choir. 'Nyarlathotep' is barely music. This is a recording of someone who is experiencing intense fear, pain and despair.
The songs vary quite a lot from each other and that's always a good aspect in dark ambient music. It shows the versatility and the hunger to experiment with sound and atmosphere and obviously Babalith has been experimenting a lot over the past few years. Yet, it all it's variety it's one of the most basic tracks that I decided to select as my favorite. 'Hypnos' is a brilliant drone track, both gentle and dark and very minimalistic.
The album closes with two more excellent dark ambient acts, driving on ever pulsating soundscapes and a gloomy, almost frightening ethos. Of course, Babalith is a name that never disappoints and this is arguably one of his best works so far. So if you're a fan of everything dark, slow and eerie, this is a very welcome addition to your collection, that's for sure...