While some dark ambient artists take their listeners on sonic ventures through lateral planes, Ager Sonus seems to do something different. With Book Of The Black Earth, Germany’s Ager Sonus politely seduces the listener into the scene (or chapter), gives them the guided tour and returns them or sends them to the next scene. The mind behind this journey is one Thomas Langewehr who started Ager Sonus in 2014. The journey at hand is one to ancient Egypt.
From Cryochamber: “Ager Sonus has succeeded in creating an Egyptian backdrop that is accentuated with flutes and atmospheric layering. Occult and ethereal, this album is for lovers of Necromancy and the unexplored ruins beneath the sands of Egypt.”
Each track is a descent into the underworld, a venture into the catacombs or a view inside the tomb of an Egyptian king only to evoke the ghosts protecting the treasure who demand the legacy of ancients be kept preserved. Book Of The Black Earth succeeds in providing the soundtrack to such journeys and vantage points of old.
Synth tracks rise and fall above black ambient perpetual descension so as to provide sonic light planes into the Egyptian underworld. In tracks like “Discoveries” we hear sounds akin to field recordings which give the listener a sense of real-world discovery and travel. “Inner Sanctum” is the perfect example of how Ager Sonus drifts the listener into the subterranean levels of Egypt. Whispers of ancient Egyptian gods on the left and right-hand sides come and go while the listener finds themselves having transcended the sophisticated pyramid construction.
“Osiris’s Courtroom” finds us within a confined space but dense with echoing synths and columns of drone-like noises. Low-end rumblings provide the feeling of an impending earthquake or caving-in of the structure miles above our heads. The final track on the album, “Awakening” breaks beams of sonic light through the grounds and allows the listener to once again rise above the depths we were previously led to. It is a slow, hypnotic and trance-like feeling with the sounds of ancient winds periodically blowing at each side. The track shifts from trancelike to sort of an unstructured dungeon-synth vibe against low-rumbling drones. Finally the listener is lifted away and those of the ancient realms return to slumber.
Book of the Black Earth is as deep as the caverns and tombs it leads us to and delivers us from. Is another example of how even among the “Cinematic Dark Ambient” identify of Cryo Chamber, there is still much territory to be uncovered and many more vehicles in which to take for the trip. I look forward to seeing what realm Ager Sonus takes us to next. But that’s part of the magic of Cryo Chamber artists; we as listeners aren’t just listeners. We are somehow always pulled into the scenes that the artists create.
Book Of The Black Earth is available as a digital download or as a 6-panel digipak CD.