To Ireland we travel today but not by plane. Today we travel by tunnels subterranean and built within the murky bottom waters of the Atlantic ocean. Our soundtrack for reaching the homeland of Ruairi O’Baoighill is his latest release, The Faceless One thanks to the kindness of Ireland’s Cursed Monk Records.
The Faceless One is a 6 track CD and digital release.
Ethereal ghost-scapes and drone funnels fuel the recording which is not simply appropriate for a soundtrack for a horror movie. In cases such as this, it’s not about the viewer’s vantage point. The Faceless One is but a journey that invites the listener to be witness to the weaving in and out of ghostly voices and visions in a perpetual darkened tunnel. As is the case in track 1, “Invocation,” ghostly voices seem to arrive and disappear out of the drone, appropriately so. The drone guides our journey while shafts and wisps of brief sound shards come at left and right, forward and backward. Ambient passages reminds of deep, murky waters and often not sound waves but waves of funnel clouds and perpetual descents.
One of the strengths in this release is the artist knowing when to pull the mix into the background and the forefront, then using the left and right channels. This simulates the feeling of a journey as much as possible. Much of the mix is done so that the sounds seem to come from within the center and then drift to the left and right. (You must play this through the earphones to truly experience this properly. The occasional bell, as in track 2, “Veil,” reminds us of the moments of contemplation. Tracks like “Veil” present a slow inward psychological journey with the reverberated drums growing more distant as the focal point of our journey draws closer. Finally we arrive just in time for the ritual atop the Cliffs of Moher as the sky quickly turns to overcast and the ocean crest gains strength.
Ruairi O’Baoighill’s music is commonly referred to as ritual/ambient. But it’s not a ritual to view. It’s one that invites the listener to be a part of. It should be interesting to see where he leads us to next.
The Faceless One is available now; CD ltd. to 100 copies as well as a digital download.