Arum Lilies – “Dismal Fantasies” Album Review (dark ambient/noise)

Dismal Fantasies

We close out a great year of posts with perhaps one of the more disturbing, unsettling releases we have heard in a while.  For the moment, our offering is Dismal Fantasies, the new release from Arum Lilies on Death Continues Records.

While some dark ambient/noise artists maintain a “cinematic” aspect in their work (i.e. Cryo Chamber), Arum Liles does so but in a completely unique way.  This is not mainstream cinematic.  This is underground, B-movie, art-house cinematic dark ambient.  

Arum Lilies creates quite a unique juxtaposition with this album.  On one hand, we have seven “scenes” (i.e. tracks) that have occasional narration of a discreet yet seemingly highly disturbed male voice.  On the contrary, when it is just the music and the noise playing, images that are evoked include those in films where the character’s silent contemplation is in fact louder than the spoken word.  The backdrop of sound includes uncomfortable, minimalist noise, very deep drones, death industrial atmospheres and sounds that mimic marginally tuning antique radios and half-effective LP players with old, crackling records.

We don’t listen to this music because it’s beautiful.  We do so because there is a comfort in discomfort, because sometimes we are attracted to that which evokes images that are often on at the dark horizon of our imagination.  Dismal Fantasies totally fits that mold successfully.

Disturbing.  Unsettling.  Fantastic!

Dismal Fantasies is available now from our friends at Death Continues Records in Belgium.  Go check them out and their other releases such as Sutcliffe Jugend.

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