Noctilucant – “Descension” Album Review (ambient/drone)


Descension: an appropriate title for a dark ambient album that guides the listener on what feels like a perpetually descending journey-into the depths of oceanic territories or those of the subconscious.

Descension is the recent release from Wisconsin dark ambient artist Noctilucant.

From Bandcamp:  “The Original Soundtrack created to accompany the reader on the adventure through the graphic novel of the same name. Varying between deep suffocating drones, lively field recordings, melodic textures, and luminous space/sci-fi themed dark ambiance — the Descension Original Soundtrack is your guide down the path of the macabre and insane.”

Descension without question succeeds at its purpose of being a soundtrack to a graphic novel.  The feeling of the album is one where the listener is guided but stops at certain points to look around – much in the way chapters in a book read.  Let’s say you are in a deep-sea diving bell.  Every so often you pause to take in the various forms of plant and animal life, even to find a buried treasure at the ocean floor… only to find out that it wasn’t the floor at all.  In fact, there are much deeper caverns.

Sonically, there is not much of an emphasis on low-end, deep drones in this release which makes it somewhat unique in that regard.  Rather, Noctilucant makes use of a mid-range of tones thus giving the listener the feeling of hearing distant sounds while being submerged or subconscious.  Moreover, instead of the sounds cumulatively being a vehicle in which the listener is transported (which is clearly the intention of some ambient/drone releases), Descension is a guide; an accompaniment; a soundtrack if you will.

Bringing forth colors somewhere between black and white; perhaps blues and greens – and taking the listener somewhere between this world and the next, or between here and the subterranean.  That’s Descension for you.  A bit of a different journey but a welcome one while being submerged in a sea of many.

Descension is a digital-only release and is available now.

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