Strom Noir – “Mountains Become Machines” Album Review (ambient/drone)

a0753434531_16From our friends at Winter-Light records comes the new release from Strom Noir, Mountains Become Machines…. a strangely unique ambient/drone album that bears cold, immersive and entrancing qualities.  

Strom Noir is the product of Slovakian-born Emil Maťko.

From Winter-Light Records: “His (Emil Maťko) music can possibly be best described as guitar and loop based ambient, with a melancholic feel to it. Strom Noir builds up intricate layers of sound using mostly only electric and acoustic guitars, effected through pedals.” 

Rather than being concerned with constructing the piece as a whole, Strom Noir appears to focus on each track in and of themselves.  Whereas a track like the closer, “Cistota” has much more of a shimmering, mesmerizing and cyclical quality to it, “All Corals Are Yours” presents more of an immersive quality with multiple layered ambient drone planes.

There is definitely more of a subdued organic feel about the record as opposed to having an overly-cinematic, digital quality.  If anything, it might be a bit reminiscent of some early Vangelis material.  But the effect-laden electric/acoustic guitar feel is there to the point where we, the listeners forget the source instruments.  There is not a lot of low-end drones which give Mountains Become Machines much more of a lighter/airy feel.

One thing that Strom Noir appears to be conscious of is not just the dynamic in directions the tracks take in contrast to each other, but also the varying paths the ambient planes take within the individual tracks themselves.  Whereas we may find ourselves swirling and surrounded in one instance, we might otherwise find ourselves immersed by oncoming, slow-moving waves. 

I’d recommend Mountains Become Machines to fans of ambient/drone, especially those interested in different experiences within one album and not necessarily one continuous pathway.

Mountains Become Machines is available on CD as well as digital download

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