Copyright © 1994 Moonfog
1. Caravans to Empire Algol
2. The Arrival at Empire Algol
At a certain point after the first five frets of the guitar have been well explored in dark flickerings of poisonous music, the desire becomes simply to accept music as a language and to morph into a storyteller. Combining the ancient with the modern, Neptune Towers make a narrative which reveals the height of its journey as created from patterns similar to its essential constructs. This embedding of playful, journeyish metaphor helps fold the listener into the world of disturbed ambient music.
The band have almost completely done away with instruments, using processed audio and distorted synthesis to produce waves of overlaid sounds in harmony distorting. Organic in its nature the resulting finely layered sonic motion is like Burzum's "Hlidskjalf" immersive and threatening by the degree of its realness, but more like the work of Biosphere or Robert Fripp songs are spread out into compositions which are designed to exploit the ambient texture of sound. Like riding through clouds of resonant chaos, these pieces are an experience in shifting harmonies with moments of pure clarity. These are often operatic in the nature of their delivery and symbolic resolution to the themes of either of these lengthy pieces.
Black metal was perhaps strongest when unconventional, and at that time its creators were seeking a way to make an experience out of the simplest and rawest music possible. Their experiments multiplied in complexity until it seemed the form was either worn out or the audience was, and at that point people like Fenriz began making ambient music in order to permit freedom from the aesthetic demands of metal music (tempo, loudness). This continues many of the hypnotic and mesmerizingly beautiful phrasings of black metal but puts them in a context where larger stories can be told, somewhere between an opera and a brief hallucination inspired by engine noise.
As a work, these two fifteen-minute songs deliver a tale of departure to a distant state of mind and a battle of the senses once there. Sensual, sinister and often surprising these landscapes of textural narration make the most sense when personally disturbed, upset, unwell. Like Burzum's "Rundgang um die transzendentale S�ule der Singularit�t," these pieces are thanatopsis for the living, an immersion in the sounds of emptiness and the material reality (simplicity:perfection) of the universe. Emotional and engrossing work in the ambient music bitstream from past masters of songwriting, "Caravans to Empire Algol" speaks in a new language with the clarity of a poetic discourse in demisymphonic form.