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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROMERIUM & APOCLIPTIC: Mysterious Depths of the Ocean (2022)

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Good dark ambient music with a realistic sound image of the ocean's depths

1 Epipelagic Zone 10:28

2 Mesopelagic Zone 10:26

3 Bathypelagic Zone 10:56

4 Tenebris Profundis 11:40

5 Abyssopelagic Zone 11:44

6 Hadalpelagic Zone 10:40

(DDL 65:54) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient Music)

We cannot say that Romerium is lacking inspiration. Nor of ideas! This time, he teams up with an ambiences' sculptor and student of the Sound Education of Holland, Apocliptic, to offer us a journey in sounds and music in the MYSTERIOUS DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN. Available as a download only and in an in-house production that is best enjoyed with headphones, this new symphony for oceanographic ambient music is built around 6 tracks that have the same space-time of more or less 11 minutes. This is more than enough time to elaborate these underwater ambient music traps which are built upon good oceanographic orchestrations and where Cousteau's images fit without problems to the musical and sound perceptions of Rene Montfoort and his new partner in sounds.

The adventure begins with Epipelagic Zone which proposes an ambient structure with good oceanographic synth layers. The grasp of the layers is striking and will be throughout this new excursion of Romerium and Apocliptic. The sound vibrates with these aquatic drones that, while having the same effect as in Mysterious Fog (Ambient Drone Melodic), have that taste of water escaping between thousands of tiny oxygen bubbles. A keyboard sculpts an ambient ballad that sways between two layers of water and on a slow movement pushed by good orchestral arrangements. The sound effects are well thought and quiet realistic, enough to literally plunge us in a setting where everyday noises as well as the glow of the day are mingling with an aquatic tonal flora. This way of sculpting these evanescent melodies will also seduce our listening on good parts of MYSTERIOUS DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN. These noises of the sea bed, those of oxygen bubbles and seaweed dust continue to fill the ambiences of Mesopelagic Zone which, in spite of its descent towards the shallows, lets hear these shimmering related to the ecosystem of the oceans and waterways. Colliding the timeless waltz of these amphibian slicks, they also structure a seductive floating rhythm in the beginning of the oceanographic abysses where the lights flee their reflections some 1000 meters under water. With imagination, one can even begin to hear the various marine herds, such as the bleating of seahorses, that flourish between these sounds coming from elsewhere. Although each track is independent, the fauna and the moods follow each other in patterns of intensity that correspond to the descent and the exploration of the layers of depth behind the concept of this album. Thus, the introduction of Bathypelagic Zone is of mystery with this impression of descent to new abysses. And like in any descent, the unknown has this character of temporary fright well described by the sibylline texture of the synth layers. Scattered knocks, like distant signals, end up forming a rhythmic structure that is wrapped in a beautiful texture of elegiac voices humming. Although we are between 1,000 and 4,000 meters underwater, the duo unleashes a fascinating rhythmic structure that sounds very Vangelis and that sails at a good speed between two large masses of water.

In respect with the title's spirit, Tenebris Profundis exploits a dark ambient texture with synth lines that have a sibylline character. The color draws towards an acrylic blue ululating like the mermaids of the deep sea. The voices are as intense than the steel blue can be piercing. The bubbles of oxygen are always heard, as well as keyboard riffs that wander between the auditory caresses of the arrangements. That brings a good musical essence to the track. Those swirls are better defined in terms of sound perception while creating a ghostly rhythm like the slow movements of jellyfish. We reach another level with Abyssopelagic Zone where everything is black, except for the albino color of its inhabitants. And we hear them in sounds with scattered tinklings that remind us that even in such an abyssal universe life exists and that it makes its place. The resonance of muffled banging, heard more at the beginning and towards the end, adds a dramatic texture to the music. We reach the unknown phase of the oceans with Hadalpelagic Zone. This still unexplored point could be the door to darkness, as well as to Cosmos or to a parallel universe, so much the sounds, the movement of the layers and the orchestrations are as inviting as disturbing.

Romerium and Apocliptic propose us an album-download of ambient music as dark as the 5 levels of the ocean's depths, as targeted by the duo. An audacious bet where they manage to keep us awake in a universe where a boring moment could be unforgiven. But each track, except maybe the last one, has this little something, like in Mysterious Fog (Ambient Drone Melodic), that captivates us and keeps us awake with a texture of sounds, and these effects of descent towards new depths, which are rather well tied to the visions of our ears.

Sylvain Lupari (April 25th, 2022) ***½**

Available at Romerium Bandcamp

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