Romerium Mysterious Fog (2021)
Updated: May 22
“Discovering Romerium's music is always good, even when he flirts with the unknown”
1 Old Trees and Autumm Leaves 8:00
2 Dew on the Grass 7:28
3 Mirrors of Mist 12:48
4 Lonely Distress 8:00
5 Nothing Beneath my Feet 8:32
6 Fog's Thickening Grasp 8:56
7 A Heart full of Sorrow 8:00
8 A Forgotten Tale in the Fog 7:18
(DDL 69:02) (V.F.)
(Drone Dark Ambient)
Can drone-based electronic music become harmonious? That's the bet launched by Romerium. MYSTERIOUS FOG (Ambient Drone Melodic) is a downloadable album centered on drones of dark ambient music. Mostly ambient and meditative, there are very few harmonies, it is also a textural music that can flirt with shamanic throat singing or that can be identified with heavy spaceship movements as sound effects. For this new album, the Dutch artist seeks to spin melodious textures in this strange universe that can make your ears buzz...
Let's say that Old Trees and Autumm Leaves starts the debate quite well! A minimalist movement with a texture of synthesized hums extends its black shroud in a long layer that collects a mist dressed in this culture of mystery. This orchestral mist, which marries the implosion points of this drone line rather well, dissipates to let celestial elements be heard flickering here and there. A nice meditative phase that barely pierces this guttural line that has kept the same shape throughout its 8 minutes. It is the harmonic side of drone music that blows the start of Dew on the Grass. The color of the music goes very well with those memories of seeing morning dew on a sunny edge. The movement undulates peacefully with vague tonal explosions that seem to inject as much haze as resonance into this good track whose ambient movements recall the world of Steve Roach. It is a huge dark breeze that makes Mirrors of Mist rise to our ears. The ascent is rather brutal with a dense dark veil, almost sinister, which continues its vertiginous rise as if hands were pushing the music towards the skies. The tranquility of this intense chthonian breeze is disturbed a little after the 7th minute by elements that we discern with pain and misery, like in Old Trees and Autumm Leaves, in this immense envelope of astral whirring. Except that it stirs for a few seconds in this title where the absence of melodic links is easily explained. An ambient track sculpted in resonant chords of an antithetical shadow; Lonely Distress is a good track that should please Software fans. Behind a huge wall of drones, these chords stretch into a good Berlin School ambient with a tonal dissonance that makes it so charming. Bouncing crossbow effects attach to this cadenced ascension that gradually gets sucked into this wall of floating drones to become barely perceptible. But the imprint is left, and an earworm sleeps comfortably there!
The ambiences of Nothing Beneath my Feet go hand in hand with the meaning of its title. A descent into the void that turns into a cosmic odyssey with these vintage sound effects. The haze is much more significant and evocative here than on the last 2 tracks of MYSTERIOUS FOG (Ambient Drone Melodic). The same can be said for the sound effects. Intense and harmonious, Fog's Thickening Grasp exploits a texture where the effects of fog and drones embrace each other on a long movement where the melodic aspect is hidden behind each secret impulse of the music. An excellent track that transcends the genre exploited by Rene Montfoort on this new Romerium downloadable album. A Heart full of Sorrow continues in this vein a bit. At this point, our ears are buzzing as much as the music. So, presumably, drones and mist travel together over organic flora that stabilizes a shamanic clattering slickness. The arrangements add a bit of intensity as well as a good dose of emotionality at times to a music constantly driven by these implosive effects. A buzzing wind exposes A Forgotten Tale in the Fog to the complexity of a parallel movement that seems to weave in a multitude of chiming drones. These tinkles coalesce into a growing pastoral mass, reminiscent of this passage in Michael Stearns' Chronos (Angels, Bells and Pastorale), to swirl into a maelstrom of metallic tinkles before A Forgotten Tale in the Fog returns to the shadows of its opening.
Discovering Romerium's music is always a great encounter, even when he flirts with the unknown. For the fans of Dark Ambient, MYSTERIOUS FOG (Ambient Drone Melodic) is a sure value. For the neophytes, it is a rather good album where one can appreciate a little more the universe of this ambient music gorged with drones. Rene Montfoort has taken up this challenge by inserting melodious moments, as well as poignant ones, bringing those nuances that enhance the esoteric character of this music.
Sylvain Lupari (October 27th, 2021) ***½**
Available at Romerium Bandcamp