Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: Gydja is a project hailing from New Zealand and driven by female artist Abby Helasdottir. Several productions have been released during the past twenty years. “Ár Var Alda” (translated “In Ancient Times”) is the artist’s first opus released by Winter-Light.
Content: Entering the sound universe of “Ár Var Alda” is an exploration of Dark-Ambient atmospheres constructed with heavy, powerful sounds and field recordings. The composition is characterized by shrill sound blasts, reminding me of the deafening noises of the subway. The songs have been progressively built up and achieved with multiple noises and even a few vocal parts (chants and effects).
+ + + : This album sounds like good-old Dark-Ambient has to sound. I was impressed by the overwhelming sound production featuring monstrous noises, buzzing sound waves and explicit field recordings. The work has a strong visual appeal, which is accentuated by the constant, tormented atmosphere recovering the work. A few haunting vocals are only accentuating the state of horror caused by the simple power of music. “And Thence Arose Our Giants Race” perfectly illustrates this freaky, but great sensation.
– – – : I wasn’t familiar at all with Gydja, which is a shame (!), but this work definitely incited me to discover previous productions of the project.
Conclusion: “Ár Var Alda” is a briljant piece of music; fully accomplished and rather sophisticated for this genre of music. My single regret is the rather deceiving last track –which also is the longest one, which can’t bring a final climax to this work.
Best songs: “Winters Unmeasured Ere Earth Was Made”, “A Chasm Gaped”, “And Thence Arose Our Giants’ Race”.
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