Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, dark-cinematographic.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: Bulgarian born Hristo Gospodinov has already released a few noticeable releases. Most of his work got released through Cyclic Law and I especially have to mention the previous work “Ordeal 26.04.86” as an absolute masterpiece. This new opus also is the artist’s debut work on Cryo Chamber. The work is again a conceptual release inspired by ‘a metaphysical journey into the primordial chaos of the building blocks of the Universe. It is based on the concept of the Four Elements – Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, plus the Fifth Element, Quintessence, which here represents the abiogenesis, and organic life itself. Each track is here named after a specific element and the titles are in Old Greek with Latin transcription’.
Content: Shrine creates an interesting sound dimension, which is based upon dark-ambient/cinemtographic music although completed by unavoidable field recordings and drone passages. The particularity is also emerging from the use of real instruments and I here thought to have recognized a flute. The tracks are dreamy, but always dark and sometimes even moving into bombast (cf. “Aer”).
+ + + : Shrine simply confirms its great potential. The album again has a strong visual appeal, which is mainly due to subtle creation of cinematic and ambient passages. You feel like walking through an enlightening darkness, created by the fusion of sound manipulations, field recordings and authentic instruments. The tracks are progressively reaching their apotheosis when joined by the bombast of droning percussion parts. Despair is slowly transposed into artistic beauty!
– – – : Both debut cuts are cool, but maybe a little hesitant compared to the 3 tracks left.
Conclusion: I still have a little preference from the previous Shrine album, but this new work only confirms the growing talent of this Bulgarian solo-project. I consider Shrine as a true reference when it comes to contemporary dark-ambient music.
Best songs: “Aer”, “Quintessence”, “Pyr”.