Glimpsing Into Oblivion is a journey into unknown realms of fantasy and horror, serving as a soundtrack to a movie that does not exist. A perfect blend of dungeon synth, ambient, gothic and doom metal works with hauntingly melancholic vocals and an expert mastery of minimalism. Be warned that extended listening may cause sadness in the listener. However if you’re like me and actively seek music that elicits an emotional response, then this will definitely be the album for you.
Album: Glimpsing Into Oblivion
Label: Yuggoth Records
Release Date: April 7, 2023
Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Glimpsing Into Oblivion is a fascinating record but one that’s extremely hard to pin down genre wise. It blurs the lines between dungeon synth, ambient, gothic and doom metal, creating a captivating, highly immersive album steeped in atmosphere and mysticism.
This release is a collaborative effort of Chris Bozzone and Peter Scartabello, who each bring a unique skillset and background to the table. Together they have created something unlike any of their individual works and shown just how well they work together as a creative force. I would explain the album myself, but I feel that the duo do it better than I could, stating:
Glimpsing Into Oblivion” is a set of immensely haunting vocal-based songs that are drenched in lush atmospherics and extraordinary melodic arrangements. Trance-inducing synthesizer based compositions oscillate between unearthly drones, sustained bass tones, deep pulsations to eerily beautiful, cinematic, and ethereal instrumentation that includes a diverse array of cosmic tones from kalimba, harmonium, various percussive elements with both hand percussion and drum kit, acoustic and electric guitar and pianoSeer on Glimpsing Into Oblivion
The music feels as it if could accompany an obscure 80s dark fantasy film, it has that dramatic flair, that underlying spookiness and those amazing synth based flourishes. If you took away the vocals it could easily also serve as a soundtrack to an open-world fantasy RPG. Having said all of this, there’s also a haunting, unsettling, dreamlike quality to the music that presents us with a darkener, more sinister side of things that falls almost into a thriller/horror type realm. This should serve as no shock as the duo stated that they took inspiration from the films of directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrzej Zulawski, Sergei Paradjanov, Frantisek Vlacil, Jess Franco, Philippe Garrel, Jean Rollin and Alain Robbe-Grillet. So in reality its the soundtrack to a movie that never existed.
The release at times reminds me of some Ulver’s work, with its haunting textures and soothing yet melancholic clean vocals. However I feel that this album lacks the pop sensibilities of Ulver’s later works and the harshness of their earlier works. Vocally though I’m almost reminded of David Bowie if he were to have taken up darkwave music in the 80s.
I think what really helps the album stand out as unique is its understanding of minimalism. The duo truly understand how to let each element on the release shine in the mix. It makes each synth based pulse or menacing string element or subtle percussion really have an impact on the listener. The other key element is the suffocating atmosphere of dread and despair that the music creates. It isn’t necessarily due to any in your face element, its more the weight of the emotion in the vocals and the steady grinding of the instruments and electronic elements that wear you down emotionally over time.
Overall this is a fantastic release and one that I truly enjoyed listening to. Be warned that extended listening may cause sadness in the listener. However if you’re like me and actively seek music that elicits an emotional response, then this will definitely be the album for you.
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