Antikatechon is the main project of Italian underground musician Davide Del Col, active as a part of abstract-experimental project Echran with Fabio Volpi and of electronic/glitch project Molnija Aura with Andrea Marutti. He has worked with Giuseppe Verticchio in the collaborative shoegaze/new wave project We Promise To Betray too, showing his interest for different forms of music. As Antikatechon he has released four albums of experimental dark ambient music mixed with classical and noise elements, and a collaboration with Nihm (Giuseppe Verticchio) called Out Hunting For Teeth. In the past we have reviewed his album I Fell Nothing But Repulsion, and now he gives us a 2-track album named The Sanctum of Saturation (2018, Rage In Eden), a work born from the communion of noise/drone music and acoustic melodies.
As already mentioned the work is divided into 2 long-form instrumental pieces respectively called The stations of servitude and The sanctum of saturation which display diverse suits and sudden changes in direction, sonic stories made of ethereal innuendos, sharp noise, droning movements, melancholic melodies and dark, grim ambiances. The listener is invited to a long journey through sounds and minds, a cathartic experience with almost ritual qualities and deep states of concentration. A holy place (see the name of the album) where the saturation of sounds and effects generates a mantra in which the cacophony is a hymn for the restless souls.
The stations of servitude starts with oniric soundscapes and shrilling lines, engulfing us with its hypnotizing crescendo while ambient effects and solemn atmospheres are developed in the background. A moody sax can be heard, but the growing noise dominates the track starting from the third minutes. Now we obtain a droning structure with dooming tones and distorted sounds, an obsessive motif descending into majestic white-noise territories. At the seventh minute a glorious climax is reached, giving space to cosmic lines and roaring dissonances. The resulting mantra is repeated for several minutes, but at the end of it we find beautiful synth -lines with ethereal and almost progressive qualities. Then, industrial suites and ominous loops guides us through the gray soundscapes, slowly indulging in quieter ambient drones and dreamy sequences. The now dominating melody is full of melancholy and sweetness, a perfect complement for the surrounding distortions.
The title track welcomes us with dark ambient atmospheres and droning movements, crafting a grim voyage underlined by epic choruses full of ethereal qualities. An almost orchestral songwriting, but violated by crunching industrial loops and electronic interferences, a mix of sonic beauty and ugliness. The union of elements conjures a surreal climax full of human emotions and mechanical rhythms, a crawling obsession soon dwelling in a sea of sharp distortions and static disturbances. An electric atmosphere full of repressed tension is reached, and shrilling feedback sounds find their place in the aural majesty of the looping number. After the twelfth minute the storm goes away and new mantras create a section enriched by middle-eastern strings. The artist surprises us with these elements, but the noisier side of his music is not forgotten: drones and static effects still engulf the listening experience, but they do not destroy the melodic aspects of it. The last part of the track is dedicated to ambient suites and celestial harmonies.
A work rich in sounds and atmosphere in which dark ambient, drone/noise music and experimental elements conspire in order to develop a captivating aural experience. This is not just a collection of random noises and sounds, a pretentious attempt to avant-garde without any real meaning. Instead, we find a diverse but coherent work with a sonic narrative and slow developments, well-thought changes of direction and a skillful collaboration between noise and melody, acoustic passages and cold electronic lines. If you like dark ambient music and droning noise, this album could a treat for you.
Label: Rage In Eden