Chamber Drones Dark Ambient Caustic Reverie Dark ambient and drone music is one of my favorite genres of music for either relaxation, recreational writing, or preparing a new session for my next tabletop RPG night. There's a certain mind-opening, reflective quality of music such as this that gives out cosmic vibes. Dark ambient and drone producer Caustic Reverie is one such project that has been producing within these genres for over a decade. With over twenty albums under his name, Caustic Reverie has a pretty decent wealth of knowledge underneath his musical belt. His latest album - in fact his twenty-sixth album - is due out very soon and is called "Chamber Drones". Boasting symphonic elements in atmospheric pieces, let's dive into "Chamber Drones" to see how well it does.The first and foremost element of Caustic Reverie that I would like to mention is his production; it's very, very well done. Listening to the hour-long album over and over never netted me one fluke in cohesion nor did I ever feel as if one part of the album felt muddy or distorted. Everything, like a clear blue sky on a sunny day, rolls perfectly as it should. Even the transitions are solid; it is quite bewildering to me why this wasn't just released as a solid mix instead of broken up into various parts. Where "Chamber Drones" does have a weakness, however, is overall sound design. The beginning of the album starts with 'Victory's Reminder'. While it begins how I expect, with multi-layered synths in similar pitches stretching themselves out over a half-minute or longer, I was hoping for more. What's important to me in drone and dark ambient pieces is also the textural work and sampling; if I was looking for sheer drone synths, I could easily go onto YouTube and find a cobbled together playlist that would sound similar. There are some sections of the album that work well with texture, such as the beginning minutes of 'Helios Crawler' which utilizes a bass synth note but works with shorter, rhythmic synths atop. However, those all but vanish a few moments into the song and make way for further drones, though they are colder this time around. Whether it's the heavier, static-like sound effects warping their way out of 'December Crescent', the deep and rich drones found on 'Orchid Breach (Part 1)' and it's follow-up, Caustic Reverie's commitment to genre conventions can be quite damaging. As stated in the intro, after twenty-some releases Caustic Reverie has a firm grip on his chosen genres. The production is damned good and it's hard to find synths that sound so crystal clear. However, it's the similarity to so many other drone and dark ambient projects that weigh this album down. It doesn't sound bad, but it sounds the same as so many other projects that I have received in my inbox. I can't point out anything unique about it. It stands solidly in the middle of being not bad, but not good, not terrible, but not great. For those reasons, then, I give "Chamber Drones" a five out of ten.    This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Caustic Reverie - Chamber Drones

5.0
"Mediocre"
Released off label 2021
Dark ambient and drone music is one of my favorite genres of music for either relaxation, recreational writing, or preparing a new session for my next tabletop RPG night. There's a certain mind-opening, reflective quality of music such as this that gives out cosmic vibes. Dark ambient and drone producer Caustic Reverie is one such project that has been producing within these genres for over a decade. With over twenty albums under his name, Caustic Reverie has a pretty decent wealth of knowledge underneath his musical belt. His latest album - in fact his twenty-sixth album - is due out very soon and is called "Chamber Drones". Boasting symphonic elements in atmospheric pieces, let's dive into "Chamber Drones" to see how well it does.

The first and foremost element of Caustic Reverie that I would like to mention is his production; it's very, very well done. Listening to the hour-long album over and over never netted me one fluke in cohesion nor did I ever feel as if one part of the album felt muddy or distorted. Everything, like a clear blue sky on a sunny day, rolls perfectly as it should. Even the transitions are solid; it is quite bewildering to me why this wasn't just released as a solid mix instead of broken up into various parts. 

Where "Chamber Drones" does have a weakness, however, is overall sound design. The beginning of the album starts with 'Victory's Reminder'. While it begins how I expect, with multi-layered synths in similar pitches stretching themselves out over a half-minute or longer, I was hoping for more. What's important to me in drone and dark ambient pieces is also the textural work and sampling; if I was looking for sheer drone synths, I could easily go onto YouTube and find a cobbled together playlist that would sound similar. 

There are some sections of the album that work well with texture, such as the beginning minutes of 'Helios Crawler' which utilizes a bass synth note but works with shorter, rhythmic synths atop. However, those all but vanish a few moments into the song and make way for further drones, though they are colder this time around. Whether it's the heavier, static-like sound effects warping their way out of 'December Crescent', the deep and rich drones found on 'Orchid Breach (Part 1)' and it's follow-up, Caustic Reverie's commitment to genre conventions can be quite damaging. 

As stated in the intro, after twenty-some releases Caustic Reverie has a firm grip on his chosen genres. The production is damned good and it's hard to find synths that sound so crystal clear. However, it's the similarity to so many other drone and dark ambient projects that weigh this album down. It doesn't sound bad, but it sounds the same as so many other projects that I have received in my inbox. I can't point out anything unique about it. It stands solidly in the middle of being not bad, but not good, not terrible, but not great. For those reasons, then, I give "Chamber Drones" a five out of ten.    

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Aug 23 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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