Ahh the soothing sounds of dark ambient. It can be a mixture of something calm and relaxing, or it can be something sinister and downright scary. Luckily there’s something out there that will mix a little bit of the best of both worlds, and that is the latest release from Mike Armine entitled Verse.
It took me a while to figure out who this person was until it hit me that he was the main man behind Pennsylvania based experimental rockers Rosetta. Anything that this band makes pretty much rules and isn’t afraid to cross boundaries. Same can be said about their frontman and his solo ventures, coming out in 2007 with his debut Cleansing Undertones of Wake/Lift which showcased more of a stretch towards drone, dark ambient, shoegaze, and noise (said album is also included and remastered for this new album).
Now we fast forward to 2012 with his long overdue sophmore effort. And in Verse, it ranges from calming, to noisy, to repetitious, to almost an entrancing mystique once you get to the closing moments of this album. Stuff like that is to be expected, same as with last year when one man whirlwind Dominick Fernow aka Prurient released his plethora of dark ambient/noise related materials in 2011. Songs like “Optical Electronics” and “Carson’s Theorem” seem to present this albums more calmer and relaxing side. While the two closing songs “The Non Place Of The Body” and the twice as long “The Non Place Of The Desire” sheds a dark light of this music style’s more darker approach including the drone and harsh noise aspects.
When all is said and done, this is an album that will stimulate the mind and bring forward your darkest inner thoughts. It may not be for everyone, but this is defintely a welcome piece of dark ambient for the year of 2012.
Final score: 8 out of 10