Rolling by like a dark cloud that engulfs you for 30 minutes, New Kings and New Queens takes a minimalist approach to standard dark ambient tropes. All in all, it’s fairly innocuous as dark ambient goes. It’s moody, with its drawn-out drones, hammering piano chords, and specks of industrial clamor, but it’s also comparatively easy to get through. Composer Matej focuses on feeling, which is good, but expresses it in fairly straight lines, and very long ones at that, dependent on small shifts in the flow for any sort of dynamic. Four cuts in, with “New Queens,” he starts to show a more bombastic leaning, the piece coming in on big fanfare chords. It’s a good wake-up call at the start but then just hangs there without much texture. At no point did New Kings and New Queens make me need to pay attention, or elicit much response from me. Dark ambient fans may find this to their liking, or, like me, may find it a little too much on the light side of dark.
Available from Malignant Records.