On the Malignant Records web site there are snippets from reviews of Skorneg’s Foehn from artists and reviewers more versed in the dark ambient arts than I–or, at least, more into them. These reviews talk about how good this album is. If you are a dark ambient lover, I suggest you take their word for it. When I listened, I found myself getting part way into each of the four tracks and then skipping ahead. I guess I was looking for something more because to my ears this is Dark Ambient 101 stuff, and I’ve heard enough Dark Ambient 101. Yes, it is big and loud and dense and it captures the austere feel of yet another barren wasteland. But there’s the issue for me: it’s one more barren wasteland, rendered in howls and the occasional bit of iron-on-iron percussion. Does it take you to some bleak, hopeless place so you can question your own existence? Of course. Does it have long stretches that border on hypnotic as viscous grey drones wrap around you? Of course. Because that’s how dark ambient does its thing, especially in its simplest form. Maybe I’m burned out on a surfeit of the stuff and there’s more going on here than I’m hearing. But what I’m hearing is straightforward, drone-laden dark with nothing outstanding to offer. Dark music fans are welcome to have a listen and then tell me why I’m wrong. For me, Foehn is simply a miss.
Available from Malignant Records.