The Mourning Dimension is the creation of Napalm Dave who my readers would know from the incredible work he did with the Within The Torn Apart project, better known by most as W.T.T.A. While W.T.T.A was like a imprisoned droning beast, The Mourning Dimension is the same beast but this time, freed from the shackles to explore and wander into new dimensions of aural, sonic sound-scapes. This new album titled "Has Opened" is being released on the fairly new "Barren Meadows Recordings" label which has already got some stimulating releases on the horizon. "Has Opened" is a monster of a recording, a colossal epic of extended musical sonic indulgence that contains some 90 minutes or more of atmospheric dirges, sound-scapes, thematic ambiance and also some titanic heavy-laden noise. Just like a movie with a complicated story-line, various ever-changing sub-plots and landscape changes, listening to "Has Opened" gives you a similar experience. Its not for the feeble minded or the short attention span, its a album that is best listened to in full but either strap on some good headphones or turn up loud for full effect.
The journey begins with a intro piece called "The Woods At Night", anyone who has ever spent time camping in a wolf-infested forest will know the vibe and the mood being portrayed here. Nightmarish but more to the point, the feeling something is lurking and ready to make you their next meal. The amount of tension and apprehension on this track re-appears many times throughout the album and this intro prepares you for that. Title track, "Has Opened" is a chilling soundtrack to all our fears. This is music to put you on edge and keep you watching over your shoulder, just like the best of horror soundtracks, its made to create a mood of tension or nervousness and its mastered here perfectly. The music has a macabre kind of ambiance which is unsettling even at its most pleasant and mainstream. Nothing sums that up better than the third track, "In the Dark Residence of Evil". The track puts you the edge of the cliff hanging by a tree branch and basically leaves you hanging there, don't expect some relief in this time of stress as this piece of music offers you none at all. "Sanity Lost" is up next and the title describes it all, the multi-layered keys, synth's and ambient bottom-ended noises create a over-whelming sense of suffocating, isolation and tension verging on crippling.
Multi-dimensional and yet subtle is the albums strong point, as in the fifth track "Broken Doorway" which offers up something different with every spin. The amount of dynamics is also kept in check, unlike other drone / ambient bands that seem to think this genre of music is based in noise and not much more, The Mourning Dimension actually takes the time to create various moods. The loneliness and the sheer maddening tension on "Broken Doorway" is further enhanced by dripping water sounds and while it might not seem that complex to the casual listener, the depth and rich complexity's that lie within the many layers of the pieces opens up the gateway to your deepest imagination. "Blood Dripping Down Part 1" conjures the feelings of desolate wastelands and more sustained tension that builds in intensity even though its a slow and pain-filled process. It takes time to fully absorb the musical thought-processes that must have gone into this but its worth the effort but it may give you some nightmares along the way. One of the best examples of this is "Drying Inside(Blood Is Gone)Part 2", taking cues from what must be horror soundtracks, the track is as colorful as it is threatening in mood but it requires attention from the listener. "The Day I Died" takes that threatening ambiance to its ultimate conclusion, again the feelings of fear and apprehension of something menacing approaching is enough to captivate or equally enough to make you run and hide.
"And Then Comes Suffering" begins with warm, spacey keys and for a short time, a certain peace is maintained. Meditative and soothing for the first half but the track takes a nasty turn to more hellish atmospheres in the second half with buzzing distorted noises. Track 10 is called "Thank God, Its Over", i wonder if Napalm Dave is trying to predict how people will feel by this point in the album, after all this is a rather punishing journey in the realms of extended, droning horror-filled soundtracks. The truth is though, "Thank God, Its Over" is one of the strongest passages of music on "Has Opened". The waves of larger than life sounds engulf and fill your room with almost symphonic 3D sounds that even sound gigantic even on small stereo speakers. Believe me, i have tried it but the depths and ranges of frequencies might prove too much so go easy on the volume. The final track "Green Walls of Glass" is also a dazzling display of classic, well polished atmospheric sound textures that crush the senses and expand the doors of perception. By the time this track runs through its 10 or so minutes, you have a feeling of being dragged through the mud by a madman, taken to hell and back or simply had the most chilling experience of your life (maybe a combination of all three even).
The conclusion is this a thrilling listening experience but to be fair, not a easy one. I don't know if humans were made to endure such pensive music for such a extended period of time but still this is a album best suited to listening from start to finish. It can be listened to like a movie soundtrack or as a ambient journey into a dark, unforgiving place but i guess its up to your own imagination or musical tastes at what angle you approach to listening to a such a mesmerizing, engaging piece of work like this. It takes a step away from his previous project( W.T.T.A) and is less drone-heavy and more ambient overall but its also the best produced and well mixed recording this man has ever put together. While its lighter on the droning qualities of his previous recordings, it still crushes with sonic, over-powering sound that has so much depth it has a "surround sound" vibe about it even through a small 2 speaker system. Its a monumental recording that will excite the drone / ambient music fan the most but will also appeal to soundtrack lovers, especially the hardcore horror type. Highly recommend you take the time to check this one out, its certainly one of the best albums of its kind i have ever heard. 9.5/10
Barren Meadows Recordings