Review: StrykninY – Shattered Forest

Much of Shattered Forest sounds like the aftermath of something terrible – lingering drones, echoes of demented voices – coming across as the gloomy sonic imprint left by whatever hideous, destructive occurrence dwelled in the soundscape previously. Activity is minimal, and the album’s impact derives from its implication – like the warped fragments of traumatized mental recollection, this album offers out blurry half-images that can only hint as to their source.

Put more concisely, Shattered Forest is dark ambient made using synthesizers and samples – gigantic throbs of sub-bass, delicate hums of static, intermittent bursts of alien interference. While it ventures into territory well trodden by countless artists previously, the album occasional strikes upon some truly unsettling and evocative atmospheres – “Kustlinje” recounts the guttural, dying wheezes of a crushed pipe organ, while “III” sounds like the spooky exploration of an abandoned spaceship, complete with the electronic chatter of equipment and harsh winds that howl down vacated corridors.

Shattered Forest works best when the timbre of its source instruments is masked beyond recognition – occasionally, the explicit zip of oscillator synthesizer makes itself known at the forefront, unthreading the conviction behind the album’s visual provocation. For the most part, it’s nicely constructed. Stereotypical “dark ambient” this may be, but it’s been constructed by someone who knows how to push these stereotypes to the peak of their capabilities.