Xerxes the Dark – [Ab]Solution

The dark ambient prince of Persia, Morego Dimmer, is becoming quite prolific lately. [Ab]Solution is a new (May 25th) full length recording, based on a “true and heavy” overdose which Morego had when he was 20 years old. Rather than psychedelic craziness, or something hellish and horrible, this experience is described as being in “a gloomy place, like a limbo”. For artistic purposes it may have been good fortune that this perhaps unpleasant experience turned out that particular way, since the musical style of Xerxes the Dark is of course well suited to capture such gloom.

Telling the tale in seven suggestively named tracks, the album begins with “Departing Scene” – a droning, slightly noisy piece of foreboding ambient. We then move deeper into the chemically induced psychosis with “Limbo (Opus 1 – Entrance)” and “Limbo (Opus 2 – Lost & Lorn). Pads, field recorded rattlings and obscure sounds of a more or less melodic nature flow forth, bleakly and blackly. This is very traditional dark ambient, with the idea of a drug induced mental state providing a framework and context modifying and defining the overall impression.

“Realizing Flashbacks” crackles and mumbles for a while, suggesting sudden and unsettling psychic impulses, before building into a more full ambient track – reverb and pads opening vistas of consciousness and infinite sleep. Shut into this strange cognitive prison, the vaguely religious sounding “Longing To Return” is the logical next step, but rescue is still rather far off and “Retrocasuality (Album Edit)” holds the protagonist under lock and key for another 14 minutes of dreaming, droning blackness until we are finally set free by the fresher, airier “Deliverance (by Light)”. The anxious state of non-being ceases, and after a wave of relief and spirit washes over us in the form of increasingly major-sounding music, we return. Back to normal, but changed for life.

Xerxes the Dark remains close to the apex of the occult pyramid which is the dark ambient scene. There is little doubt in my mind that we will soon be seeing more XtD physical releases, but until then you can always support further ambient outbursts by purchasing and enjoying albums like [Ab]Solution. It’s a great experience, and available from the aptly named D.M.T. records.

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