The latest full-length studio effort by Italian artist Abisso is a true work of art. The album, titled Cradle of Ice, is an experimental instrumental record which seeks to push the boundaries of new-age ambient music. The soundscape of the record is dark and alluring, evoking a sense of void and paranoia that will remain etched in your memory long after the record ends. Furthermore, with 10 songs clocking at 28 minutes, the album strengthens Abisso’s hold on the global indie music market after the initial success of their 2022 debut, ‘Son of Abyss’
The Sardinian artistic duo EryaV & D’avy creates a sonic landscape with a dark mood, that will drive you to explore the darkest corners of your own psyche. Their music is primarily ambient, incorporating subtle piano and VSTis with long morbid pauses. It is as if the artist wants you to take a moment to reflect on their sound. And it truly works wonders! Abisso have managed to personify silence through sound, a real achievement in how to perceive ambient music.
Vivid Dark Atmospheres by Italian duo Abisso
From the very first track titled Atrium, the band begins to paint a vivid picture of sonic tapestry that leads you to the depths of your imagination. With an eerie and dark textural palette, they dish out one track after another in this record, that enhances the visuals bit by bit. Abisso takes things slow, and as a result each element of their sound, starting from the haunting chordal progressions, reverberating percussions to the dark hollow ambient pads, is all extremely carefully crafted. Every little change in the dynamics of their music is accentuated to hit the listener like a pinprick. Cradle of Ice is an album that requires patience. It is a mesmerizing experience of experimental music that thrives in melancholia.
Standout tracks from the album include Transfer, Moaning, Cave of Tears, Among the Ruins and the title track, Cradle of Ice. While each track has its unique mood, the overall feel of the album never escapes beyond dark and sombre. The iconic top-end ‘crackle’ which is reminiscent of old record players evokes a sense of nostalgia. It is a recurrent theme in the production of most of the songs in this album. Additionally, dare we say that Abisso is a master of stereo production? Take a listen to this album in surround sound or a pair of headphones with a wide frequency response, what you’ll notice is immaculate detailing of the stereo field.
Songs of suspense and horror
The album’s morose tone creates a sombre setting. Cradle of Ice would fit well into a psychological suspense thriller movie or contemporary horror flick. Iconic movies that come to mind while listening to EryaV & D’avy’s work are 2016’s Split and the more iconic The Prestige. In addition, TV shows such as Dark would also greatly benefit from the addition of Abisso’s work.
In conclusion, the sophomore album by Abisso is a true work of art. Abisso prepares a narrative unlike any other and consolidates their place as one of the best ambient acts to watch out for in the contemporary global indie music scene. Fans of experimental soundscapes and producers with a knack for pushing the boundaries of acceptable industry standards, would find a lot to cherish here.
The “Abisso” project goes beyond the dimension of mere collaboration, translating itself into an authentic artistic symbiosis. According to a recent press release, the artist stated that: The pauses (sometimes quite long) and sudden interruptions, are intended to make the listener dwell on the emotional intensity carried by the sounds, to the point of perceiving it under the skin; moreover they intend to make themselves suitable also and above all, as support and/or accompaniment compositions (soundtracks).