Atra Aeterna’s catalogue of music expands by the mealtime but when things just click – why not go nuts? Pressure is an EP of five tracks – or sketches – as they are entitled here. They are very much in the vein of Atra Aeterna’s previous works and fit perfectly with visuals of broken down towns.
“Sketch 1 Kara” is a short introductory piece of ambient blips and twists with disembodied piano guts slowing dripping out the mouth of your speakers before “Sketch 2 The School Of…” enters for an electronica morning Raj as a singular note vibrates and permeates around bending glass cups and eerie foreboding inner sadness that is finally punctuated with sparse piano half melodies. It’s the kind of ambience that befits a mental horror movie or a Silent Hill game. “Sketch 3 Squalls” veers into more gritty electronica as a really harsh guitar roar is going absolutely nuts but has been turned right down in volume and has elegant piano and ambient effects overpowering it. It’s these kind of odd turns on your head that Atra Aeterna does so well and that’s why his ambient works always empower my ears. “Sketch 4 Ash in Snow” is the first time a percussive edge comes in with distorted snow crunches being used for a drum beat over fuzzy keyboard synths. Again it doesn’t stay on a melody or beat for very long so you are never settled. The closing track “Sketch 5 The Ides of March” is a short but stirring track of stabbing noise spikes that sound either like a perpetual knife to the heart or a never ending march to disary.
Atra Aeterna always hits ambience perfectly on the head. It leaves you enough room to evoke an emotion, and enough ambiguity to start forming your own stories, images and horrors to tell. Understated beauty.