Onward from the fluid, opalescent shamanic textures of Halgrath, netlabel Ambientaria Records continues to present us with eerie, abstract soundscapes with the second album, released one month after Halgrath’s Liquid Mind. This time around, it’s Forgotten Backyard’s turn, a project of unspecified nationality – although La Nuit Éternelle, the title of the debut it has already thrust upon the masses, arises the suspicion of a French provenance. Forgotten Backyard was created in January, 2010, by the only member Dennis, who enounciates a sombre dualism between paranoid nightmares and mechanized post-apocalyptic reality as the focal point of his vision.
Cerulean Wasteland is a paradox – sounds that communicate visually. Rather than Dennis’ own description of intents, the title itself is enough self-explanatory about the music, right down to the anaemic and bleak cover art and estranging feeling of this seven-tracks opus. In fact, I reckon the improper employ of the very term ‘music’, since there’s little to none music to be found on this record, at least not according to the average standards. Cerulean Wasteland is built entirely out of subliminal layers of slow-attack sub-drones, cycling in wide movements to carry an agoraphobic sense of desolation, crossed by haunting industrial noises crashing in and out with great effect. However, its unobtrusive minimalism doesn’t necessarily make Cerulean Wasteland the average background-album to have in the background while doing something else, a function that is often associated with Ambient, and if the tracks shoot by in a huge blur it’s only because they’re not paid with the necessary attention, that allows their disturbing soundscapes to soak into the brain, and make you zone out to a deserted, uninhabited planet earth where you’re the last survivor among the ruins of eradicated civilization. The fact that any option of accessible melody has been discarded on this release (Black Blood and Oil is probably the only track on offer that incorporates a resemblance of melody that doesn’t linger for long), might be deterring to a large number of less intrepid potential listeners, but those selected few with a fervid imagination and a predisposition for this genre would most likely agree with what has just been said.
The minus of Cerulean Wasteland consists in the fact that – at least for me – once its effect is exhausted, the album loosens its grip, in that it starts to drag somewhat midpoint and fails to capture with the same intensity as during the first tracks. Apart from this, a very visionary experience, although not meant for everybody. Whether you’re willing to step into Forgotten Backyard’s nightmarish wastelands, the choice is up to you.
Source: Elitarian Music Webzine