Cryo Chamber Collaboration: Yig – Music Review

Being as this is a collaborative effort of artists signed to the amazingly prolific Cryo Chamber label, let’s list out all the musicians involved, and there’s quite the list: Neizvestija, ProtoU, Dronny Darko, RNGMNN, In Quantum, Dead Melodies, Atrium Carceri, Keosz, Northumbria, Beyond the Ghst, Wordclock, God Body Disconnect, Randal Collier-Ford, Hilyard, Council of Nine, Dahlia’s Tear, Lesa Listvy, Creation VI, Aegri Somnia, Ager Sonus, Ruptured World, and finally Alphaxone. Phew!

What is Yig, Anyway?

For those not familiar with Lovecraft’s works, here is what the wiki has to say to describe them:

Yig, the Father of Serpents, is a half-anthropomorphic Great Old One who was worshipped as a god in Central America and the southern states of the USA. While he had an arbitrary and capricious nature he was also fiercely protective of his serpentine offspring and would punish anyone who dared harm them. He is the father of Ayi’ig and the mate of the outer god Yidhra. Even though Yig is quick to anger he is also easy to please as long as no harm comes to his children, the snakes.

The Album in Detail

As such, it would seem that ‘anger’ is the theme that flows through this collaborative work. A lot of the movements are based around dark, harsh sounds, distorted rhythms, and menacing pads, all interspersed with evocative melodic pieces on stringed instruments, almost arabic/middle eastern in tone. At other times the music calms down, giving the overall album a sense of breathing, collecting energy for another burst of rage through it’s soundscapes.

It’s hard to pin down exactly where one musician’s involvement begins and another ends. In a previous request to the label on who was involved in certain sections of ‘Nyarlathotep’, it seemed that there was certain artists providing elements that were mixed together by the label head, Simon Heath. I would imagine that this process has refined over the years meaning that even whole sections could be the work of multiple artists each providing their take on the music. This is the only instance I know of where the collective artists of a label work on a project like this (feel free to prove me wrong in the comments), and as such it’s uniqueness is matched by it’s quality.

Earlier releases (Cthuhlu, Azathoth) had some great elements but seemed less ‘connected’ to each movement in the whole. Later ones after this really saw it shine with ‘Nyarlathotep’, ‘Yog-Sothoth’ and ‘Hastur’ being notable examples – and I would love to see a three disc relase like Nyarlathotep again – an epic that has yet to be repeated.

But I’m supremely grateful for the ongoing project as a whole – it seemed it wasn’t going to be a permanent fixture at one point from what I’d heard but was glad when more releases flowed out from the seriously prolific label.

Final Thoughts on Yig by Cryo Chamber

Overall, this is a really hard album to review, and it’s really worth giving it a listen yourself if you like your cinematic dark ambient. Heck, you can listen to the entire thing on Youtube if you so wanted. The reason it’s really hard to review is that it’s a really dense album, packed with lots of movements in the 2hr 19m runtime over two tracks that makes it feel so much longer. And it’s not like you can simply tie it down to just being an album of dark drone, or dark ambient, or anything like that. Yes, it’s dark, it’s also melodic and structured at times, other times it’s more free-form in its sound design.

Seriously. Just go give it a listen. I’m sure if you like any form of dark music, you’ll like it. It’s already replaced Nyarlathotep as my favourite collaboration album.

Yig is available on Bandcamp

Read more of my music reviews here.

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