Darsombra - Eternal Jewel
Public Guilt
Dark Ambient Drone
5 songs (39'58")
Release year: 2008
Darsombra, Public Guilt
Reviewed by Adam
Back in 2006, Brian Daniloski shocked and, frankly, terrified me with Ecdysis, the debut of his one man project Darsombra. I had never heard such terrifying and unsettling ambient music, but I couldn't help but respect how finely Daniloski crafted the mood of the album. 2008 sees the release of Eternal Jewel, the full length sophomore effort. If you were expecting and hoping for exclusively eerie tracks, you might feel initially let down, as this incarnation of Darsombra is noticably lighter, but if you examine more closely, you may end up with the same opinion I have, that Eternal Jewel is step ahead of its predecessor.

The short intro, Auguries, provides near immediate notice that the mood on this album is different from Ecdysis. There is a tangible melody with the combination of the higher pitched synth sounds and a low doomy undertone. The result is almost empowering, a far cry from the sheer horror of the first album. I was a bit put off by this at first, perhaps just because it was unexpected. However, after repeated listens, I have to say that I like the way this sets up the rest of the album with its majestic feel. Just in case you were wondering if Darsombra had completely changed gears, the next track, Night's Black Agents will quell this thought quite effectively. Simply put, this is the most frightening atmosphere I have ever heard a song create, which is astonishing considering how minimalist it is. It is also epic to boot, clocking in at over 17 minutes. In this time period, you will be pulled to the depths of despair. This is the sound of fear, and I will not even attempt to describe the "music" so as not to spoil it (or do it an injustice). Suffice it to say that if you enjoyed Ecdysis, this will be what you were waiting to hear. If you navigate to the album through the link above to Public Guilt's website, an mp3 of this song is available to sample, a much better representation than anything I could ever write. Moving on, pulling you out of this pit is the ethereal Drops of Sorrow, which probably sounds lighter than it actually is due to its placement on the album, though it does have moments of darker atmosphere, particularly at the end. It also has a very trance-like quality that is hard to ignore, though it must be listened to after Night's Black Agents to appreciate the full effect. The next track, Lamentings/Auguries, is a strange and empty feeling plucked guitar ensemble coupled with a redux of the music from the opening track. The closer, Incardine, is the lightest and most surreal sounding track on Eternal Jewel, or any Darsombra release for that matter. In the scheme of this album it completes the ascent out the depths of terror created by Night's Black Agents. In the end, this is what makes the lighter tracks work so well for me, as they lend to the album feeling somewhat like a journey or the backdrop to an epic story, whereas Ecdysis was a constant barrage of fear.

Once again, the music of Darsombra is not for everyone. Though Eternal Jewel is infinitely more accessible than its predecessor, it is still ambient drone. That said, if you enjoy this style of music, this should be on your "to buy" list, doubly so if you liked the first album.
Killing Songs :
Night's Black Agents, Drops of Sorrow, Incardine
Adam quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Darsombra that we have reviewed:
Darsombra - Ecdysis reviewed by Adam and quoted 75 / 100
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