Labyrinth is the latest compilation from Eighth Tower Records, purveyors of fine ultraterrestrial dark ambient, drone, and electronic music. With a total of twenty two tracks there’s enough darkness here to swallow the Earth whole.
The compilation starts off with “When the Shadows Come” from Psionic Asylum, a deep, dark ambient track that starts you down the path to the Labyrinth. Some of the standouts are track 3, “Luft” by Monocube, which wades into static like you are waste deep in murky waters of the mind. A train whistle is used expertly to disconcert the listener, sounding much like a plane crashing.
Track 6 brings “The Labyrinth” by Warpness with helicopter sound effects that increase the tension. Track 17 is “Hostile to the Past” by Soliloqua which uses creepy organ music that plants the seed in your mind that perhaps coming here was a mistake.
Track 18 is from Traansmutt, entitled “HehBethKathDaleth” and its packed with plenty of disturbing sounds like you’ve accidentally intruded on some kind of ritual in an old Hammer horror film. Other tracks include “Tre” from Necrophorus, “Verminephrobacter eiseniae” from Stigmate, and “We’ll Return to Our Departed Selves” by IOK-1.
Finally, the compilation contains an interesting passage about the nature of the labyrinth itself:
Mazes must be solved, a left brain activity that involves choices and an active mind and logical, sequential, linear thinking. A maze is multicursal, with many paths. If you don’t pay attention, you can get lost in one. Not so with a labyrinth. It is unicursal – one way in, one way out. There are no decisions, no choices, no thinking required. The only choice is to enter. To walk one is a right brain activity involving intuition, creativity, and imagination, and it requires a receptive mindset. You must trust the path, surrender to it.
A labyrinth is not a puzzle; it is a mystery. Theologian Diogenes Allen illuminates the difference: “When a problem is solved, it is over and done with. We go on to other problems. But a mystery, once recognized, is something we are never finished with. Instead, we return to it again and again and it unfolds new levels to us. Mysteries, to be known, must be entered into. We do not solve mysteries. The deeper we enter into them, the more illumination we get.”
1 Psionic Asylum “When the Shadows Come”
2 Sysselman “Submarine” (featuring Radio Feskslog)
3 Monocube “Luft”
4 Necrophorus “Tre”
5 Sonologyst “System: Maze of Control”
6 Warpness “The Labyrinth”
7 Xerxes the Dark “The Omen”
8 Damballah “Syel Lannwit”
9 Alphaxone “Awakeness”
10 SiJ “Few Sounds From the House Near the Sea”
11 Taphephobia “Twisting Journey”
12 Ashtoreth “Uncertain Path”
13 Globoscuro “Dedalo’s Architectural Liver”
14 Stigmate “Verminephrobacter eiseniae”
15 Silent Chaos “Daedalus of Possibilities”
16 IOK-1 “We’ll Return to Our Departed Selves”
17 Soliloqua “Hostile to the Past”
18 Traansmutt “HehBethKathDaleth”
19 Knobstat – Dirac
20 Monica Vlad – Distant
21 vAaristyma – ei muistiinpanoja alkuliemi
22 SKR Project – Death in Nibiru