Chain D.L.K. review of The Forbidden

Published: 23/01/2017

The last I heard from Synoiz was back in 2011 with his 'Shock! Horror!' release which was an interesting and varied dark ambient effort. Synoiz is the project name of Graeme Donaldson from Sunderland in the North East of England, and in the interim from what I last heard, has put out a few releases which I haven't heard. Donaldson says 'The Forbidden' "is a far darker work than 2014's sci-fi concept album 'Frontiers' with a much more minimal approach than the debut album 'Ambients'. 'The Forbidden' combines sinister drones and field recordings with artificial choirs and synthesizers to create an album of dark oppressive atmospheres." No kidding. It's plenty dark, and frequencies are definitely at the lower end of the spectrum nearly throughout. This is about as gloomy as you could imagine, primarily using low frequency drone textures, but other elements subtly combined bleed through allowing each piece its own identity. 'The Forbidden' is not an album you can listen to just once and expect to reap all of its uncanny rewards. Yes, there is a certain amount of sameness running throughout, but it seems like more of a thematic cohesiveness than monotony. While seemingly minimal, subdued sonic events that crop up here and there that add to the flavor. Deserted, decrepit mansions and dusty crypts come to mind. The two tracks that sound nothing like the rest of the album are title track "The Forbidden (Below)" with its heavy sinister choir-like pads, whispers and moaning ghost, and the bonus track, "Inside the Ship" with a watery ambience, creaking wooden masts, and block & tackle clanking. Kind of like being aboard the Flying Dutchman. I think the album is a worthy one you're likely to find yourself returning to again and again because it's not intrusive and could serve as good background ambience for a variety of activities. Available at a number of outlets, but purchasing directly from the artist may be your most economic option.
4 / 5 Stars