Reviewed: Gladden Fields – Tower Of The Moon [Self-Released]

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.


Gladden Fields – Tower Of The Moon [Self-Released]

Tower Of The Moon spins a tale of hardship and seclusion in a sonic landscape covered by a impenetrable mist of regret. It is as if the listener is invited to seek refuge in the trudge described through the tracks of this release. Gladden Fields is an alias of Alocasia Garden, who mainly occupies himself with ambient and drone, which often are as sorrowful as this black metal output. It is thus not a big surprise to recognize these drone, noise, and atmospheric elements from his other aliases, yet Gladden Fields presents a taste of black metal that can be attributed to neo-folk and classical influences that we were previously unaware of. Bold in its intentions, splendid and sublime in its sadness.


Track list:

  1. Nocturnal Fear
  2. Tower Of The Moon
  3. Woven Grave
  4. The Black Chasm
  5. Hidden Fortress


Nocturnal Fear forms the interlude to this digital album, heavily characterized by the rolling drum and persistent drone, evoking a tense atmosphere. It is as if Judgement Day is being announced, the bell sounds as the mist grows thicker and one must start to walk towards the Sacred Court between Heaven and Hell. The theatrical environment grows heavier in character as the violin, flute, and organ join in solemnly. Tower Of The Moon similarly originates from a repeating melody to draw an outline of the situation until harp, and something sounding like a theremin get involved, yet it does not evolve as clearly as the other tracks on the eponymous release.

Woven Grave would make a beautiful stripped ambient composition as it includes all ingredients that we could recognize from Gladden Fields’ other output. A powerful element props up towards the end when the track is subdued in a wet choke, gurgling softly. The Black Chasm profits from the scattered drum patterns mingling with a lovely, yet cold guitar drone. Then born from a temporary silence is a wonderful play between harp, lute, and drum. Easily the most powerful track in all its restraint. Hidden Fortress sounds a whole lot more playful, a staccato melody and high-pitched flute give respite from all the gloom suffered along the journey. A hint of a rainbow on the lush, deep green grass.

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