| Artist: Numina|
CD Title: Sanctuary of Dreams
Label: Hypnos Recordings
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Boasting swirling atmospheres and melodic minimalism, Sanctuary of Dreams, Numina's first release on Hypnos, is a subtle album with a big, full sound. The solo project of established ambient/ethereal songsmith Jesse Sola, Numina's sound on Sanctuary of Dreams is simple yet complex, built around processed synths, guitars, and vocals that all blend into over 70 minutes of ethereal soundscapes spread out across 10 tracks.
Overall, the album seems to work more as a whole rather than a collection of separate pieces. However, there were a number of tracks that stood out. The emotive swelling synths and delay-ridden synthetic percussion of "Lost on Silica Ridge" create an interesting juxtaposition between spatial abstraction and more concrete rhythmic elements. "Elements of Time" is a notably darker offering that is a bit sparser and effectively eerie and unsettling. "Beneath the Silver Surface" makes good use of processed percussive sounds, synthetic brass instrumentation, and bell sounds for an extremely interesting and fairly turbulent sound collage. "Fractured Eyes" is a reverb-drenched drone accented by refreshingly odd processed electronic bleeps, while the lovely "Lucid Ascension" features processed female vocals from Lycia's Tara Vanflower. The moody 13-minute album closer, "The Waking Breath", is also an interesting track that's anchored by spacious processed sound. The tracks I haven't mentioned, while not containing any particularly noteworthy elements that make them stand out on the album, are all excellent ambient/ethereal offerings with a great sense of both space and emotion.
Beautifully executed and aptly named, Sanctuary of Dreams is a very solid release from start to finish. From swirling dreamlike atmospheres to sparse and moody sonic abstractions, Sola's trip through the realm of dreams is certainly a worthwhile journey. Instrumental ambient/ethereal fans definitely shouldn't miss this one.
Numina website: www.numinamusic.com
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