After first release Amen last year on Tundra Dubs, ∆AIMON returns this year with Flatliner. This second instalment of the American duo displays a developed sound. It feels as if this album was created in a cloister, difficult to reach due to its hillside location. Each track has a mantra, enriching the album’s atmosphere. Flatliner appears to tap into the frequency of the place. Its nocturnal visiting hours for outsiders deters most, but the album tells of a black page in the monastery’s history.
Flatliner opens excellently with Current. It introduces and entrances its listener gradually; First by lurging a mantra, then followed by a whisper after which the mantra returns. Black Cross takes the power back and has more the makings of a disenchanted pop song. It draws closer to the night of the invasion. Choke sticks to the downbeat pace with whispering vocals. Its slow moment create the adversary with distant ruckus and unnerving sounds as part of the background. By the use of gunshots, a confrontation is enacted. Bells sound as a form of warning as the fog arises. Darker than the previous, Mirrors Fade descends down the lightless staircase. The vocals are timid, but dedicated to whatever may come. When the background growls and the drone arises, everything is louder. As if to fight off the assailant with the mantra. After a pause, this procedure repeats itself: ‘When silence is silent/ Our hearts will turn to black’.
After the aphotic corridor, a discorded piano leads in the title track. Flatliner takes its listener along with the walk of several monks, who have regrouped and are headed to the main hall. The chant is strong and shuns all that the disciples oppose. The drone pushes through and the mantra follows: ‘When our hearts were strong/ We could know no wrong’ and finishing with ‘We won’t be broken’. emptiness establishes a cold and distant atmosphere, reciting Current’s mantra in a more haunting manner. The bleak soundscape tells of a cloudless sky under which the cloister has endured its dark chapter. A slow drum pattern guides the hymn of survival.
Evil Eye is a digital bonus and an additional way to wrap up the release. Its start is timid and desolate. The drone strengthens the track and carries the atmosphere. It gives the antagonist a voice as it were, still standing after a detrimental night. The music nearly dies as the assailant seems to inhale for the last time. Yet the sound is resurrected as if he finds a second wind and disappears into the woods.
The album can be previewed on their Bandcamp page, below you’ll find the accompanying video for the dark gem Mirrors Fade: