Empty Chalice – Mother Destruction

If ambient music is in the collective imagination the exhibition of sounds intended to accompany in a discreet and never invasive way the different phases of a day or a specific activity, in reality it requires different variants that are anything but lulling or comforting, and one of the main creators of this vein in Italy is Antonine A. (Antonio Airoldi ), who takes his cue from the great works published in the nineties by the legendary Swedish label Cold Meat Industry. After having spoken last year of Ondine’s Curse, a work released on the Hogravimalattie label, with Mother Destruction we need to take a step back in terms of time since, despite the recent publication by Toten Schwan Records, the composition of the tracks dates back to 2017 and is therefore subsequent to Emerging Is Submerging. It’s to this album that this latest work by Empty Chalice is somehow related, which on a conceptual level is dedicated to those who have lost their way and are forced to wander for a long time before finding their way back home. A certain element of discontinuity is provided by the presence of vocal contributions in the form of recited parts (in particular that of Thyme Nord of Rare Form in Treblinka’s Snow) which themselves become instruments skilfully manipulated by Antonine A. The dark ambient in the interpretation of Empty Chalice (which also makes use of the contributions of other non-sanctioned sound makers such as Rare Form, Ashtoreth and Kurgan Hors) never finds any melodic outlet, turning into the background noise that accompanies feelings often full of pain or anguish, but especially in Mother Destruction also flashes of hope with respect to the possibility of finding the right path, as in the title track placed not surprisingly at the end of the work. Who learned to know Airoldi’s work for a long time can’t be surprised by his ability to propose sounds that, even if they don’t have a conventional melodic line (even if the dramatic Rest In Pain is sometimes close to the repeated linearity of some ambient doom), are able to fatally attract the listener’s attention, transporting him into a sort of parallel world where the sounds are not those we hear in everyday life, but appear more like the threatening background noise of a humanity that has much to hide and much to be forgiven. If Treblinka is probably the place where one of the peaks of aberration in the history of mankind was reached, at least in modern times, there is nothing left but to rise from the flames to resume a painful but not entirely hopeless path (perhaps better identified with a more animalistic survival instinct), the only foothold to which we can cling to continue our daily wanderings. If the funeral doom has the function to exacerbate the pain in order to reach a kind of catharsis, the dark ambient does not tear the soul but slowly corrodes it, leaving a sense of disorientation, very similar to what you feel when you have bad feelings without that being caused by objective facts; the music of Empty Chalice is something that insinuates itself into the consciousness remaining silent for a long time and then suddenly manifesting itself reviving our anxieties.

2019 – Toten Schwan Records